Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm

Watson Road

Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2017

  • This event finished on 26 November 2017


The  Portia Geach Memorial Award is Australia’s most prestigious art prize for portraiture by women artists.

The Award was established by the will of the late Florence Kate Geach in memory of her sister, Portia Geach. The non-acquisitive award of $30,000 is awarded by the Trustee for the entry which is of the highest artistic merit, ‘…for the best portrait painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, or the Sciences by any female artist resident in Australia during the twelve months preceding the close date for entries.’

Born in 1873 in Melbourne, Portia Geach studied with John Singer Sargent and Lawrence Alma-Tadema in London and was also a lifelong activist for women’s rights. She established the Housewives Progressive Association of New South Wales, The Housewives Magazine in 1933 and the Progressive Journal two years later to promote issues such as equal pay for women and the right to hold public office.


Tasmanian artist Amanda Davies has won the 2017 Portia Geach Memorial Award, with her painting Portrait of Pat Brassington.

Highly Commended artists are Effie Pryer Marieke Hardy, and Clare Thackway Bend.

The People’s Choice Award valued at $1,000, and given by Heather & Hilary Macorison in memory of Winifred & Harry Macorison, was won by Kathrin Longhurst for her portrait Maia at 12 and a half




11 October 2017 | Art Almanac ‘

20 October 2017 | Art Almanac ‘

20 October 2017 | Art Guide, Tiarney Meikus 

10 November 2017 | The Examiner, Tess Brunton ‘


Sunday afternoons @ the Gallery

Sunday 29 October at 3pm – Join exhibiting artists Louise Chircop, Filippa Buttita & Shaz Rhodes for a discussion on portraiture painting

Sunday 5 November at 3pm  – Panel conversation about contemporary portraiture – Convened by Richard Morecroft  with artists Alison Mackay, Clare Thackway & Zoe Young

Sunday 12 November at 3pm – Leah Fraser, Nicolette Page  & Caroline Zilinsky join us to discuss their works in the exhibition

Public programs are FREE with exhibition entry

* talks & speakers are subject to change without notice

image: Amanda Davies Portrait of Pat Brassington – Winner, 2017 Portia Geach Memorial Award




2016 – Jenny Rodgerson, Bound by the big red coat

2015 – Natasha Bieniek, Sahara (self portrait)

2014- Sophie Cape, Romper stomper

2013 – Helene Grove, Self portrait getting on

2012 – Sally Robinson, The artist’s mother

2011 – Kate Stevens, Indian dream

2010 – Prudence Flint, Scrambled egg

2009 – Christine Hiller, The Old Painter

2008 – Jude Rae, Self Portrait 2008 (The Year My Husband Left)

2007 – Maryanne Coutts, Melbourne

2006 – Lucy Culliton, Self with Friends

2005 – Jude Rae, Large Interior (Micky Allan)

2004 – Nerissa Lea, The Sheik & Me, Self Portrait with Imagined Portrait of Chad Morgan after Frida Kahlo

2003 – Wendy Sharpe, Self Portrait with Tea Cup and Burning Paintings

2002 – Vicki Varvaressos, Self Portrait with Painting

2001 – Mary Moore, At Home

2000 – Nancy Borlase, The Sisters: Marie and Vida Breckenridge

1999 – Kim Spooner, Social Currency (Eva Cox)

1998 – Anita Rezevska, Self Portrait – Woman from Riga

1997 – Maria Isabel, Cruz Maria

1996 – Su Baker, Self Portrait at Six Paces

1995 – Wendy Sharpe, Self Portrait with Students, After Adelaide Labille-Guiard

1994 – Jenny Sages, Ann Thomson

1993 – Aileen Rogers, Suzanne Mourot

1992 – Jenny Sages,Nancy Borlase and Laurie Short

1991 – Rosemary Valadon, Frances Joseph

1990 – Jenny Watson, Self Portrait

1989 – Jenny Sands, Alex Karpin

1988 – Margaret Ackland, Shay Docking

1987 – Christine Hiller, Self Portrait

1986 – Christine Hiller, Self Portrait

1985 – Gwen Eichler, Dianne Fogwell

1984 – Margaret Woodward, Madeleine Halliday

1983 – Margaret Woodward, Self Portrait

1982 – Brenda Humble, Virginia Hall

1981 – Susan Howard, Jenny Kee

1980 – Judy Pennefather, Venie Schulenberg

1979 – Ivy Shore, Kondelea (Della) Elliott

1978 – Dora Toovey, Senator Neville Bonner

1977 – Ena Joyce, George Lawrence

1976 – Jocelyn Maughan, George Bouckley

1975 – Mary Brady, Elizabeth Rooney

1974 – Lesley H Pockley, Hugh Paget

1973 – Sylvia Tiarks, Self Portrait

1972 – Elisabeth Cummings, Jean Appleton

1971 – Mary Brady, Larry Sitsky

1970 – Dora Toovey, Self Portrait in Landscape

1969 – Vaike Liibus, Guy Warren

1968 – Bettina McMahon, Self Portrait

1967 – Jo Caddy, Laurence Davis

1966 – Mary Brady, Grahame Edgar

1965 – Jean Appleton, Self Portrait

Award Administrator 


Award Trustee