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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.

Chips Rafferty

c. 1967-1969 (printed 2010)
Jozef Vissel

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 30.5 cm x 40.5 cm, image: 28.2 cm x 35.5 cm)

Chips Rafferty MBE (1909–1971), screen actor, was born John Goffage in Broken Hill and nicknamed 'Chips' as a boy. He worked in a number of jobs including as a shearer, miner, drover and pearl diver before making his film debut in Dad Rudd, M.P. (1940). Director Charles Chauvel saw his potential and cast him in a lead role in Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940), for which he adopted the screen name Chips Rafferty. The success of the film brought him to public attention. A year later, during the Second World War, Rafferty enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force. He was released to act in propaganda films for the Department of Information, including The Overlanders (1946), which was a hit in Australia and in Britain. Rafferty made a foray into Hollywood for The Desert Rats (1953), and was briefly marketed as Australia's answer to Cary Grant, but he was more in his element playing the lean and laconic bushman. Variations on this character appear throughout Rafferty's career, and his films contributed to the popular notion of Australian masculine identity: The Rats of Tobruk (1944), Bush Christmas (1947), Eureka Stockade (1949), Kangaroo (1952), Smiley (1956), Smiley Gets a Gun (1958), The Sundowners (1960) and They're a Weird Mob (1966). His final film was the classic Wake in Fright (1971), filmed in his hometown of Broken Hill.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Jozef Vissel 2011
© Jozef Vissel

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

Jozef Vissel (age 32 in 1967)

Chips Rafferty MBE (age 58 in 1967)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Jozef Vissel (13 portraits)

Related information

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Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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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.

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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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