Photographed in 1937 and launched into the public sphere in 1975, Max Dupain’s Sunbaker is recognised as a portrait that embodies what it means to be Australian.

“I said ‘Max, this is the one that says Australia. It conveys what it is to be Australian’ … Sunbaker was a quintessentially Australian photograph.” Graham Howe, inaugural Director of the Australian Centre for Photography, Australian Financial Review, 2008

On Saturday 8 April a diverse panel of leading thinkers and practitioners discussed the role of Max Dupain’s Sunbaker as representative of Australian identity, and whether it still reflects contemporary Australian society.

Chaired by Walkley award-winning journalist Helen Vatsikopoulos, panelists Stephen Gilchrist, Prof. Meaghan Morris and William Yang interrogated the role of the image in symbolising and constructing a national identity and how these images re-enforce ideas of dominant culture.


Under the sun: Reimagining Max Dupain’s Sunbaker is a free exhibition presented by the Australian Centre for Photography in partnership with the State Library of NSW in the Mitchell Galleries from February 18 to April 17, 2017.