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Dr John Yu
, 2004

by Ah Xian

glazed ceramic

John Yu AC (b. 1934), paediatrician and administrator, was born in Nanking, China, and came to Australia when he was three years old. Educated in Sydney, from 1961 he worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children (now the Children’s Hospital, Westmead), becoming its Head of Medicine and serving for 19 years as its Chief Executive before retiring in 1997. For many years he has chaired and served on diverse bodies related to children’s health, education, medicine and the arts. Chancellor of the University of New South Wales from 2000 to 2005 and Chair of the Australia-China Council from 2000 to 2006, he was a member of the board of trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1997 to 2006, when he was made a Life Governor of the gallery. Since 2003 he has been Chair of VisAsia, promoting appreciation of Asian visual arts and culture. He has published books and many papers on paediatrics, management and decorative arts, and holds several honorary doctorates. Yu was Australian of the Year in 1996.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2004
Accession number: 2004.186