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A Premier "The New Man" [The Hon. George Briscoe Kerferd] from the series "Masks and Faces", 1874

Tom Durkin and The Weekly Times (publisher)

lithograph (sheet: 33.7 cm x 20.2 cm)

George Briscoe Kerferd (1831–1889), politician, lawyer and judge, came to Victoria in 1853 and established himself as a wine and spirits merchant in Beechworth having spent several months on the Bendigo diggings. He then went into other business ventures, including a successful brewery. By 1857 he’d become a member of the Beechworth Municipal Council, and was engaged in community projects such as the establishment of the Ovens District Hospital and the Benevolent Asylum. During the 1860s, he instigated his plan for Beechworth’s water supply (Lake Kerferd is named for him). With his strong record on matters relating to local development and progress, he was encouraged to nominate for the Legislative Assembly and was elected in 1864, serving as the member for Ovens until 1886. After taking up his seat he began to study law in earnest and was admitted to the Bar in 1867. He served five separate terms as attorney-general between 1874 and 1886, and was premier during 1874–75, using his influence to bring about the construction of the north-eastern railway line and a branch line to Beechworth. After leaving Parliament Kerferd was appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court, and during the 1870s and 80s was actively involved in the moves towards Federation.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

Accession number: 2016.13

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Tom Durkin (age 21 in 1874)

The Weekly Times

Hon. George B. Kerferd (age 43 in 1874)

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