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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 Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Barbara McCarthy

c. 2000
Penny Tweedie

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 50.8 cm x 30.9 cm, image: 40.7 cm x 28.0 cm)

Malarndirri Barbara McCarthy is a Yanyuwa woman from Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria. A former journalist, McCarthy has been Labor Senator for the Northern Territory since 2016. She began her career as an Aboriginal journalist cadet for the ABC in Darwin in 1989 and worked across Australia before becoming the presenter of the Northern Territory news and Stateline. She returned to her community of Borroloola in 1997 to establish the region's first community radio station and the Lijakarda Arts, Culture and Media Training Centre. In 2005 McCarthy was elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly for Arnhem. After being defeated at the 2012 election, she worked as a presenter for SBS/NITV News from 2012 to 2016. McCarthy won the Inaugural Journalism Award at the Deadly Awards in 2013 and was nominated for two Walkley Awards. In her first speech in the Senate in 2016, she highlighted the struggles of recognition and land rights for First Nations people, and she was the first politician to list ownership of traditional Indigenous lands as part of declarations of interest in Federal Parliament.

Penny Tweedie spent a year travelling around Australia in 2000 photographing and interviewing successful young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which resulted in her 2001 book Indigenous Australia: Standing Strong. This photograph was taken when McCarthy was a journalist for ABC TV Darwin.

Gift of the artist 2004
© Estate of Penny Tweedie

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

Penny Tweedie (age 60 in 2000)

Malarndirri Barbara McCarthy

Donated by

Penny Tweedie (47 portraits)

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency