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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.

Sir Garfield Barwick, 1972

Reg Campbell

oil on canvas (frame: 96.5 cm x 81.0 cm, support: 77.0 cm x 61.0 cm)

The Rt Hon Sir Garfield Barwick AK GCMG KC (1903–97) was Chief Justice of Australia from 27 April 1964 to 11 February 1981 – the longest serving Chief Justice of Australia. Barwick grew up in impoverished circumstances in the then-slum suburb of Stanmore in Sydney, but gained a scholarship to Fort Street School and took the University Medal in Law at the University of Sydney. Admitted to the bar in 1927, appointed King’s Counsel in 1941 and taking silk in 1942, he came to public attention as the prosecuting attorney in the Dobell case. During the war he defended various businesses against wartime regulations, opposing attorney general ‘Doc’ Evatt (who called him ‘Bushy Tail’) and becoming a regular before the Privy Council. Later he was Menzies’s choice to advocate the banning of the Communist Party, and he represented ASIO in the Petrov Royal Commission in 1954. In 1958 he was elected Liberal member for Parramatta; he was Attorney-General from 1958 to 1961, and Minister for External Affairs from 1961 to 1964, during which period Gough Whitlam was named in Parliament for calling him a ‘truculent runt’. In 1964 he left parliament, and was appointed a Privy Counsellor; he served as Chief Justice for the next 17 years. In this capacity he provided official advice to his friend, Fort Street old boy John Kerr, confirming the legality of the Dismissal. David Marr’s hostile biography, Barwick – his first book - was published in 1980. In retirement Barwick wrote Sir John Did His Duty (1983) and a personal ‘apologia’, Radical Tory (1995). He took an active interest in the design and construction of the High Court building – accordingly dubbed ‘Gar’s Mahal’ - which opened in Canberra in 1980.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ross G Barwick and family 2013
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2013.57

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Reg Campbell (age 49 in 1972)

The Rt. Hon Sir Garfield Barwick AK GCMG KC (age 69 in 1972)

Subject professions

Law and justice

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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.