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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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Chester Porter QC

1997
Graeme Inson

oil on canvas laid on board (support: 92.0 cm x 76.0 cm, frame: 117.0 cm x 102.0 cm)

From the age of thirteen Chester Porter QC (1926–2021) knew he wanted to be a barrister. After completing school, he moved straight on to a law degree at the University of Sydney; he was 21 when he was admitted to the Bar in New South Wales in 1948. His big break came in 1951 when he acted as a junior to John Wentworth (Jack) Shand QC before a royal commission into the case of Frederick McDermott, a shearer sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in 1947. Porter was involved in the royal commissions into the 1964 collision between the HMAS Melbourne and Voyager, and Lindy Chamberlain's 1982 conviction for the murder of her baby daughter Azaria. He also defended corrupt detective Roger Rogerson against bribery charges, and District Court Judge John Foord, who faced charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Foord's acquittal gave rise to the motto 'Chester Porter Walks on Water'.

Artist and teacher Graeme Inson painted landscapes and still life as well as portraits, travelling widely to paint and holding scores of solo exhibitions in Sydney into the 1990s. This painting came about at the behest of Porter's colleagues in the NSW Bar Association, and was painted to mark the 50th anniversary of his admittance to the Bar.

Gift of Jean Porter and family 2021. Donated through the Australia Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
© Harvey Shore

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

Graeme Inson (age 74 in 1997)

Chester Porter QC (age 74 in 1997)

Subject professions

Law and justice

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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