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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.

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Faith Bandler, study

2006
Greg Warburton

synthetic polymer paint and charcoal on unstretched canvas (frame: 58.8 cm x 50.8 cm, support: 45.0 cm x 37.5 cm)

Faith Bandler AC (1920-2015), civil rights activist and writer, was born Ida Lessing Mussing in Tumbulgum, NSW, to a Scottish-Indian mother and a cane-worker father from Ambrym, in what is now Vanuatu. Settling in Sydney after the war, she began to work full time on Indigenous issues, 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 campaign toward the constitutional referendum of 1967, in which more than 90% of voters moved to remove provisions from the Constitution that were perceived as racist. Between 1962 and 1973 she was NSW State Secretary, and then General Secretary, of FCAATSI. In 1974, while researching a book about her father, she was central to the foundation of the Australian South Sea Islanders United Council. She declined an MBE in 1976, gained an honorary doctorate in 1994 and was named a Living National Treasure in 1997. Her books include Turning the Tide: A personal history of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (1989).

This intimate, immediate portrait is one of a series of studies Greg Warburton made in 2006 in preparation for a very large acrylic, pastel and charcoal portrait on canvas that was entered and hung in the 2007 Archibald Prize. The large portrait was displayed at Mrs Bandler’s state funeral service in the Great Hall, Sydney University on 24 February 2013.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2019
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Greg Warburton

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

Greg Warburton (age 54 in 2006)

Faith Bandler AC (age 86 in 2006)

Subject professions

Activism

Donated by

Greg Warburton (2 portraits)

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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.

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