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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.

Dick Düsseldorp, 1991 (printed 2018)

Gary Ede

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 50.0 cm x 50.0 cm, image: 46.1 cm x 46.1 cm)

Gerardus ‘Dick’ Düsseldorp AO (1918-2000), engineer, was the founder of Civil and Civic, part of which evolved into the Lend Lease Corporation. Born in the Netherlands, he came to Australia in 1951 on contract to build houses in Cooma for the Snowy Mountains Authority. In 1957, when his newly founded company Civil and Civic was building the pioneering skyscraper Caltex House on Kent Street (completed three months ahead of schedule), he won the contract to build the first stage of the Opera House. The following year, he launched the Lend Lease Corporation to fund Civil and Civic projects. Over the next three decades he built the corporation into Australia’s dominant property company. Amongst Civil and Civic’s projects were the Düsseldorp-Harry Seidler collaborations Blues Point Tower, Australia Square (then the tallest reinforced concrete structure in the world), the MLC Centre and key buildings at Thredbo Village; Brisbane’s Riverside Centre; and the Academy of Science in Canberra. By the time he retired as group chairman in 1988 Düsseldorp had more than 6000 employees, whom he led with vision in terms of negotiation with unions, employment benefits, employee share ownership and apprenticeships. He spoke of the powerful business impact of the unfashionable notions of ‘caring and sharing’, ‘particularly when productivity gain is seen not as a goal in itself but as a means to enhance life for all.’ Jack Mundey commented that by affording continuity of work, and sharing productivity gains with his workers he ‘created a unique culture of dignity and respect in Australia’.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2018
© Gary Ede

Accession number: 2018.110

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Gary Ede (age 45 in 1991)

Dick Dusseldorp (age 73 in 1991)

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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.