Sir Francis Beaurepaire (1891–1956), swimmer and businessman, represented Australia at three Olympic Games (London 1908, Antwerp 1920 and Paris 1924), winning a total of three silver and three bronze medals in events including the 400 metres and 1500 metres freestyle. During 1910, he held twelve Australian championship titles; and in the same year set world records for four events, earning himself the Helms Athletic Foundation of America Award for Athlete of the Year. In 1920 he founded the Advanx Tyre Repair Company; in 1933 the Olympic Tyre and Rubber Company; and in 1953 Olympic Consolidated Industries. He was Lord Mayor of Melbourne from 1940 to 1942, the year he was knighted. An active proponent of Learn to Swim classes, he gave £200,000 towards a sports centre at the University of Melbourne and contributed substantially to Melbourne’s successful bid to host the 1956 Olympic Games. He died unexpectedly in May 1956, six months before the Games opened.
Gift of the Frith family 2013
Accession number: 2013.79
More about the artist and subject
Permanent collection catalogue
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.