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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.

Chicka Dixon, 1980

Juno Gemes

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.9 cm x 60.8 cm, image: 31.8 cm x 44.2 cm)

Charles 'Chicka' Dixon (1928-2010), Indigenous activist, became interested in Aboriginal causes as a seasonal worker in 1946. In 1963 he became a stevedore, and organiser for the Seaman's Union. Soon after, Charles Perkins asked him to help mediate with courts on behalf of Aboriginal people on trial; by 1970, their efforts had evolved into Redfern's Aboriginal Legal Service. Dixon was one of the founders of the Tent Embassy in 1972, and led an Aboriginal delegation to China soon after. A foundation member of the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council, he was its Chairman from 1983 to 1986. The first Aboriginal member of the Australia Council, he lobbied for reforms in indigenous arts funding and administration and actively encouraged Aboriginal musicians. After working to establish the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service he continually advocated treatment programs for substance abuse. Dixon was named Australian Aborigine of the Year in 1984.

Juno Gemes photographed Dixon with Aboriginal bands at the Sydney Festival.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2004.154

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Juno Gemes (age 36 in 1980)

Chicka Dixon (age 52 in 1980)

Subject professions

Activism

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.

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.

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The National Portrait Gallery
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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.