Portrait Busts

Portrait Busts

The portrait bust is a Hellenistic Greek invention and is a sculpture of the upper part of the human figure depicting a person’s head and neck and a portion of the chest and shoulders, supported on a plinth. Portrait busts were a way of honouring citizens held in high esteem. The Parliament of NSW has 15 portrait busts presented by relatives, associations and others.


Sir John Hay, K.C.M.G. (1816-1892)

Sir John Hay entered the Legislative Assembly in 1856 with the establishment of responsible government. He was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 1862 and remained until 1865. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1865 and was elected President in 1873 and remained President for the next 19 years.  

Presented to the Parliament by Members of the Legislative Council, 25 September 1889

Sculptor: Achille Simonetti
Date: 1889
Dimensions: 85 x 53 x 35cm
Location: Legislative Council Chamber


Sir John Lackey, K.C.M.G. (1830-1903)

The son of a convict, John Lackey was an elected member of the Legislative Assembly from 1860-1885. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1885 and was President from 1892-1903.

Presented to the Parliament by Members of the Legislative Council, 26 July 1899

Sculptor: Achille Simonetti
Date: 1899
Dimensions: 75 x 54 x 34cm
Location: Legislative Council Chamber


Sir Alfred Stephen, G.C.M.G., C.B., P.C. (1802-1894)

Sir Alfred Stephen was the Chief Justice of New South Wales from 1845-1873. Appointed as the first President of the Legislative Council in May 1856 until January 1857. From 1875 until 1890 he was a member of the Legislative Council.

Presented to the Parliament by private subscribers, 21 March 1877. This bust was exhibited in the New South Wales Sculpture Section of the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, 1888.

Sculptor: Achille Simonetti
Date: 1886
Dimensions: 76 x 51 x 32cm
Location: Legislative Council Chamber


William Bede Dalley, QC. (1831-1888)

The son of convict parents, William Dalley was a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1856-1860 and from 1862 – 1864. He was a Member of the Legislative Council from 1870 -1873, 1875 – 1877 and from 1883 until his death in 1888. After refusing a knighthood and the office of Chief Justice, in 1886, Dalley was appointed to the Privy Council, the first Australian to be honoured in this way.

Presented to the Parliament by Members of the Legislative Council, 30 June 1886. This bust was exhibited in the New South Wales Sculpture Section of the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, 1888.

Sculptor: Achille Simonetti
Date: 1886
Dimensions: 77 x 51 x 30cm
Location: Legislative Council Chamber


Sir Francis Suttor, Kt. (1839-1915)

Sir Francis Suttor entered the Legislative Assembly in 1875 and the Legislative Council in 1900. On re-entering the Legislative Council in 1900 he was appointed Vice- President of the Executive Council and in 1903, President of the Legislative Council.

Presented to the Parliament by Francis Suttor son, R. S. Suttor, on behalf of the family 22 April 1915. This bust was exhibited at Anthony Horderns and Sons Fine Art Gallery in 1924.

Sculptor: Nelson Illingworth
Date: 1906
Dimensions: 72 x 50 x 32cm


John Blaxland (1769-1845)

John Blaxland was appointed to the Legislative Council on January 30, 1829 and remained for the next 24 years. The 1843 constitutional changes made the Legislative Council a more representative body and he was reappointed a non-elected Member in 1843 where he stayed until 1844.

Presented to the Parliament by John Blaxland’s daughter, Miss Louisa Blaxland on 24 February 1870. This bust was exhibited in the New South Wales Sculpture Section of the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, 1888.

Sculptor: Joseph Durham
Date: 1867
Dimensions: 82 x 57 x 33cm
Location: Legislative Council Chamber


James Macarthur (1798-1867)

The fifth son of John and Elizabeth Macarthur who established Australia’s wool industry, James Macarthur was appointed a Member of the Legislative Council in October 1839 and remained until 1843. He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1848 and held his seat until 1856 when he was elected to the new Legislative Assembly and remained until 1859.

Presented to the Parliament by George Macleay, Surry, England, on behalf of friends of James Macarthur, 2 November 1870. This bust was exhibited in the New South Wales Sculpture Section of the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, 1888

Sculptor: Charles Summers
Date: 1869
Dimensions: 80 x 54 x 34cm
Location: Legislative Council Chamber


William Charles Wentworth (1790-1872)

Son of D’Arcy Wentworth, one of the contractors who built the Rum Hospital, Wentworth was part of the first European expedition to cross the Blue Mountains in 1813. Elected to the Legislative Council in 1843 he was Chairman of the select committee which drafted the 1853 Constitution which led to responsible Government in NSW in 1856. He was President of the Legislative Council in 1861 and 1862.

Presented to the Parliament by the Government, 21 March 1894

Sculptor: Achille Simonetti
Date: No date
Dimensions: 90 x 65 x 40cm
Location: Wentworth Room


Richard Windeyer (1806-1847)

Elected Member of the Legislative Council from its inception in 1843 until his death in 1847. Remembered for his significant contributions to establishing education in the colony, law reform and to establishing the validity of evidence given in court by Aboriginal people.

Presented to the Parliament by Richard Windeyer, K.C, Sydney. Acknowledged by the President in session, 5 July 1944

Sculptor: G. Abraham
Date: 1846
Location: Members’ Lounge, Legislative Council


Sir John Peden, K.C.M.G., K.C., B.A., LLB. (1871-1946)

An expert in constitutional law, Sir John Peden was appointed to the Legislative Council in May 1917 and was president from 1929 to 1946. He assisted the Government of Sir Bertram Stevens to reconstitute the Legislative Council and make it elective by Parliament, and for the Legislative Council to only be changed through referendum.

Presented to the Parliament By Mrs. R Peden and Family on 28 April 1952, Acknowledged by the Legislative Council on 1 May 1951.

Sculptor: Lyndon Dadswell
Date: No date
Location, Vestibule, Legislative Council


Sir Daniel Cooper, Bt., K.C.M.G. (1821-1902)

Cooper sat as an elected member of the Legislative Council 1849-1851 and 1855-1856. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1856, and was elected Speaker in 1856 and resigned in 1860.

Sculptor: Joseph Durham
Date: 1865
Location: Speaker’s Square, Legislative Assembly


Sir Saul Samuel, K.C.M.G., C.B. (1820-1900)

Sir Saul Samuel was a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1854 to 1856, 1858 to 1860 and 1862 to 1872. He was appointed to the Legislative Council from 1872 until 1880. He was the first Jewish legislator in New South Wales. In 1880 he was appointed Agent General for NSW in London and it was here that he purchased on behalf of the NSW many of the foundation documents of Australia.   

Gift of Sir Edward Samuels, 1948.

Sculptor: Giovanni Fontana
Date:  No date
Location: Legislative Assembly lobby


Sir John Robertson, K.C.M.G. (1816-1891)

Elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1856, John Robertson was a land reformer and Premier of New South Wales five times. During the next 26 years he also held the positions of Secretary for Lands and Public Works, Colonial Secretary, Minister for Public Instruction and Acting Premier.

Donated to the Parliament by Sydney Living Museums in 1980

Sculptor: Achille Simonetti
Date: 1888
Location: Parkes Room


Neville Wran, AC., C.N.Z.M., QC. (1926-2014)

Appointed to the Legislative Council in 1970 and elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1973, Wran was appointed Premier in 1976. Neville Wran was the longest continuous serving Premier in New South Wales by the time he retired in on 4 July 1986 having served 10 years in that position.

Sculptor: Larissa Smagarinski
Date: No date
Location: Parkes Room