Doug Moran National Portrait Prize Winners Gallery

Since 1988 the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize has encouraged the development of portraiture skills among Australian artists and increased awareness and appreciation of Australian visual arts. It seeks the best artistic skills that artists have in the promotion of Australian arts at a given point in time.

The Prize is Australia’s richest art prize capturing Australians from all walks of life, whether public figures or not.  The competition is open to Australian citizens or residents of at least 12 months. 

Read more about the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Winners Gallery

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Graeme Drendel
Oil, 30 x 26 cm

Normally I would complete a portrait in a single session, but getting a good likeness of Lewis proved elusive and a desperate third sitting was required. Eventually the painting fell into place somehow and during the process the conversation, the music and the soup was super.

Winner - 2022 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

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Penny Dowie
oil on canvas, 152cm x 106cm

Penny Dowie attended the South Australian School of Art in 1966. Her first exhibition was in 1971 and she has had four solo exhibitions and been represented in many mixed exhibitions since. She divides her life between being the mother of three children and painting, also finding time to illustrate two books: ‘A Perfumed Garden’ which was published in 1980 and ‘The Faithful Garden’ published in 1986. Her many art prizes include the Victor Harbor Prize in 1980, 1983 and 1987 and the Sir Hans Heysen Memorial Prize for drawing in 1986.

Her work has been acquired by the State Bank, the Deutsche Bank (Australia), IEL and her paintings were selected by the Australian Art Foundation to tour Texas in 1988. Her work is also represented in private collections in Australia, America, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and Canada

Winner - 1988 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Courtesy Tweed Regional Gallery Collection

Robert Hannaford AM
oil on canvas, 122cm x 100cm

Robert Hannaford was brought up on a farm and was a self-taught artist. He was political cartoonist for the ‘Adelaide Advertiser’ from 1964-67 then won the A.M.E. Bale Art Scholarship, 1969-73. He has made his living from painting since 1973 with oil painting, watercolour, charcoal, pencil and pen drawing, sculpture and prints.

Sitter: Francis William (Bill) Hogan was born at Burra and grew up on a farm. He had limited correspondence education and worked as a drover, shearer, boundary rider and fencing contractor. He is at present employed as a labourer on Robert Hannaford’s studio construction. He is a published poet in Australia and overseas, a pen and ink artist, reformed alcoholic, seasoned smoker and gentleman of the bush

Winner - 1990 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Courtesy Tweed Regional Gallery Collection

Siv Grava
Self Portrait
oil on canvas, 140.2cm x 99.5cm

Siv discontinued medical studies to begin an art course. She has worked with aboriginal women, unemployed youth and elderly citizens, and on aboriginal projects, all on the conceptual design and execution of murals. She has also tutored for the Department of Correctional Services. Siv is currently painting in isolated areas of Australia.

Siv’s Self-Portrait was painted while living in a remote sheep station in the Flinders ranges. Siv states that the portrait explores the different layers of self - outer, emotional and intellectual.

Winner - 1992 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Courtesy Tweed Regional Gallery Collection

Josonia Palaitis
John Mills
oil on canvas, 150cm x 110cm

Sydney painter Josonia Palaitis was born into a family of artists. Her father, John Mills, was well-known as the leading illustrator for the Australian Women’s Weekly until his retirement in 1973. Her mother, also an artist, studied under Julian Ashton and at the Slade School in London.

Josonia studied at the National Art School, and was awarded the Diploma of Art Education in 1972 and a Bachelor’s degree at the City Art Institute in 1984. She has painted many commissioned portraits including those of politicians John Howard and John Dowd. “Representational painting is my preferred way, although it was unfashionable for students in the sixties and seventies. I received the basis of representational art from my parents and feel connected to their teachers in an indirect way”

Winner - 1994 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Courtesy Tweed Regional Gallery Collection

Greg Creek
Picture of Carolyn Eskdale
oil on linen, 58cm x 183cm

Greg, the co-founder and co-ordinator of the Temple Studio Gallery, Melbourne has been exhibiting since 1984. His awards include the SME Bale Travelling Scholarship in 1991. His large narrative paintings and drawings represent a political perspective of Australian history in which portraiture plays an important part. His work can be found in many public galleries including the National Gallery of Victoria.
“Fellow artist Carolyn Eskdale, like me, is involved in Melbourne’s alternative artist-run gallery scene. The painting takes the uncommon form for portraiture of the reclining figure, perhaps better known in seventeenth century nudes or nineteenth century studies...The treatment expresses the familiar intimacy of the artist and sitter but also reflects the parity and respect in their professional and aesthetic relationship”

Winner - 1996 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Courtesy Tweed Regional Gallery Collection

Esther Erlich
Gaunt and Glorious Steve Moneghetti 1998
oil on canvas, 152cm x 152cm

Esther Erlich graduated from the Caulfield Institute of Technology with a Diploma of Fine Art in 1977 and from the Melbourne State College with a Diploma of Education in 1978. She began exhibiting and held her first solo exhibition in 1984. Her work is represented in several public institutions.  Esther Erlich works as an artist, and a book illustrator and teaches at several tertiary institutions.

“On first meeting Steve Moneghetti I had the elite athlete sitting, standing, twisting and turning to try to decide on ‘the pose’ for his portrait. All the time I was worrying that I might be responsible for an injury that could end his career.  As it turned out, he survived the sitting. The cross-legged pose enabled me, as a painter, to exaggerate his miraculous limbs and place emphasis on Steve’s most famous feature, his feet (or in this case, his Nikes!).”

Winner - 1998 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Courtesy Tweed Regional Gallery Collection

Kristin Headlam
Self Portrait in Bed with the Animals
oil on canvas, 152.5cm x 122cm

In turning to self-portraiture, I experimented with a different colour range from the one which I would normally use. My work is usually an exploration of landscape, with sunlight and a lot of dark shade, but in this painting, I wanted to banish shadow as much as possible and create an effect that would exuberant and bright. The painting is, incidentally, an accurate depiction of the scene at my place most mornings of the week.

Winner - 2000 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Courtesy Tweed Regional Gallery Collection

David Fairbairn
Red Portrait Suzanne
mixed media on paper, 1830 x 2125mm

The single unifying factor and focus in my work for the past two decades has been  portraiture. Art in turn gives my life a shape and form that is sustaining, stimulating and nourishing.

Having been born in Africa and spent part of my formative years there, I acknowledge my work reflects something of that mask like quality to be found in African tribal art.

My large scale portraits attempt to create a ‘psychological space’ in which the viewer is confronted and challenged.

The portraits are not only about the physical and psychological aspects of the sitter and the artist, but are also as much about the process of picture making itself. Red Portrait Suzanne fits into a long series of works about my family and friends. The subject is the painter Suzanne Archer, who I first painted in 1984.

Winner - 2002 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Prudence Flint
A Fine Romance #9
oil on linen, 117 x 82cm

A Fine Romance #9 is a fictional self-portrait. I was reading and writing a lot of fiction at the time. It is for all the artists and writers who take me there. A Room of One’s Own, Wuthering Heights, The Piano Teacher, Possessing the Secret of Joy, Remembrance of Things Past, Pride and Prejudice, Mill on the Floss, A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, The Three Steps in the Ladder Of Writing, My Father’s Moon, Tender is the Night, The Waves, Beloved, La Douleur, The Lover, Middlemarch, The Hours, The Years, Wide Sargasso Sea, Housekeeping, Member of the Wedding.

Winner - 2004 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize


Peter Wegner
Wounded Poet 2006

The portrait depicts the poet Graham Doyle, who has been the subject of over 100 portraits painted throughout our friendship since the early 1980s.

Winner - 2006 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Leslie Rice
Self Portraiture 2007
acrylic on velvet, 1475 x 1185mm

Since portraits were first painted, their purpose has been the same - to allow the sitter to live, in some fashion, beyond death. The presentation of an appearance yields immortality. The likeness will outlive the subject. Here He comes, he said. Here it is. Paint preserves the dead.

Winner - 2007 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Fiona Lowry
What I Assume You Shall Assume (Self Portrait)
Acrylic on paper, 120 x 85 cm

This work is part of a continuing project that draws on a remnant colonial mythology of the Australian bush as strange and malevolent. Using myself as the protagonist - physical encounters are played out in forest landscape, hinting at events that might be traumatic, revelatory, even fatal.

Winner - 2008 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Ben Quilty
Jimmy Barnes – There But For The Grace Of God Go I, No.2
oil and aerosol on linen, 280 x 190cm

I met Jimmy working for a children’s fundraiser. I made a painting about the Cold Chisel song Khe Sahn to raise money for the Nordoff Robins Music Therapy Centre. We got on well. I liked him. He’s unaffected and down to earth. When I suggested I make some work about him I knew he’d give me total artistic freedom. He is an artist and understands that a good work of art is not only about beauty. For me a portrayal of Jimmy ‘off his head’ was a natural progression in my practice. Jimmy publicly acknowledged the damage drugs and alcohol had had on his life and the lives of his family on the ABC’s Enough Rope some years ago. It was a moving account of a dark time and it was a powerful reminder to me of the role drug culture plays in the initiation processes of male society.. and Jimmy Barnes has been a role model
for so many of my generation.

Winner - 2009 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Michael Zavros
Phoebe is Dead / McQueen
Oil on canvas, 110 x 150cm

Until I became a parent I didn’t fear death. Now as I wait for sleep in the dark of night I am visited by visions of my children befalling some tragedy and being taken from me. And so now I fear death. This painting confronts the unthinkable as though the very act of painting it could somehow prevent it. Painted to exact life size in tiny precious detail, this is a personal memento mori.

Phoebe is my eldest daughter. She spends significant time in my studio just doing Phoebe things. She likes to play dead, as most kids do and understands death as much as a 5 year old can. As Snow White, she pretends to bite a poisoned apple or waits in earnest as sleeping beauty for me to play the handsome prince bestowing the kiss of life. She is, fascinatingly, drawn to the slightly macabre.  Here my ‘dead daughter’ is draped in my wife’s Alexander McQueen scarf. It is Phoebe’s favourite.

Winner - 2010 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Vincent Fantauzzo
Baz Luhrmann “Off Screen”
oil, 166 x 243cm

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has made some of the most influential contemporary film, theatre and music of the past twenty years but is also one of my closest friends. We often chat about making art and have collaborated many times. Baz, I think has a quite expressive face but at this moment when Baz had his hands over his face a time where the pressure of making art and sharing it became so overwhelming I found that Baz a person who normally comes across as very self confident was completely vulnerable a feeling that all creative people share. I think this painting show a side of Baz that most never see.

Winner - 2011 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Leslie Rice
Self Portrait (with the Muses of Painting and Poetry)
acrylic on black velvet, 152 x 121 cm

This work of heroic stature (realised on a humble velvet support) was borne of three things: an interest in the mindset of all who engage in the kind of self-perception required to embark upon self-portraiture, a reflection upon my own admittedly dubious taste and a keen desire for the dwarf from Velasquez’ masterpiece Las Meninas.

Winner - 2012 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Nigel Milsom
Uncle Paddy
oil on linen, 130 × 100 cm

Paddy has been a long-time friend of my grandfather, Charles. Every Saturday night my grandfather caught a ferry to the NSW leagues club for a couple of beers with Paddy and then he’d return home. It was the only social occasion that my grandfather engaged in. When my grandfather died, Paddy was one of the few non-family members that attended the funeral. I knew that Paddy’s Saturday nights would never be the same. I was struck by the regularity of funerals that Paddy attends and how people in their 80’s are forced to farewell their friends and family members more frequently. There is a quiet sadness about Paddy that seems to stem from the realisation that death will be visiting him soon too. When I painted his portrait I got a sense that he has learnt to sit with this feeling of sadness which has given him a greater strength and wisdom. He is prepared to face death.

Winner - 2013 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Louise Hearman
Bill-1383 / Bill-1384
oil, 71cm x 148cm

Over 30 years ago I was drawn to the lecture room at the Victorian College of the Arts by some intoxicating music, and there was Bill, playing his favourite music to the students. A great friendship began from an interest in pictures and music, and we are still great friends today.

Winner - 2014 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Warren Crossett
Self Portrait after St Jerome Flanders
oil, 75cm x 71cm

The work was created during a season when symbols and composition intersected, to reflect what I was understanding and feeling at the time. Contemplating the topic by experience and by hand.

Winner - 2015 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Megan Seres
Scarlett as Colonial Girl
oil, 60cm x 76cm

At the moment I am researching women’s stories in colonial Australia and my daughter Scarlett recently did a project on colonial Australia and was in a school play where she played the convict Mary Wade. We researched the costume and I was able to create the one she is wearing, although there’s a little more creative freedom in the painting. I am a single mother, so Scarlett and I are very close and do most things together. Luckily, we love a lot of the same things, history, mysteries, open spaces, art, books and films. I have tried to encompass these within the work alongside the emotion of what it must have been like for these girls and women to start their lives in such a different place. To understand that even in hardship you can always find beauty.

Winner - 2016 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Tim Storrier AM
The Lunar Savant (Portrait of McLean Edwards) 2017
acrylic, 198cm x 91cm

The portrait is painted in acrylic on linen. The sitter, a fellow artist McLean Edwards sat for me at my studio in Bowral during 2017.

Winner - 2017 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Lynn Savery, Self Portrait
Lynn Savery
Self Portrait
Oil, 153cm x 82cm

This self-portrait expresses who I am and my views. I purposively
chose to sit with my legs open wide and to casually lean to one side
to illustrate how body posture contributes to gender stereotypical
impressions. Since there is nothing physiological that prevents
women sitting with their legs wide apart or for that matter, men
sitting with their legs closed, these postural differences are not
biologically determined but socially constructed.

The magnolias are my personal favourite. Clementine the English
bulldog is a good friend of mine and I wanted to capture her physical
and emotional presence in this work.

Winner - 2018 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Robert Forster
oil, 204 x 102 cm

Portrait of Go-Between, Robert Forster who I picked up in my
SAAB 900. He understood the car, I made him a pour over coffee.
Robert played my concert classical guitar, out of tune.
He loved the tuning.
He was thinking about the guitar. And the coffee. And the SAAB
I put the brush down when I saw Robert in tune.

Winner - 2019 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Vincent Fantauzzo
Oil, 44cm x 64cm

Muse: A person who causes someone else to have ideas about creating a work of art.

Throughout history artists, painters, writers and film makers often referred to their muse as a source of inspiration. I never quite understood. I do now. I found my muse.

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Joint Winner - 2021 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Michael Vale
Our ghostly crew (Michael Vale and Donna McRae with others)
Oil, 183cm x 152cm

This is a portrait of myself with my wife, the film-maker Donna McRae. We are both interested in gothic narratives, hence the imaginary 'Ghostly crew'.

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Joint Winner - 2021 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Andrew Greensmith
Two lives one soul
Oil, 78cm x 88cm

At 94 years old Annetta Able and the late Stephanie Heller were the oldest living identical twin survivors of Auschwitz when I painted them. They endured the inhumane experiments of the notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, documented in Fiona Harari’s book “We Are Here”.

In my other work as a surgeon of the face, I am very much aware of people’s stories and lives told through their faces and am always fascinated by them. My hope is that my painting can possibly make a worthwhile connection with the audience and remind us of the truly personal face to the memories of the Holocaust that are at risk of fading away. Depicted in the painting is a family photo taken when the sisters were 17, just before their mother and younger sister were taken away to a camp and a year before they themselves were interned in Auschwitz, fragmenting as a touch of symbolic magic realism.

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Joint Winner - 2021 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize