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Colin Wills

c. 1940s
Max Dupain OBE

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image: 37.9 cm x 29.2 cm, sheet: 39.3 cm x 31.5 cm)

Colin Wills (1906–1965), journalist and author, was born in Toowoomba, Queensland and grew up in Sydney. His father Frederick Charles Wills was a photographer and cinematographer. At sixteen, Colin became a jackeroo for several years, during which he wrote stories and poetry. His first poem was published in Vision in 1924. For the next fifteen years he worked as a journalist for the Daily Guardian, Smith's Weekly and the Daily Telegraph, as well as radio journalism and newsreel commentary. He moved to England in 1939, where he continued to work as a journalist. As a war correspondent for the BBC during the Second World War, he reported on the D-Day landing at Normandy and the Belsen concentration camp when it was liberated in 1945. Wills published a book of poetry, Rhymes of Sydney (1933), and three non-fiction books, White Traveller in Black Africa (1951), Who Killed Kenya? (1953) and Australian Passport (1953).

Gift of Danina Dupain Anderson 2021. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

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 29 in 1940)

Colin Wills (age 34 in 1940)

Subject professions

Media and communications

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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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