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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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Portrait of Philip Nitschke

1998 (re-worked 2009)
Amanda King

oil crayon and collage of printed magazine cuttings (frame: 120.0 cm x 178.7 cm, support: 114.3 cm x 173.2 cm)

Philip Nitschke (b. 1947) is the director of Exit International, a pro-choice voluntary euthanasia information and advocacy organisation. After gaining his doctorate in physics in Adelaide, he was a park ranger in the Northern Territory and worked with the Gurindji on the Wave Hill land claim in the 1970s. Following further study at Sydney University, he worked as a doctor at Royal Darwin Hospital from 1989 to 1994. The Northern Territory's Rights of the Terminally Ill Act came into operation in July 1996. Nitschke assisted four people to die of their own volition before the Act was overturned in the Senate in March 1997. Henceforth, it was illegal to help someone to die anywhere in Australia. Nitschke was Australian Humanist of the Year and Northern Territorian of the Year in 1997, New Zealand Humanist of the Year in 2001, and a candidate for Australian of the Year in 2005 and again in 2006. In 2014, Nitschke's medical licence was suspended amidst allegations he had supported the decision of a depressed but otherwise healthy man to take his own life. This decision was temporarily reversed on appeal in July 2015.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009
© Amanda King

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

Amanda King

Philip Nitschke (age 51 in 1998)

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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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