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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.

Study for portrait of Joan Croll, 1976

John Brack

conte on paper (frame: 65.8 cm x 57.0 cm, sheet: 50.0 cm x 39.7 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Joan Croll AO (b. 1928), a breast physician and practising radiologist, is a conservation activist and vigorous writer of letters-to-the-editor. Born in Sydney, she studied medicine at the University of Sydney but did not practise until the age of 47, having been a full-time mother for thirteen years. From 1975 until her retirement in 1997 she was a persistent and effective worker in the field of breast cancer, promoting the introduction of breast ultrasound and mammography. In the early 1970s, Croll’s fight alongside thirteen other women known as ‘Battlers for Kelly’s Bush’ to stymie a housing development on Sydney bushland led to the world’s first Green Ban and the birth of urban environmentalism.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Joan Croll
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2007.41

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Brack (age 56 in 1976)

Joan Croll AO (age 48 in 1976)

Subject professions

Health and medicine

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.

Portrait of Tam Purves, 1958 John Brack
Portrait of Tam Purves, 1958 John Brack
Portrait of Tam Purves, 1958 John Brack
Portrait of Tam Purves, 1958 John Brack

Bonfire of the vanities

Magazine article by Stuart Purves, 2016

Australian Galleries Director Stuart Purves tells the story of two portraits by John Brack.

Interview with Joan Croll video: 2 minutes
Interview with Joan Croll video: 2 minutes
Interview with Joan Croll video: 2 minutes
Interview with Joan Croll video: 2 minutes

Joan Croll

Portrait story

An interview with the indomitable Joan Croll, subject of John Brack's portrait.

Self portrait 1955
Self portrait 1955
Self portrait 1955
Self portrait 1955

Portrait of the artist as a young man

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Dr Sarah Engledow explores the early life and career of John Brack.

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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.