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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.

Kumantjayi Perkins at the Roma Forum, Brisbane, 1982

Juno Gemes

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 51.0 cm x 60.8 cm, image: 29.4 cm x 44.1 cm)

Charles Perkins AO (1936-2000) was an administrator and Aboriginal activist. Of Arrernte and Kalkadoon descent, he lived in the NT until he was ten, when he was taken to Adelaide. After qualifying as a fitter and turner and playing professional soccer in England, in 1966 he became one of the first Aboriginal people to obtain a BA from the University of Sydney. In 1966 he was the only indigenous participant in the anti-discrimination 'freedom rides' through country NSW. Manager of the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs from 1965 to 1969, in 1972 he helped to create the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee. He was chair of the Aboriginal Development Commission from 1980, and the Arrernte Council of Central Australia between 1991 and 1994; he was head of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs from 1984 to 1988 and deputy chairman of ATSIC from 1994 to 1995. In his last years he was vice-president of the Australian Soccer Federation.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2004.152

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Juno Gemes (age 38 in 1982)

Charles Perkins AO (age 46 in 1982)

Subject professions

Activism

Government and leadership

Donated by

Juno Gemes (19 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole
Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole
Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole
Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole

Express Yourself

Previous exhibition, 2018

This exhibition celebrates Australians whose unique life experiences symbolise social and cultural forces. Uncompromising individuality defines them. The portraits are drawn from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection of contemporary photography and drawing.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner

Portraits for Posterity

Previous exhibition, 2006

Drawn from some of the many donations made to the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Portraits for Posterity pays homage both to the remarkable (and varied) group of Australians who are portrayed in the portraits and the generosity of the many donors who have presented them to the Gallery.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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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.