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Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke
, c.1976 (printed 2017)

by Robert McFarlane

inkjet print (sheet: 33.0 cm x 48.5 cm, image: 24.0 cm x 35.9 cm)

Robert McFarlane, born in Glenelg, South Australia, began work in a small advertising agency, where his interest in photography was encouraged. In 1963 he moved to Sydney, where he began freelancing for magazines including the Bulletin, Vogue Australia and Walkabout and became editor of Camera World. In the early 1970s he travelled and worked freelance overseas, and from 1973 he took still photographs on many Australian film sets and theatre stages. A regular photography critic for the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald, he has works in the National Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Library as well as the National Portrait Gallery.

McFarlane took this photograph while Malcolm Fraser was prime minister: after Gough Whitlam was, and before Robert (Bob) Hawke was. Bob Hawke, lithe figure on the right, first ran for federal parliament in 1963, but did not win a seat until much later. He was elected president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) in 1969, and in 1973 he became federal president of the Labor Party, too. In the spring of 1980, he resigned from the ACTU to win the seat of Wills. By February 1983 he was Labor Party leader. Australia’s 23rd prime minister, he led the party to victory for a record four terms, in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990.
Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017
Accession number: 2017.39