Skip to main content

Rugby great a fine addition to Portrait Gallery Collection

Media

Mark Loane, 2016 by Joachim Froese
600
87680
10008
Mark Loane, 2016 by Joachim Froese

A portrait of Australian rugby great, Dr Mark Loane AM MBBS FRANZO FRACS, is the latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. The work is the final in a series of three commissioned portraits of Australian rugby luminaries funded by Gallery benefactor, Mr Patrick Corrigan AM.

The portrait, a photograph taken by Canadian-born Joachim Froese, shows Loane in a hospital change-room, the setting alluding both to his achievements in medicine and his sporting accomplishments.

Mr Angus Trumble, Director of the Portrait Gallery, believes the portrait is a worthy addition to the Gallery’s collection, noting Dr Loane’s successful and meaningful career spanning two very different fields.

‘Dr Loane is fondly remembered for his achievements on the football field as a former captain of the Wallabies, and is greatly admired as an ophthalmologist for his medical work with disadvantaged patients in remote areas,’ said Mr Trumble.

‘Mr Corrigan’s support was instrumental in the commissioning of this series of rugby greats, culminating with this final portrait of Mark Loane. Philanthropic support is vital to growing the Portrait Gallery’s national collection and the representation of individuals who have significantly contributed to or influenced the shape of Australia as a nation and a society.’

Loane made his debut for the Wallabies against Tonga at the age of 18, when he was a second year medical student at the University of Queensland. He is the youngest forward selected to represent Australia since the Second World War, and in all likelihood Australia’s youngest forward of all-time, a fact that remains unconfirmed solely due to the scarcity of pre-Second World War birth records. Loane was appointed Wallabies captain in 1979 against the All Blacks, and led the team to the first Bledisloe Cup victory in Australia in 45 years.

Loane retired from rugby in 1982 to pursue studies in ophthalmology (the study and treatment of disorders and diseases of the eye), receiving the Cedric Cohen Medal for the best pass in the eye surgery first pass exam in 1984.

Since then, Loane has built his career in medicine with further studies and fellowships. He set up the Cape York Eye Health project in 1999 to provide eye health services to remote Indigenous communities of Cape York. He became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for his work with Indigenous communities in North Queensland.

The photograph of Mark Loane joins the two other works in the series added to the Gallery Collection– Ken Catchpole OAM by Gary Grealy and Mark Ella AM by Nikki Toole.

The portrait will be on display to the public at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 April 2017.

Extended Biographies

Mark Loane AM, MBBS [Qld], FRANZCO, FRACS (b. 1954) - eye surgeon and former rugby international, made his debut for the Wallabies against Tonga at the age of 18 when he was a second year medical student at the University of Queensland. Mark Loane is the youngest forward selected to represent Australia since World War II and in all likelihood Australia’s youngest forward of all-time, a fact that remains unconfirmed solely due to the scarcity of pre-World War II birth records.

By the time Loane graduated 4 years later, he had become the captain of the Queensland state side at the age of 21. He won Test caps against the All Blacks, England, Japan, Fiji and France and toured the British Isles in 1975-76 and 1981-82 and France in 1976. Appointed Wallabies captain in 1979 against the All Blacks he led the team to the first Bledisloe Cup victory in Australia in 45 years and captained the side to the first tour of Argentina in 1979. He captained 6 of the 28 Test matches he played. Considering himself more a doctor than a footballer, Loane retired in 1982 to pursue studies in ophthalmology (eye surgery) where he received the Cedric Cohen Medal for the best pass in the eye surgery first part exam in 1984, then completing the second and final part exams in1986. Further studies and fellowships followed at Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia and the University of California, San Diego. Returning to Queensland and to private practice, he set up the Cape York Eye Health Project in 1999 to provide eye health services to the remote Indigenous communities of Cape York, chairing the Indigenous and Remote Rural Eye Health Service for 5 years.

Loane was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011, particularly for his work with the Indigenous communities of North Queensland. His sporting honours include the Australian Sports Medal and inductions into the Wallabies and Queensland Reds Halls of Fame.

​Joachim Froese is an Australian contemporary art photographer who lives and works in Brisbane and Berlin. Born in Montreal, Canada, he grew up in Germany and migrated to Australia in 1991. He is best known for his highly constructed still life photography, which investigates crossovers with art history, personal memory, portraiture and nature photography. Froese has exhibited widely across Australia, Europe, Asia and North America. His work is included in numerous public collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art and has been featured in international art publications. He has taught photography as a casual lecturer at universities in Australia and Germany for more than 10 years and has been invited to give guest lectures at major universities and art institutions in Australia, Asia and Europe.