Skip to main content

To help keep our visitors and staff safe, please book your spot before visiting.

Menu

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.

Janice Wakely

1959
Helmut Newton

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 25.6 cm x 20.3 cm, image: 24.0 cm x 19.3 cm)

Janice McIllree (nee Wakely) (1935-2022), fashion model and photographer, began her modelling career in Melbourne in 1954, having graduated from Sydney's Mannequin Academy in 1952. After working on the Commonwealth Department of Trade-sponsored fashion tour to New Zealand in 1956, she went to London, where she was dubbed 'The Girl of the Moment' and was photographed by Terence Donovan. Returning to Australia in 1958, Wakely began taking photographs herself, capturing photographers including Helmut Newton, Athol Shmith and Henry Talbot while they worked with models on location. In 1961/2 Wakely starred in the All Australian Fashion Parades, was Model of the Year and wore the Gown of the Year, but in 1963 she turned away from the catwalk, establishing the Penthouse modelling agency and photographic studio in Flinders Lane, Melbourne with co-model Helen Homewood. After an overseas tour in 1965 she returned to Melbourne and set up a studio with fashion photographer Bruno Benini, who, according to People magazine, had 'given many other girls a helping hand up the ladder to success'. In 1967 she undertook a fashion shoot in Papua New Guinea for the Women's Weekly, later published in Today's People as 'Teaching Headhunters to Weave'. Sydney's Powerhouse Museum has her archive of photographs, appointment books, diaries and clippings from the 1950s and 1960s.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Janice McIllree 2007
© The Helmut Newton Estate / Maconochie Photography

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

Helmut Newton (age 35 in 1959)

Janice McIllree (age 24 in 1959)

Donated by

Janice McIllree (5 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

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.

Janice Wakely
Janice Wakely
Janice Wakely
Janice Wakely

Generous Janice

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2013

Dr Sarah Engledow puts four gifts to the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection in context.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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