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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.

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Damien Parer

c. 1939
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (44.2 cm x 32.5 cm)

Damien Parer (1912–1944), photographer and filmmaker, became friends with Max Dupain in the 1930s, often taking photographs with him on excursions to the beach and bush. In 1933 Parer started working with the feature film director Charles Chauvel, for whom his projects included Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940). With the advent of war Parer became an official film cameraman for the Department of Information. He established a reputation as an outstanding operator in Tobruk, Greece and Syria, where he worked (sometimes with Frank Hurley) between 1940 and 1942. With the acceleration of the Japanese offensive he moved to document the conflict in New Guinea. Here he made Kokoda Front Line, for which he and the film’s producer, Ken Hall, won Australia’s first Academy Award in 1942. Two years later, Parer was killed in action while covering the landing of American forces at Peleliu in the Pacific.

Purchased with funds provided by Timothy Fairfax AC 2003

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Max Dupain OBE (age 28 in 1939)

Damien Parer (age 27 in 1939)

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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