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Judy Cassab AO CBE

Today I wish to acknowledge the long and distinguished contribution of Judy Cassab AO CBE to Australian artistic life.

Mrs Cassab was one of Australia's most accomplished portrait painters. Driven by an absorbing passion, she was prolific in her practice, and notable for becoming the first woman to win the Archibald prize in 1960, and again in 1967. She herself was an Archibald subject this year.

The many works held in Australia's major public collecting institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, are testament to the depth of appreciation for her talent.

Mrs Cassab helped lay the artistic foundations for a chronicle of Australian social life over many decades through her various portraits of high profile individuals. She was instrumental in helping to change for the better the broader perception of women artists. Her work is recognised and highly valued both in Australia and abroad.

Mrs Cassab's service to the visual arts was formally recognised through her appointment as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1969 and as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988. She achieved an outstanding career and will remain one of the key figures in Australian art history.

Media contact: Justine Sywak | 0488 448 487 | Justine.Sywak [at] communications.gov.au