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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.

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Herb Elliott

1992 (printed 2008)
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (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
© Max Dupain/Copyright Agency, 2022

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

Max Dupain OBE (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 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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency