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Parliament House is currently

Portraits of the Speakers of the House of Representatives

After the term of each presiding Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament, a portrait is commissioned by the Historical Memorials Collection (HMC) Committee.

The Speaker is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives. They represent the House by acting as its spokesperson and chairing its meetings. They also have responsibilities for the administration of the House and the management of Parliament House. They are elected to this position by the 151 Members of the House and ensure standing rules and procedures of the House are followed.

Anna Burke held the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives between 2012 and 2013, and was the second female in the role after Labor's Joan Child (1986-1989). This portrait by commissioned artist Jude Rae is the first in the collection to feature a woman parliamentarian painted by a woman. Another work by Rae in the HMC celebrates the first Indigenous woman member to the House of Representatives, the Hon Linda Burney. Rae’s portrait of Australia’s first female Chief Justice Susan Kiefel is also the first painting by a woman in the High Court collection.

The artist commented on the collaborative process, which required six sittings of around two hours at Rae’s inner-Sydney studio, saying,

I worked from a combination of sittings and photographic documentation, because people like Anna are very busy…. I think we both agreed that it was a damn good thing that she [Anna Burke] be painted by a woman…There are precious few portraits of women in Parliament House and precious few by women.

Currently on display.


Public Exhibition Area, Member's Hall, Level 1

Free for 1 hour, then parking rates apply

More information
Call Visitor Services on 02 6277 5399 or email visitorservices@aph.gov.au

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