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ON DISPLAY

Fiona Stanley
, 2011

by Mary Moore

oil on composition board (frame: 218.0 cm x 165.0 cm, support: 188.0 cm x 135.0 cm)

Fiona Stanley AC (b. 1946), epidemiologist, is one of Australia’s passionate advocates for children and young people. Having studied in Perth, the USA and the UK, Stanley returned to Western Australia to establish university and government health research programs. From the late 1980s she contributed to worldwide research showing that a maternal diet rich in folic acid reduces the likelihood of a baby’s being born with a neural tube (spinal cord) defect. In Western Australia, three years after commencement of the world’s first population program to reduce the incidence of spina bifida through intake of folic acid, the rate of its incidence was nearly halved. Stanley also discovered that cerebral palsy is not due so much to birth trauma as to events earlier in pregnancy, such as infections or placental problems which disrupt normal brain development. Her initiative Ngunytju Tjitji Pirni, a service of enhanced care for Aboriginal women and children in the Eastern Goldfields of WA, was the first of its kind in Australia. Stanley has written more than three hundred papers and book chapters and undertakes a host of speaking engagements every year. She was the founding Director of the Institute for Child Health Research in 1990, and as a result of her lobbying, the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) was launched in 2002. She was the 2003 Australian of the Year. The Fiona Stanley Hospital opened in Perth in 2013.

Mary Moore (b. 1957) began formal art training in Claremont at the age of fifteen, holding her first solo show two years later. She later studied at the Royal College of Art, London, and an Australia Council award enabled her to go to Italy. In 2001 she won the Portia Geach Prize for a compelling self portrait. In 2003 the National Portrait Gallery commissioned her portrait of Elizabeth Jolley. At her Stanley’s request, this predominantly red, black and yellow painting refers to her work with Aboriginal people. Moore was also commissioned to make the multipartite portrait depicting aspects of Stanley’s life for the entrance to the Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned 2011
Accession number: 2011.63.1