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Deborah Mailman
, 1999

by Evert Ploeg

oil on jute (167.0 x 137.0 cm)

Deborah Mailman AM (b. 1972), actor, was in her early twenties when she co–devised and appeared in the one-woman stage show Seven Stages of Grieving, which was later staged in London. In 1998, for her performance in the film Radiance, she became the first Aboriginal woman to win the Best Actress Award at the Australian Film Industry (AFI) Awards; five years later she was named the NAIDOC Person of the Year. In 2012, when the AFI awards had become the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, she won Best Lead Actress for her role in The Sapphires (2011). Her other films include Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), The Book of Revelation (2006), Lucky Miles (2007) and Bran Nue Day (2009). On stage she has appeared in diverse productions including Shakespeare plays and the hit Small Poppies (2001); she was named a member of the Sydney Theatre Company’s inaugural Actors’ Company in 2005. She earned great popularity as a presenter on Playschool from 1998 to 2001; her subsequent television credits include The Secret Life of Us; Going Bush; Offspring and Redfern Now. For Mabo (2012) and Redfern Now: Promise Me (2015), she won Most Outstanding Actress at the Logies of 2013 and 2016.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2000
Accession number: 2000.4