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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.

Quentin Bryce

2016
Michael Zavros

oil on canvas (frame: 111.8 cm x 151.7 cm, support: 110.0 cm x 150.0 cm)

Quentin Bryce AD CVO (b. 1942), academic, lawyer and community and human rights advocate, was the first woman to be appointed governor-general of Australia. Born in Brisbane, she spent her early childhood in Ilfracombe in central western Queensland. She finished school in Brisbane before completing degrees in arts and law at the University of Queensland, where in 1968 she became the first female member of the law faculty. By the time she retired from teaching in 1983, she was increasingly involved in human rights and advocacy work. Between 1984 and 1993 she was director of the Queensland Women's Information Service, director of Queensland's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner. In 1997 she became principal and chief executive officer of the Women's College within the University of Sydney. Six years later she became governor of Queensland. In 2008 she was appointed Australia's 25th governor-general, and served in this role until March 2014.

When Michael Zavros commenced work on this portrait in 2015, Bryce was chair of Queensland’s special taskforce on domestic and family violence. Artist and sitter had known each other for many years, and agreed to include proteas in the portrait as a symbol of justice and strength.

Commissioned with funds provided by Tim Fairfax AC 2016
© Michael Zavros

Artist and subject

Michael Zavros (age 42 in 2016)

Quentin Bryce AD CVO (age 74 in 2016)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

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.

Quentin Bryce

'To change the world'

Portrait story

Australia's 25th Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, discusses her childhood, career paths and her portrait by Michael Zavros.

In bloom

Magazine article by Susi Muddiman, 2017

Susi Muddiman delights in Michael Zavros’ stunning portrait of the honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO.

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency