Geoffrey James Slater
License number: 201100409

A portrait of former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce has been unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, in recognition of her work in equality and human rights.

The piece, painted by Queensland artist Michael Zavros, was commissioned by the gallery to recognise the prominent Australian.

When the portrait was unveiled this morning at the gallery, Dame Quentin was in awe.

"What you think about is what expression, characteristics and qualities it will capture," she said.

"The magic of getting that onto paper, onto canvas, I'm absolutely inspired by it.

"I have to say I had a feeling of relief really."

Dame Quentin said it was a thrill to work with Zavros and have her likeness housed in a national institution.

"It's a bit risky being a subject, but it's also an enormous honour to be painted by an artist like Michael Zavros," she said.

"It's a great experience."

She said she was now eager to spend some time getting to know her painted self.

"I'm looking forward very much too to hearing what my grandchildren have to say about it," Dame Quentin said.

Former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce viewing her portrait.