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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.

Nicholas Paspaley Jnr, 2018

Andrew Bonneau

oil on canvas (frame: 77.5 cm x 88.0 cm, support: 66.0 cm x 76.5 cm)

Nicholas Paspaley Jnr AC (b. 1948) is chair of the Paspaley Group of Companies, with interests in pearling, aviation, retail, pastoral holdings and commercial properties in Australia and internationally. Paspaley’s family fled the Greek island of Castellorizo during the First World War, settling on the West Australian coast. His father Nicholas began work in the Port Hedland and Broome pearling industry at the age of 14, and had purchased his own pearl lugger by the age of 21. Nicholas Jnr worked and learned alongside his father from a young age. Following studies in economics at Sydney University, he joined the family pearling business, taking the helm of a traditional pearling lugger at the age of 21. In due course, he modernised traditional pearling methods initiated by his father and his father’s Japanese business partners. In particular, he is credited with developing new and sustainable farming methods that revolutionised the global pearl culture industry, and for establishing Paspaley Pearling Company as the producer of the world’s finest pearls. He has been instrumental in the international promotion of Australian natural quality south sea pearls, and is a member of the board of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation. Today, his son James Paspaley is CEO of Paspaley Pearling Company, which comprises twenty pearl farms dotted along the coastline of North-Western Australia, and accounts for the majority of Australia’s annual pearl production. Pearling now comprises but a fraction of the family’s diverse concerns, but pearls remain at the ‘heart’ of their business. Nicholas Paspaley Jnr was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to Australia’s export industry in 1999.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Ross Adler AC 2018
© Andrew Bonneau

Accession number: 2018.60.1

Currently on display: Gallery Eight (Temporary Exhibition Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Andrew Bonneau (age 37 in 2018)

Nicholas Paspaley Jnr

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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.

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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.