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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 (1927-2020), model and deportment school proprietor, grew up on a property at Watson's 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. 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 1950 she established the June Dally-Watkins School, which has since trained countless students in deportment and etiquette. She later established Australia's first modelling agency and a business college. More recently, she took her etiquette lessons to students in China, co-founding the Dally Institute in Guangzhou in 2013. Her autobiography The secrets behind my smile was published in 2002. Dally-Watkins died in February 2020 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

Artist and subject

Robert McFarlane (age 26 in 1968)

June Dally-Watkins (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 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