Portrait of first Indigenous Member officially unveiled and two new commissions announced

29 May 2017

Today the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP unveiled a portrait of the Member for Hasluck, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, at a ceremony in Parliament House, Canberra.

The portrait of Minister Wyatt by Western Australian artist Mary Moore was commissioned for the Parliament’s Historic Memorials Collection in recognition of Minister Wyatt as the first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives.

Mary Moore is an accomplished portrait artist from Western Australia. Her works are held in a number of collections including the National Portrait Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Australia. Her portrait subjects include Fiona Stanley, Elizabeth Jolley and Sir Charles Court and Richard Court. In 2001 Ms Moore won the Portia Geach Memorial Award with a self-portrait entitled At Home.

The Prime Minister also announced two new commissions for the Historic Memorials Collection to recognise former Senator Nova Peris OAM as the first female Indigenous parliamentarian and senator and the Hon Linda Burney MP as the first female Indigenous member of the House of Representatives.

The Historic Memorials Committee is Australia’s longest-running art commissioning program. Founded by Prime Minister Andrew Fisher in 1911, the Committee has commissioned portraits of Prime Ministers, Speakers, Presidents, Governors-General and the Head of State for the Historic Memorials Collection.

From time to time the Historic Memorials Committee which is chaired by the Prime Minister will approve the commissioning of one-off portraits to represent milestones in the history of the Australian Parliament. Prior to the commission for Minister Wyatt, which was approved in 2012, the last one-off commission was for the portrait of Senator Neville Bonner AO in 1978.

The portrait along with other well-known faces of Parliament will be on display at Parliament House as part of the Prevailing Voices – Indigenous Parliamentarians exhibition to celebrate National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2017.

Another exhibition also on display at APH to celebrate NRW showcases large linocut prints all the way from one of Australia’s foremost Indigenous Art Centres, the Badu Art Centre in the Torres Strait. Sageraw Thonar – stories from the south-easterly season is on display on the exterior walls of the Great Hall.

Both exhibitions will be on display at Australian Parliament House until 30 July 2017.


Media contact at Department of Parliamentary Services
Name: Alexia Vlahos, Media Manager Phone: (02) 62775607 M: 0484 245 051
Email: alexia.vlahos@aph.gov.au