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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.

Magda Szubanski

1997 (printed 2021)
Jacqueline Mitelman

inkjet print on paper (image: 40 cm x 30 cm)

Magda Szubanski AO (b. 1961), actor and writer, is a mainstay of Australian movie and television screens and a LGBTIQA+ advocate. While performing in a revue at the University of Melbourne, Szubanski and her co-stars Michael Veitch and Tom Gleisner were spotted by ABC producers. This led to the creation of the comedy show, The D-Generation, on which she performed from 1986–1987. Szubanski was one of the creators of Fast Forward (1989–1992) for the Seven Network, working alongside Jane Turner and Gina Riley. In 1995 Szubanski teamed up with Riley and Turner to create Big Girl's Blouse, the first all-female Australian sketch comedy television program, followed by her poignant performance as Sharon Strzelecki in Kath & Kim (2002–2007), and later the film Kath & Kimderella (2012). She worked with director George Miller for the films Babe (1995), Babe: Pig in the City (1998), Happy Feet (2006) and Happy Feet 2 (2011). Her 2015 memoir Reckoning won Book of the Year at the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards.

Jacqueline Mitelman's portrait of Szubanski shows her looking confidently into the lens of the camera. Though Szubanski is known for her talent as a comedic and character actor, Mitelman's close framing draws attention to her own assured and relaxed demeanour.

Purchased with funds provided by Jillian Broadbent AC 2021
© Jacqueline Mitelman

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

Jacqueline Mitelman (age 45 in 1997)

Magda Szubanski AO (age 36 in 1997)

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.

Jacqueline Mitelman

'Buddha-nature'

Portrait story

Australian photographer, Jacqueline Mitelman, discusses her process for creating portraiture.

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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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