Portrait Of Victoria Premier Albert Dunstan

Portrait Of Victoria Premier Albert Dunstan

Parliament Of Victoria

Albert Dunstan Portrait

Victor P Taffa

Sir Albert Arthur Dunstan was born on the 26th July 1882 at Donald East, Victoria. He farmed in Cope Cope, Jondaryan in Queensland, Goschen, and Kaneira (Culgoa), before moving to the Bendigo district in 1918.

A member of the Victorian Farmers’ Union (VFU), in 1920 Dunstan was endorsed by the party and elected for Eaglehawk in the Legislative Assembly. Dunstan split from the V.F.U. in April 1926 to form the Country Progressive Party. Four years later this party would merge back with the VFU (renamed the Victorian Country Party) to form the United Country Party led by John Allan with Dunstan as deputy.

Dunstan served as Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey, Minister of Forests and President of the Board of Land and Works in Sir Stanley Argyle’s composite United Australia Party (UAP) – Country Party government from 1932 to 1935.

In early 1935 he became leader of the United Country Party and Deputy Premier. Soon after this, Dunstan became Premier and treasurer when the Country Party realigned itself with the Labor Party to form government.

Labor’s support would last until 1942, when the UAP returned to voting with the Country Party. This government lasted from April 1935 to September 1943.

After a brief 5 day Labor government led by John Cain Sr., Dunstan was returned as Premier from September 1943 to October 1945 with support from Tom Hollway’s UAP.

After defeat in the 1945 election, Dunstan resigned as Party leader.

He served as Minister of Health from 1947-1948 in the Hollway-McDonald government and as a private member until his death on the 14 April 1950.


History Of The Premiers Portraits

The Hon. Frederick Grimwade, President of the Legislative Council 1979-1985, initiated the idea of a portrait gallery for former Premiers of Victoria. He arranged for paintings to be commissioned from photographs of former non-living Premiers and life studies of living former Premiers.

Every Premier since 1933 (with the exception of Ian MacFarlan, who was Premier for 51 days) is represented in the portrait collection. Prior to this date there are portraits of only 4 former Premiers.

The portraits were originally displayed in the corridor leading to the Members Dining Room, appropriately named the ‘Premiers’ Corridor’.

Grimwade’s initiative was a success and eventually the collection of portraits grew so large that another space in the building had to be considered for their display.

In 2001, the year of the Centenary of Federation and Sesquicentenary of the Legislative Council, the portraits were moved to Queen’s Hall. In the Roman Revival style architecture of the lofty Hall, the group of portraits are positioned around a centrally placed marble statue of Queen Victoria.

There are currently 18 Premiers portraits in this collection. The 17 most recent are on display in Queen’s Hall, while the 1893 portrait of Premier James Paterson, the largest in the collection, hangs in Premiers’ Corridor.


Title                Premier Albert Dunstan

Artist              Brian Clinton

Date                1981

Medium          Oil on canvas

Dimensions     1140 x 850 x 60 mm


Premier 18th September 1943 – 2nd October 1945

Premier 2nd April 1935 – 14th September 1943

Brian Clinton is a Victorian artist, illustrator and designer. His works include depictions of Australian sporting greats, film posters and stamps for Australia Post. His work is represented in collections nationally and internationally.

This portrait of Albert Dunstan was painted posthumously.