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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.

First Ladies

Significant Australian Women 1913–2013

Previous exhibition
from Friday 1 February until Tuesday 11 June 2013
Jessie Street
Jessie Street, 1929 Reginald Jerrold-Nathan. © Estate of Reginald Jerrold-Nathan

First Ladies profiles women who have achieved noteworthy firsts over the past 100 years. The focus display includes Australia’s first female Governor General, Quentin Bryce; Elizabeth Blackburn, the first Australian-born woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize; and aviatrix Nancy Bird Walton, Australia’s first female commercial pilot.

First Ladies maps the milestones accomplished by Australian women across diverse fields of endeavour, from politics, activism and academia to sport, science and business, taking in the stories of household names as well as unsung heroines.

23 portraits

1 Great Suffragette demonstration in London, 1911 Rose Stereograph Company. 2 Self portrait, 1934 Nora Heysen AM. © Lou Klepac. 3 June Dally-Watkins, 1949 (printed 2008) Max Dupain OBE.
First ladies sponsors

Related information

On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer
On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer
On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer
On train from New York to Memphis, July 4, 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer

Elvis At 21

Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer

Previous exhibition, 2013

Elvis at 21 is a photographic exhibition capturing Elvis’ rise to fame in the year 1956, before security and money built walls between him and his fans.

Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE
Sir Frank Packer KBE

Judy Cassab

The artist's diary

Previous exhibition, 2013

The artist's diary profiles six decades of Cassab's work, from the early portrait commissions of the 1950s to later paintings that have helped confirm her eminent place in the canon of Australian portraiture.

Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes
Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes
Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes
Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes

Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award 2013

Previous exhibition, 2013

The Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award is an annual event intended to extend traditional notions of portraiture and reflects the National Portrait Gallery's commitment to fostering emerging artists with an interest in contemporary technology.

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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.

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