Former speaker Bronwyn Bishop has been honoured with an official portrait at Parliament House.
The stunning life-like portrait of the 29th Speaker of the House of Representatives was revealed for the first time at Parliament House on Monday.
Speaking to the crowd at the unveiling, the 76-year-old said she hoped the painting would inspire more young women to break through into politics. The painting of a smiling Bishop wearing a smart blue blazer in parliament was created by artist Jiawei Shen and was commissioned for the Parliament’s Historic Memorials Collection.
Shen has painted a number of other official portraits for politicians including former prime minister John Howard and Peter Cosgrove. It will go on display in the first floor Members Hall.
A portrait of the 29th Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Bronwyn Bishop, by artist Jiawei Shen, was unveiled today.
The portrait was commissioned for the Parliament’s Historic Memorials Collection and will go on display in the first floor Members Hall.#auspol pic.twitter.com/2oeYTRjkQP
— Australian Parliament House (@Aust_Parliament) November 26, 2018
The mother of Studio 10 star Angela Bishop was honoured by her colleague and Sky News host Paul Murray, who described bishop as a “trailblazer” and “role model for younger women”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
He told the crowd that as a father of two girls, he was moved and inspired that his daughters would see the portrait of Bishop if they ever got the chance to walk the halls. Meanwhile, Marcus Blackmore – Executive Director of vitamin company Blackmores – used his time to discuss how Bishop was ousted by her own party in 2015. He explained how Bishop had “copped more than her fair share of criticism” and described her as a “respected and hard-working” local member.
The former politician’s political career came to an end after she used taxpayer money to take a $5,227.27 charter helicopter flight from Melbourne to a golf course near Geelong for a Liberal Party fundraiser. The flight eventually led to prime minister at the time Tony Abbott asking her to resign from her position, putting a strain on their once chummy relationship.
She had also used her resignation speech at the time to allude to tension behind the scenes.
“I was asked to resign for Tony Abbott, someone whom I had assisted and worked with and respected for many years,” she said. “There is much more than meets the eye in that saga but not for now.”
A number of other high-profile politicians attended the portrait unveiling including prime minister Scott Morrison, current speaker Tony Smith, as well as Liberal colleagues Dean Smith and Jane Prentice.
Bishop remains Australia’s longest serving female politician in history. She was a member of the Liberal Party and was a minister in the Howard Government between 1996 and 2001. She was also Speaker of the House of Representatives between 2013 and 2015.