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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.

Tilman Ruff

2019
Nikki Toole

type C photograph on paper (frame: 86.0 cm x 76.0 cm depth 4.0 cm)

Tilman Ruff AO (b. 1955), infectious diseases and public health physician, was a founder of ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. Graduating from Monash University in 1980, Ruff joined the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, of which he later became co-president. In 2015 he and Malcolm Fraser wrote an article for the Age newspaper titled '2015 is the Year to Ban Nuclear Weapons'. Ruff is an international medical adviser to the Australian Red Cross, a member of the World Health Organisation's expert panel on hepatitis B for the Western Pacific region, and an associate professor at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne.

When Nikki Toole saw Ruff’s old red jumper that he wears when relaxing at his farm with his family, she knew immediately she wanted him to wear it for the portrait. The photograph was taken in Toole's kitchen, using available light. As she noted: 'He is an incredible humanitarian and human being but his joy is in his family … He was so inspiring to be around, and is that person who makes you want to do better for your planet.'

Purchased 2019
© Nikki Toole

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

Nikki Toole (age 54 in 2019)

Tilman Ruff AO (age 64 in 2019)

Related portraits

1. Mark Ella, 2015. 2. Rosie Batty, 2017. All Nikki Toole.

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.

Tilman Ruff

'To literally save the world'

Portrait story

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Tilman Ruff AO has focused his efforts on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Nikki Toole

'Beauty and strength'

Portrait story

Photographer Nikki Toole describes the creation of her portrait of Rosie Batty.

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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