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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.

Opening of the First Legislative Council of Victoria, by Governor Charles Joseph LaTrobe, at St Patrick's Hall, Bourke Street West, Melbourne. November 13th 1851. From sketches taken at the time by William Strutt., 1883

John Noone (printer) after William Strutt

photolithograph on paper (sheet: 71.0 cm x 50.5 cm, image: 30.8 cm x 50.0 cm)

This work is based on a watercolour sketch made by William Strutt of the opening of the First Legislative Council of Victoria, formed following Victoria’s separation from New South Wales in July 1851. Consisting of thirty members – twenty elected and the remainder the Lieutenant-Governor’s appointees – the inaugural Legislative Council met for the first time on 13 November 1851 at St Patrick’s Hall on Bourke Street, which remained the government’s home until the completion of Parliament House in March 1856. Depicted are all of the Council’s members including: Edward Henty (1810–1878), a pastoralist considered the Port Phillip district’s first settler; Supreme Court judge Sir Redmond Barry (1813–1880); Sir John O’Shanassy (1818–1883), Premier of Victoria in 1858–59 and 1861–1863; William Lonsdale (1799–1864), Port Phillip’s first police magistrate; Sir William Stawell (1815–1889), who was Victoria’s attorney-general from 1851 to 1857; and John Pascoe Fawkner (1792–1869), considered one of the founders of Melbourne. Also shown is Charles Joseph La Trobe (1801–1875), Superintendent and Lieutenant-Governor of the colony from 1839 to 1854.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2013

Accession number: 2013.87

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

William Strutt (age 58 in 1883)

John Noone

First Legislative Council of Victoria

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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Sir Macfarlane Burnet, 1960-61 William Dargie
Sir Macfarlane Burnet, 1960-61 William Dargie
Sir Macfarlane Burnet, 1960-61 William Dargie
Sir Macfarlane Burnet, 1960-61 William Dargie

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Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This edited version of a speech by Andrew Sayers examines some of the antecedents of the National Portrait Gallery and set out the ideas behind the modern Gallery and its collection.

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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.