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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Peter Garrett

1999
Karin Catt

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 30.5 cm x 25.2 cm, image: 29.1 cm x 24.1 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Peter Garrett AM (b. 1953), musician, environmental activist and former politician, is the lead singer of the band Midnight Oil, which originated around Sydney’s northern beaches in the mid-1970s. Following his studies in politics and law at university From the start, the Oils’ songs aggressively addressed social concerns such as the environment, uranium mining and Aboriginal rights. In 1987 they released their eighth album, Diesel and Dust, which sold more than two million copies world-wide. It included the hit ‘Beds are Burning’, performed provocatively at the close of the 2000 Olympics. Martin Rotsey, Rob Hirst, Peter Garrett, Jim Moginie and Bones Hillman effectively disbanded in December 2002. Garrett had become president of the Australian Conservation Foundation in 1989, and continued in the position until 1993; he was president again from 1998 to 2004. Between 2004 and 2013, while Labor member for the Federal seat of Kingsford Smith, Garrett served as minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts and school education, early childhood and youth. Garrett resigned from politics in 2013; his memoir, Big Blue Sky, was published in 2015 and he released a solo album, A Version of Now, the following year. Midnight Oil’s successful ‘Great Circle’ world tour of 2017 comprised more than 70 shows across fourteen countries. In 2019, Garrett received an Honorary Doctorate from the Australian National University.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002

Artist and subject

Karin Catt

Peter Garrett (age 46 in 1999)

Donated by

Karin Catt (1 portrait)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency