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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 Honourable Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC

2018
Yvonne East

oil on linen (frame: 156.0 cm x 125.5 cm, support: 152.0 cm x 121.5 cm)

The Hon. Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC (b. 1954) became Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia in 2017 and is the first woman to have held the role. Born in Cairns, Kiefel left school at fifteen and after a stint in secretarial work began studying to complete her secondary education and work towards the Barristers Admission Board course. Passing with honours, she joined the Queensland Bar when she was 21. After a decade building a successful practice, Kiefel completed a Master of Laws at the University of Cambridge. She resumed her practice at the Bar in 1985 and, two years later, became the first woman in Queensland to be appointed Queen’s Counsel. She served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1993; became a Justice of the Federal Court in 1994; and was appointed to the High Court in 2007.

This portrait – a 2018 Archibald Prize finalist – was created for a project marking the centenary of women being allowed to practice law and to stand for parliament in New South Wales. Artist Yvonne East said: 'My hope was to capture the commanding and graceful presence of the Chief Justice (and her love of stylish shoes) … This portrait represents the strength and honour of women in powerful positions, combined with femininity and order.'

Gift of the artist 2019 acknowledging Herbert Smith Freehills for supporting the creation of the portrait
© Yvonne East/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

Yvonne East

The Hon Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC (age 64 in 2018)

Subject professions

Law and justice

Donated by

Yvonne East (1 portrait)

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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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