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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.

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet

Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image: 24.2 cm x 19.0 cm, sheet: 25.9 cm x 20.3 cm)

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet OM AK KBE (1899–1985), medical scientist, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1960 for his work with Sir Peter Medawar on acquired immunological tolerance, paving the way for successful human organ transplants. That year he was the first-ever Australian of the Year. Burnet had earlier worked with Jean Macnamara to prove that there were at least two viruses causing poliomyelitis, and had isolated the Q fever bacterium, Coxiella burnetti. Much of his research was carried out at Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, where he was Assistant Director from 1928 to 1931 and Director from 1944 to 1965. During his 21-year directorial tenure, the institute became a world leader in the study of influenza virus and immunology. His successor, Sir Gustav Nossal described Burnet as 'truly a lateral thinker, but a highly disciplined one'. One of a handful of Australians to have been awarded the Order of Merit – an exclusive honour bestowed personally by the British sovereign – and one of only a dozen Australians to have been made a Knight of the Order of Australia, Burnet is the most recognised and decorated scientist to have elected to carry on his research in Australia, despite overtures from around the world.

Gift of Danina Dupain Anderson 2021. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Max Dupain/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.

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

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.

Sydney Ure Smith
Sydney Ure Smith
Sydney Ure Smith
Sydney Ure Smith

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka
Hélène Kirsova in Petrouchka

Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency