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Richard Pratt, 2003 (printed 2011)

Lorrie Graham

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.0 cm x 40.4 cm, image: 27.1 cm x 27.0 cm)

Richard Pratt (1934–2009), businessman, was born Ryszard Przecicki in Poland and came to Australia with his parents in 1938. He studied commerce at the University of Melbourne in the 1950s and was also a promising Australian Rules footballer, playing for Carlton in the under-19s competition in the VFL. He married journalist Jeanne Lasker in 1959. Having had some success as an actor, Pratt took on the running of the family business, Visy Board, on his father’s death in 1969. Under his direction, the packing materials business expanded from two Melbourne factories to fifty-five – in Australia, the USA, New Zealand and New Guinea – and ventured into paper recycling in the 1990s. Pratt was named Environmental Visionary of the Year and made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1998. He made substantial donations to political parties and retained former prime ministers and state premiers as consultants and advisers. He also donated substantial sums through the Pratt Foundation, established in 1978, to refugees, artists and environmental organisations. However, following earlier investigations, in December 2005 the ACCC commenced a civil penalty proceeding against Visy companies, Pratt, and others, for alleged involvement in a cartel in the packaging industry. In October 2007, six months after he became Chairman of the Carlton Football Club, Pratt was formally accused of price fixing; having eventually admitted his guilt, he was fined $36 million, some three-quarters of his fortune. He returned his Australian honours the following year. He died in April 2008, a day after further charges against him had been dropped.

Lorrie Graham (b. 1954) completed a photography cadetship at the Sydney Morning Herald before moving to London in 1978 to work at the Observer. She returned to Australia in 1981 and was staff photographer at the National Times until 1987 when she became picture editor and chief photographer at the Times on Sunday. After two years with the Bulletin, Graham went freelance and in recent years has completed many government assignments for organisations such as AusAID. Graham’s work has also included photographic commissions, solo and group exhibitions, books and stills shoots for films. She has been published in newspapers and magazines including the Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Stern, Paris Match, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, HQ Magazine, the Age, the Independent, the Independent Monthly, and the Australian.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

Accession number: 2011.103

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Lorrie Graham

Richard Pratt (age 69 in 2003)

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