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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.

Dr Joan M Redshaw AM, 1982

Barbara Tribe

terracotta
Image not available

Joan Redshaw AM (1921-1994), medical practitioner, chose her career in opposition to her father, a judge, who thought the University of Sydney medical school was a hotbed of women’s activists and bluestockings. After graduating in 1944, Redshaw spent the rest of the war at Sydney Hospital. She worked at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, and at Sheffield Women’s Hospital before returning to Australia in 1948, travelling on the Orontes as the first woman ship’s surgeon to be employed by the Orient line. On board, she met Captain Arthur Strong, whom she married in 1949. For twenty years from 1951 Redshaw was a pediatrician and general practitioner in Nabiac, on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. In 1966 she became the first Australian to serve on the board of Quota International, especially dedicated to advancing girls and the speech- and hearing-impaired. She spent twelve years on the council of the Australian Medical Association as representative of the Australian Federation of Medical Women; she was president of the Medical Women’s Society of NSW; a member of the Women’s Advisory Board to the NSW Premier in 1977-78; a commissioner in the Planning and Environment Commission for six years; and a life member of the National Council of Women. As president of the International Medical Women’s Association she campaigned against child marriage and female circumcision; her local community involvements included crisis accommodation for women affected by domestic violence, and alcoholism programs.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

Accession number: 2016.21

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Barbara Tribe (age 69 in 1982)

Joan M. Redshaw AM (age 61 in 1982)

Subject professions

Health and medicine

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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.

General Birdwood, the Idol of Anzac, taking a dip in the sea after a hard days work 1915
General Birdwood, the Idol of Anzac, taking a dip in the sea after a hard days work 1915
General Birdwood, the Idol of Anzac, taking a dip in the sea after a hard days work 1915
General Birdwood, the Idol of Anzac, taking a dip in the sea after a hard days work 1915

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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.