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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.

Linda and Binni

1984 (printed 2013)
Michael Riley

from the series ‘Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990’
inkjet print on paper (frame: 43.1 cm x 54.0 cm, image: 41.0 cm x 51.5 cm)

This portrait of the Hon. Linda Burney MP (b. 1957) and her son Binni is one of Michael Riley's earliest photographs. She and Riley were close friends, and he lived with Burney in Leichardt when Binni was young. Burney was one of the first Aboriginal women to graduate from a university in Australia and the first Aboriginal person to be admitted to New South Wales Parliament. She went on to become Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Labor Party and the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the House of Representatives. Burney is outspoken about her commitment to the prevention of domestic violence and family violence.

Michael Riley's tender portrait shows the bond between mother and child. As Linda later recalled: 'Looking at those pictures has taken me back to the early 80s when we were all so young, and really had no sense of the enormous lives that some of us would have … Michael had an enormous influence on both my children. He was their uncle, and a connection between Michael and my children is very strong, so it's a very, very special photograph. And I remember Michael getting us to pose for that photograph. And I had no idea that it would become such an enduring image of the beauty that he could make.'

Purchased 2013
© Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

Michael Riley (age 24 in 1984)

Hon. Linda Jean Burney (age 27 in 1984)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Related information

The Companion

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.

Michael Riley's portraits

Portrait story

Linda Burney, Brenda Croft and Darrell Sibosado share memories of Michael Riley and his photographic practice.

Tracey
Tracey
Tracey
Tracey

Sophisticated and glamorous

Magazine article by Amanda Rowell, 2015

Michael Riley’s early portraits by Amanda Rowell.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency