Ms Burke's portrait will become part of Parliament's Historical Memorials Collection, established in 1911 – Australia's longest-running art commissioning program.
It will occupy a very particular place in the collection's history. It is the first painting in the old collection to feature a woman painted by a woman. The artist, Jude Rae of Sydney, declared it was "both appalling and fantastic" that such a thing had taken until 2017 to occur.
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IBAS Director Anna Burke had barely got into the swing of her speech at the unveiling of her portrait at Canberra's Parliament House when the ringing of bells caused half her audience to hurry away.