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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Keith Laught

1951
Geoffrey Shedley

oil on canvas (frame: 69.0 cm x 56.7 cm, support: 60.5 cm x 43.5 cm)

Keith Alexander Laught (1907-1969), politician, was born in Adelaide and educated at Scotch College and then the University of Adelaide, becoming a barrister in 1929. Seven years after he completed his war service, in 1951, he was elected to the Australian Senate as a Liberal Senator for South Australia. He was to hold the seat until his death eighteen years later. In 1967-1968 Laught chaired the senate select committee appointed to enquire into the metric system of weights and measures. At that time, Australia used Imperial weights and measures, though 75 per cent of its exports went to countries that used the metric system. After hearing evidence in all capital cities from 141 witnesses, and considering written submissions from 54 persons and organisations, the committee unanimously agreed that it was practical and desirable for Australia to adopt the metric system at the earliest possible date. Laught did not live to see the passing of the Metric Conversion Act, enabling the creation of the Metric Conversion Board, in 1970.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Mrs Mary Shedley, Mrs Christine Moriarty, Mrs Josephine Lawrence and Mrs Helen Beare 2010

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

Geoffrey Shedley (age 38 in 1951)

Keith Alexander Laught (age 44 in 1951)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Donated by

Josephine Lawrence (1 portrait)

Mary Shedley (1 portrait)

Mrs Christine Moriarty (1 portrait)

Helen E. Beare (1 portrait)

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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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