Swinburne unveils former VC's portrait
Date posted: Friday 21 Oct 2011
A portrait of former Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young will be formally unveiled at Swinburne University of Technology today.
The portrait was commissioned when Professor Young left Swinburne in March this year to take up his new position as Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University in Canberra.
Mr Bill Scales AO, Chancellor of Swinburne, said that during Professor Young's seven years as Swinburne's Vice-Chancellor the university had become an acknowledged leader in quality education and one of the fastest advancing research universities in Australia.
"Under Professor Young's leadership, Swinburne made enormous advances, particularly in research," Mr Scales said. "However, he also continued to push the vocational focus of the university, opening up opportunities for a broad cross-section of students to achieve their educational goals.
"Today we unveil his portrait as an acknowledgment of the great contribution he has made to the university."
Painted by contemporary Australian artist Josonia Palaitis, the oil portrait measures 130cm x 90cm.
"It was a pleasure to paint Professor Young's portrait," Ms Palaitis said. "Within minutes of our meeting we had a good rapport, an important first step for painting a portrait.
"Though our time together was limited, Professor Young expressed much interest in the portrait. He willingly shed light on his background - professional life, interests and family.
"A challenge for me while painting the portrait was balancing out the pattern of strong stripes of the academic gown. I had to use various artistic tricks to make sure the focus of the portrait remained on the subject's face. One way was to include nearby an evanescent image of the Swinburne logo. This was inspired by a logo I had seen etched in glass at the university."
Josonia Palaitis has been painting professionally since graduating from National Art School, Sydney in 1972. She is well known for her portraits of Justice Michael Kirby and former Prime Minister John Howard.
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