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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.

June Dally-Watkins

1949 (printed 2008)
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.6 cm, image: 45.6 cm x 33.0 cm)

June Dally-Watkins OAM (1927–2020), model, deportment icon and entrepreneur, was first noticed on a Tamworth street by a photographer, who encouraged her to move to Sydney and try her luck at modelling. She described herself as 'looking like a milkmaid' at the time she scored her first assignments for major department stores, but she was named Model of the Year in 1949. At the age of 22, in 1950 she established the June Dally-Watkins School, which has since trained countless students in deportment and etiquette in Sydney and Brisbane. The following year she established Australia's first modelling agency and, later, a business college. Famously romanced by actor Gregory Peck during a visit to Rome in the 1950s, she returned to Australia to continue her career, marry and raise four children. She took her etiquette lessons to students in China in 2013, co-founding the Dally Institute in Guangzhou. Dally-Watkins died at the age of 92, leaving a lasting legacy not only on the Australian modelling industry, but on the thousands of students to whom she imparted impeccable manners and a knowledge of etiquette.

This glamorous photograph of Dally-Watkins is one of a number taken by Max Dupain in 1949, and was used on the cover of her 2002 autobiography The Secrets Behind My Smile. Dally-Watkins described Dupain as 'charming and brilliant'.

Purchased 2008

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

Max Dupain OBE (age 38 in 1949)

June Dally-Watkins OAM (age 22 in 1949)

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.

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Vintage Max

Magazine article by Gael Newton, 2003

Gael Newton delves into the life and art of renowned Australian photographer, Max Dupain.

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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