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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.

Herb Elliott, 1992 (printed 2008)

Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.6 cm, image: 40.5 cm x 35.0 cm)

James Herbert 'Herb' Elliott AC MBE (b. 1938), runner, won the gold medal in the 1500 metres at the Rome Olympics in 1960. The time he set in that event, 3 minutes 35.6 seconds, was not bettered for seven years. Having been schooled amidst the sports culture of Aquinas College, Perth, the young Elliott pursued a severe training regime devised by his coach, Percy Cerutty, who would exhort him to speed up by reminding him that 'it's only pain.' Winner, also, of two Commonwealth gold medals in 1958, Elliott ran the sub-four-minute mile seventeen times, and he was never beaten on level terms over a mile or 1 500 metres. He retired from athletics in 1961, after three scintillating years at the top. Later, he served on the boards of companies including Australian Portland Cement Ltd, Puma and Ansell Ltd; he is currently Chair of the Fortescue Metals Group and the Telstra Foundation. A Living National Treasure, he carried the Olympic flame into the stadium at the opening of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Accession number: 2008.57

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 81 in 1992)

Herb Elliott AC MBE (age 54 in 1992)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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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.