Celebrating women who have made a significant contribution to Parliament

31 May 2023 Invitation for Expressions of Interest

The Parliament of Victoria is currently accepting Expressions of Interest from Victorian artists or artists with a strong connection to Victoria, in relation to the commissioning of two major parliamentary portrait artworks.

Maree Edwards, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Shaun Leane, President of the Legislative Council, on behalf of the Parliament of Victoria, are commissioning two new portraits of Judy Maddigan, first woman Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and Monica Gould, first woman President of the Legislative Council.

This commission is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the important contributions of these women and contribute to the fabric of the Parliament of Victoria. The completed portraits will become part of the Parliament’s permanent collection following their unveiling early next year.

What are we looking for?

The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) is facilitating the commissioning of the work. With the guidance of an expert panel and the portrait subjects, we are seeking to select two artists to produce painted portraits which will positively contribute to the vibrancy of Parliament House.

These portraits are being commissioned as a way of celebrating all women who have made a significant contribution to service for Victorians through the Parliament. The final portraits should capture the psychological depth of their subjects and should be presented in an easily recognisable and non-abstract way.

The portraits should make sense within the broader context of Parliament’s permanent collection, and the images should capture the subjects as they were during their time in Parliament.

The portraits will be constructed largely from period-appropriate photographs and must be completed by 30 November 2023.

The final completed framed artworks should each measure approximately 105cm x 85cm and must be painted in oils and using materials that will maintain archival integrity and ensure the longevity of the portrait.


Judy Maddigan

Serving as the member for the seat of Essendon from 1996 until 2010, Judy Maddigan was the first woman Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, holding that position from February 2003 until late 2006.

She served as a Councillor with the City of Essendon prior to her state-level election and has a long history of community involvement through her many years of participation in community groups and organisations with a mission to empower and support women.


Monica Gould

Monica Gould was first elected to the Legislative Council in 1993, and in 1999 became the first woman Leader of the Australian Labor Party in the Legislative Council. She was appointed as Minister for Industrial Relations that same year and later went on to serve as Minister for Education Services and Youth Affairs.

Following the 2002 election, she made history by becoming the first woman to be elected President of the Legislative Council, holding that position between February 2003 and the end of 2006.

In the years since her retirement from politics, she has continued to serve her community though her active involvement with a number of charitable community organisations.

Existing examples of parliamentary portraiture

How can I register my interest in being selected for this project?

Artists who are interested in undertaking these commissions should register their interest by submitting an Expression of Interest.

Expressions of Interest should be emailed to our parliamentary library team, at pictures@parliament.vic.gov.au. To be considered, all applications must be received before 5pm on Monday 19 June 2023.

Further details, including guidance on what you should include in your Expression of Interest and the criteria for selection can be found in the formal Invitation for Expressions of Interest document, which can be downloaded using the link at the top of this page.

In order to give yourself the best chance of being selected, please remember the following tips when submitting your Expression of Interest.

  • Please include a statement outlining your connection to Victoria or the Victorian community.
  • Please provide examples of your previous work, particularly anything that demonstrates experience painting portraits in oils on canvas from a photograph.
  • Use the subject line “EOI Commission to paint a portrait”
  • Your submission and all attachments should be submitted in PDF format
  • Your email, including attachments, must be no larger than 15mb
  • All attachments should be clearly labelled, with the artist’s name included in each file’s title