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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.

Charles Perkins

1974
Frank Hinder

fibre-tipped pen, watercolour on paper (sheet: 26.3 cm x 23.4 cm)

Charles Perkins AO (1936–2000) was an Indigenous rights campaigner and bureaucrat. Son of a Kalkadoon father and Arrernte mother, as a youth in Adelaide Perkins was a sought-after soccer player; after completing a trade apprenticeship, he played professionally in England. Widely credited as the first Indigenous person to attain a bachelor's degree from an Australian university, he graduated in Arts at the University of Sydney in 1966. In 1965, he had been a prominent organiser of and participant in the anti-discrimination ‘freedom rides’ through country NSW. Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s he was involved in many organisations promoting Aboriginal rights, welfare and advancement. In 1972, the year he received a kidney transplant, he appeared at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Five years later, having weathered a suspension from the Commonwealth Public Service and having published his autobiography, he joined the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, of which he was Secretary from 1984 to 1989. Perkins continued his involvement in various sports, particularly soccer, until he died. He was accorded a State funeral, held in Sydney.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of HOTA (Home of the Arts), Gold Coast 2019 with the encouragement of Patrick Corrigan AM
© Enid Hawkins (nee Hinder)

Artist and subject

Frank Hinder (age 68 in 1974)

Charles Perkins AO (age 38 in 1974)

Donated by

HOTA (Home of the Arts) (9 portraits)

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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