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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.

John Williamson, Springbrook, Qld, 2004

John Elliott

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 60.7 cm x 50.6 cm, image: 47.8 cm x 36.0 cm)

John Williamson AM (b. 1945), singer songwriter, scored a national number one and a gold record in 1970 with the first song he ever wrote - 'Old Man Emu'. In the years since he has released 32 albums, won 20 Golden Guitars at Tamworth, and received 2 Arias for Best Australian Country Record. Among his greatest hits are 'True Blue', first recorded in 1982 and used as part of the Federal Government's Australian Made campaign in 1986, and the protest songs 'Rip, Rip Woodchip' and 'A Flag of Our Own' - the latter a song that saw Williamson banned from several country RSL clubs. ('What's the point in making a stand,' he has said, 'if everyone agrees with you?'). In 2000 he performed 'Waltzing Matilda' before a worldwide TV audience to begin the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Williamson was inducted into Australian Country Music's Roll of Renown in 1997.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005

Accession number: 2005.35

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Elliott (age 53 in 2004)

John Williamson (age 59 in 2004)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

John Elliott (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.

Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott

Thousand mile stare

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

John Elliott talks about his photographic portrait practice, including his iconic image of Slim Dusty arm-in-arm with Dame Edna Everage.

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.

Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott

Thousand Mile Stare

Portrait photography by John Elliott

Previous exhibition, 2004

Thousand mile stare provides a unique portrait of people of rural Australia

We would like to thank our partners.
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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.