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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Faith Bandler

2006
Julie Edgar

cast bronze (43.0 cm x 23.5 cm depth 27.0 cm)

Faith Bandler AC (1920–2015), civil rights activist and writer, was born in Tumbulgum, NSW, to a Scottish-Indian mother and a cane-worker father from what is now Vanuatu. Settling in Sydney after the war, she began to work full time on Indigenous issues, co-founding the Australian-Aboriginal Fellowship in 1956 and becoming a founding member of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in 1957. Within FCAATSI she directed the ten-year campaign towards the constitutional referendum of 1967. It is widely acknowledged that her charisma and public speaking skills were fundamental to the outcome of the referendum, in which more than 90 per cent of voters endorsed the removal of provisions from the Constitution that discriminated on the basis of race. After leaving FCAATSI, she was central to the foundation of the Australian South Sea Islanders United Council. Bandler wrote five books, including Wacvie (1977), a biographical novel about her father, who was taken from his home and enslaved on a sugar plantation in Queensland at the age of twelve.

Sculptor Julie Edgar deeply admires Bandler and wanted to portray her inner confidence in this work. Edgar's busts are created in many stages, involving building up a clay sculpture; forming wax and rubber moulds; bronze casting; and then grinding, rubbing back and detailing through patination.

Purchased 2007
© Julie Edgar

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Julie Edgar (age 55 in 2006)

Faith Bandler AC (age 86 in 2006)

Subject professions

Activism

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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.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency