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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.

June Dally Watkins

c. 1968 (printed 2017)
Robert McFarlane

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

June Dally-Watkins OAM (1927–2020), model, deportment icon and entrepreneur, grew up on a property at Watsons Creek in the New England district of New South Wales. After suffering many insults as the daughter of a single mother, as a teenager she was noticed on a Tamworth street by a photographer, who encouraged her to move to Sydney and try her luck at modelling. She described herself as 'looking like a milkmaid' at the time she scored her first assignments for major department stores, but she was named Model of the Year in 1949. Catwalk shows for David Jones followed, along with contracts for magazines including the Australian Women's Weekly and Woman's Day. At the age of 22, in 1950, she established the June Dally-Watkins School, which has since trained countless students in deportment and etiquette in Sydney and Brisbane. The following year she established Australia's first modelling agency and, later, a business college. Famously romanced by actor Gregory Peck during a visit to Rome in the 1950s, she returned to Australia to continue her career, marry and raise four children. In 1969 she published The June Dally-Watkins Book of Manners for Moderns. Dally-Watkins took her etiquette lessons to students in China in 2013, co-founding the Dally Institute in Guangzhou. Her autobiography The Secrets Behind My Smile was published in 2002. Dally-Watkins died at the age of 92, leaving a lasting legacy not only on the Australian modelling industry, but on the thousands of students to whom she imparted impeccable manners and a knowledge of etiquette.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017
© Robert McFarlane/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Robert McFarlane (age 26 in 1968)

June Dally-Watkins OAM (age 41 in 1968)

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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