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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.

Kondelea (Della) Elliott

1979
Ivy Shore

oil on masonite (frame: 145.5 cm x 115.0 cm, support: 121.5 cm x 91.5 cm)

Kondelea 'Della' Elliott (1917–2011), union official and women's rights lobbyist, left school at fourteen to train as a typist. She became involved in Young Communist League activities, speaking on the Communist Party stump in Sydney’s Domain and engaging in left-wing theatre. In 1940 she was elected to the central council of the NSW branch of the Federated Clerks' Union; she became its assistant secretary in 1943, remaining in the post for five years. During the 1940s, as a delegate to the NSW Labor Council and the ACTU, she campaigned for equal pay for women, and in the 1950s worked for the Waterside Workers' Federation. In this way she met Eliot V Elliott, leader of the Seamen's Union of Australia; they married, and she worked in their federal office from 1955 to 1988. In retirement, she researched union history and helped establish the Jessie Street Women's Library. She received a NSW Premier's Award for Community Service in 2000. Her name is perpetuated in her gift of an annual scholarship for an Aboriginal student to the Women's College at the University of Sydney.

To create her striking portrait of Elliott, Ivy Shore painted quickly with broad strokes directly onto the board. After the painting won the Portia Geach prize in 1979, Shore gave the portrait to Elliott, who hung it in her home for many years.

Gift of Jeannie Highet and Kim Buchan 2012
© Estate of Ivy Shore

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

Ivy Shore (age 64 in 1979)

Kondelea Elliott (age 62 in 1979)

Subject professions

Activism

Donated by

Kim Buchan (1 portrait)

Jeannie Highet (1 portrait)

Related portraits

1. Ivy Shore, 1961. All Graeme Inson.

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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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