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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.

Mark Ella, 2015

Nikki Toole

type C photograph on paper (frame: 126.7 cm x 106.5 cm, image: 118.8 cm x 98.5 cm)

Mark Ella AM (b.1959) was one of four Australians named amongst the eleven inaugural ‘legends’ of the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame in 2013. From a family of twelve children, Mark, his twin Glen and their brother Gary all represented the Australian Schoolboys in 1976, and played for the side in Britain in 1977/78. From 1979, Mark Ella was five-eighth for Randwick, playing in eight Grand Finals. He made his Test debut as part of the Bledisloe Cup-winning side in New Zealand in 1980. In all, he played 26 Tests for Australia, captaining the side in ten. In 1983 he was voted Young Australian of the Year. In 1984, he scored tries in all four victorious Test matches against the UK and Ireland before retiring from rugby at the age of 25. In 2013 he was elected one of the four original Australian Rugby Invincibles. A founding director of the communications, marketing and events management company Horton Ella, he is now the executive producer of NITV Sport at SBS Australia, and is chairman of the NSW and ACT Indigenous Cricket Advisory Committee.

Nikki Toole, Scottish-born photographer, studied film and photography in London and Edinburgh and has exhibited in Australia, Britain, the USA and Germany. Now based in Melbourne, she has been a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize multiple times. The National Portrait Gallery commissioned this work in 2015, and in 2017 commissioned Tool to create a portrait of anti-violence campaigner Rosie Batty in 2017.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds from the Patrick Corrigan Portrait Commission Series 2015

Accession number: 2015.117

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Nikki Toole (age 50 in 2015)

Mark Ella AM (age 56 in 2015)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Related portraits

1. Rosie Batty, 2017. 2. Tilman Ruff, 2019. All Nikki Toole.

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.

Tilman Ruff AO video: 8 minutes 30 seconds
Tilman Ruff AO video: 8 minutes 30 seconds
Tilman Ruff AO video: 8 minutes 30 seconds
Tilman Ruff AO video: 8 minutes 30 seconds

Tilman Ruff

'To literally save the world'

Portrait story

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Tilman Ruff AO has focused his efforts on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Nikki Toole video: 4 minutes 53 seconds
Nikki Toole video: 4 minutes 53 seconds
Nikki Toole video: 4 minutes 53 seconds
Nikki Toole video: 4 minutes 53 seconds

Nikki Toole

'Beauty and strength'

Portrait story

Photographer Nikki Toole describes the creation of her portrait of Rosie Batty.

Ken Catchpole, 2014 Gary Grealy
Ken Catchpole, 2014 Gary Grealy
Ken Catchpole, 2014 Gary Grealy
Ken Catchpole, 2014 Gary Grealy

Full time

Magazine article by Alistair McGhie, 2017

Alistair McGhie reminisces about three Australian rugby greats commissioned for the Portrait Gallery collection by Patrick Corrigan AM.

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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.