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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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Caroline Jones

1978
David Campbell

oil on canvas (frame: 164.0 cm x 169.5 cm, support: 160.0 cm x 165.0 cm)

Caroline Jones AO (1938–2022), journalist and broadcaster, joined the ABC in 1963 and five years later became Australia's first female current affairs reporter when she began working on This Day Tonight. In 1972 she became the first woman presenter on Four Corners – an appointment which made headlines and prompted offensive, patronising commentary on matters including her looks, marital status and tastes in interior decoration. She remained with Four Corners for nine years during which she was also a presenter on ABC radio's City Extra. From 1987 to 1994 she presented The Search for Meaning on Radio National, conducting many of the insightful and tactful interviews for which she became renowned and which resulted in the publication of four volumes of transcripts. For twenty years from 1996 she presented the weekly biographical television show Australian Story. A foundation member of the Australia Council for the Arts, she was a Reconciliation Ambassador for the Aboriginal Council for Reconciliation from 1998. Her book An Authentic Life: Finding Meaning and Spirituality in Everyday Life (1998) was an Australian bestseller; and in 2009 she published Through a Glass Darkly, a powerful chronicle of her experience of the death of her father. She was a patron of the national mentoring and networking initiative, Women in Media, and many prominent Australian female journalists cite Jones as a role model and inspiration. Jones was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988, won the Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in 2013, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sydney in 2017.

David Campbell grew up on the New South Wales Central Coast and studied at the Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education in Sydney in the 1970s. He only ever painted three portraits, each of which were Archibald finalists. His portrait of Jones resulted from many hours of studying and sketching her at work in the ABC studios and was a finalist in 1979. That year, when 22 windows of the Myer store in Sydney were filled with his abstract paintings, this portrait of Jones was among them.

Gift of Elizabeth Campbell-MacKenzie on behalf of the family of David Campbell 2012
© Estate of David Campbell

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

David Campbell (age 26 in 1978)

Caroline Jones AO (age 40 in 1978)

Donated by

Elizabeth Campbell (3 portraits)

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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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