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Sir Isaac Isaacs
, 1943

by Frank Lynch

cast bronze on marble base

On loan to the National Portrait Gallery

Sir Isaac Isaacs GCB PC (1855-1948) was Australia's first native-born Governor-General. The son of English/ Polish/ Jewish immigrants, he graduated in law from the University of Melbourne, becoming a successful barrister. He served as a Minister in the Victorian Parliament, and was a vocal supporter of Federation in the debates of the Federal Convention of 1897-8, where he antagonised members with his sharp tongue and constant interjections. He was elected to the first Commonwealth Parliament in 1901, and became Attorney-General in 1905. Appointed to the High Court the following year, he supported the expansion of Commonwealth powers during his twenty-five year term. Isaacs was made Governor-General in 1931 by the Scullin Labor government, despite King George V's opposition to the appointment of a 'local man'. After serving with dignity throughout the depression years, he retired in 1936.

Gifts Collection, Courtesy of Parliament House Art Collection, Department of Parliamentary Services, Canberra, A.C.T.
Accession number: LOAN2005.28.10