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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.

Jimmy Little

2003
Juno Gemes

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 60.8 cm x 51.0 cm, image: 44.0 cm x 32.4 cm)

Jimmy Little AO (1937–2012), singer, actor and advocate, was a Yorta Yorta man raised at the Cummerangunja Mission near the Murray River, New South Wales. Australia's first Aboriginal pop star, Little made his recording debut in 1956. After a national number one hit, 'Royal Telephone', which sold over 75,000 copies, he became a household name and was named Pop Star of the Year in 1964. His profile continued to grow through TV appearances, radio airplay and regular tours around Australia. In the 1980s, Little began working at the Eora Centre in Redfern, becoming a role model and mentor for Indigenous youth. In a characteristically low-key resurgence, he won an ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album in 1999 for Messenger. The same year, he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and was named Best Male Artist at the Deadly Awards. He founded the Jimmy Little Foundation in 2006 to improve renal health in Indigenous communities. Little won a Golden Guitar award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2011.

In 2003 the National Portrait Gallery exhibited Juno Gemes' solo show Proof: Portraits from the Movement 1978–2003. This image of Little was taken in his backyard in Rozelle, Sydney.

Gift of the artist 2005. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

Juno Gemes (age 59 in 2003)

Jimmy Little AO (age 66 in 2003)

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.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba

Proof

Portraits from The Movement 1978-2003

Previous exhibition, 2003

Portraits from The Movement is the first comprehensive survey of photographs from the Juno Gemes archive, which has supported the Aboriginal struggle for justice in Australia from 1978 to the present day.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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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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