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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 Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Ken Wyatt

2019 (printed 2020)
Alex Ellinghausen

inkjet print on paper (image: 100.0 cm x 75.0 cm)

Noongar, Yamatji, Wongi man, Kenneth George Wyatt AM (b. 1952) is an Australian politician. He was born at Roelands Mission, in the southwest corner of Western Australia. Prior to entering politics, Wyatt worked in health and education; initially as a primary school teacher in the state system and then moving into leadership roles in Aboriginal education within the Department of Education in Western Australia, before becoming a Director of Aboriginal Health in both New South Wales and in Western Australia. In 2010, he became the first Indigenous Australian elected to the House of Representatives and the first to serve as a government minister, and the first appointed to cabinet. Wyatt was appointed Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health in the Turnbull Government in January 2017, after previously serving as an Assistant Minister since September 2015.

Wyatt was elevated to cabinet in May 2019 as Minister for Indigenous Australians, the first Indigenous person to hold the position. Wyatt received the Order of Australia in 1996 for his work in improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and for his contributions to the fields of health and education.

Alex Ellinghausen (b. 1982) is an editorial photographer with Fairfax Media. He has worked in the Canberra Press Gallery since 2010, filing for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review. In this portrait, Wyatt is photographed dressed in a booka made of kangaroo skin and the feather of a red-tailed black cockatoo, which symbolises leadership, given to him by Noongar Elders from Western Australia. This was taken on the day of Wyatt’s first day in Parliament – Ken was walking past the Press Gallery offices and Alex asked him for some time to do a quick portrait shoot.

Purchased 2022
© Alex Ellinghausen

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

Alex Ellinghausen (age 37 in 2019)

Kenneth Wyatt AM (age 67 in 2019)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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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