Featured image – Amanda Davies’ portrait of Pat Brassington.

The  Portia Geach Memorial Award is Australia’s most prestigious art prize for portraiture by women artists.

The Award was established by the will of the late Florence Kate Geach in memory of her sister, Portia Geach. The non-acquisitive award of $30,000 is awarded by the Trustee for the entry which is of the highest artistic merit, ‘…for the best portrait painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, or the Sciences by any female artist resident in Australia during the twelve months preceding the close date for entries.’

Born in 1873 in Melbourne, Portia Geach studied with John Singer Sargent and Lawrence Alma-Tadema in London and was also a lifelong activist for women’s rights. She established the Housewives Progressive Association of New South Wales, The Housewives Magazine in 1933 and the Progressive Journal two years later to promote issues such as equal pay for women and the right to hold public office.

Visitors can vote in the People’s Choice Award and the winning artist will receive $1,000. The award is given by Heather & Hilary Macorison in memory of Winifred & Harry Macorison.


Tasmanian artist Amanda Davies has won the 2017 Portia Geach Memorial Award, with her painting Portrait of Pat Brassington.

Highly Commended artists are Effie Pryer Marieke Hardy, and Clare Thackway Bend.