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Hawker to hang.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

2 September 2008


More than 150 parliamentarians, ambassadors, friends and family will gather at Parliament House this week to see our Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, officially hung…his portrait that is.

This Wednesday Mr Hawker will join his predecessors, numbering just 24 in total since federation, in having his portrait as Speaker of the House of Representatives displayed in the Members’ Hall of Parliament House in Canberra.

Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson, will officially unveil the portrait.

Mr Hawker described the distinction - which is only offered to Australia’s Head of State, Prime Minister, Governor General, Chief Justice, Speaker of the House and President of the Senate - as an honour.

“My term as Speaker of the House was certainly a highlight of my parliamentary career, and to have my portrait placed alongside so many notable national figures in the Members’ Hall of Parliament House is a great honour,” he said.

Mr Hawker’s portrait was completed in 2007 by Chinese born Australian artist Jiawei Shen. Jiawei has completed a number of commissions for the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, but is probably best known in Australia for his portrait of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

He has been a finalist in the Archibald prize 10 times and was recently the subject of a television documentary screened on SBS TV in August, titled “Goodbye Revolution”.

Director of Art Services at Parliament House, Ms Kylie Scroope, said one of the reasons Mr Hawker chose Jiawei Shen is because of his impressive attention to detail.

“Jiawei is adept at capturing details that some other portrait artists often find difficult, like hands,” Ms Scroope said.

“In this portrait he also chose to include the symbol most representative of the office of the Speaker - the Mace. It’s his mastery of details like these that accentuate Jiawei’s considerable talent.”

Mr Hawker said he is delighted a number of local Western Victorians will travel to Canberra this week to mark this important occasion.

“I have been most fortunate during my career to have the support of my family and so many wonderful people locally, and for that I am very grateful,” he said.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4118