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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.

Shahleena Musk

c. 2000
Penny Tweedie

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 50.8 cm x 31.0 cm, image: 40.7 cm x 28.0 cm)

Shahleena Musk is Larrakia lawyer from Darwin. She was the first Aboriginal person to graduate from the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University) and to be admitted to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. Musk was a Crown Prosecutor for the Director of Public Prosecutions in both the Northern Territory and Western Australia. In 2013 she was instrumental in the creation of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency youth team and took on the role of the Senior Youth Justice Lawyer. She joined the Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne in 2017, working in the Indigenous Rights Unit. Since 2020 she has been the Manager, Koori Advisory and Engagement at the Commission for Children and Young People. Musk is also a director at the Larrakia Development Corporation, providing employment and business opportunities for Larrakia people, and is on the steering committee of the #RaiseTheAge Campaign, a national coalition to raise the age of legal responsibility from 10 to 14.

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 Musk was a Crown Prosecutor in 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)

Shahleena Musk

Subject professions

Law and justice

Donated by

Penny Tweedie (47 portraits)

Related information

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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.

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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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