Arts / New Loane for the Portrait Gallery

Former rugby captain Dr Mark Loane photographed by Canadian-born Joachim Froese.

A PORTRAIT of Australian rugby great Dr Mark Loane is the latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.

The photograph, taken by Canadian-born Joachim Froese, shows Loane in a hospital changeroom, the setting alluding to his achievements in medicine and his sporting accomplishments.

Gallery director Angus Trumble says: ‘Dr Loane is fondly remembered for his achievements on the football field as a former captain of the Wallabies and is greatly admired as an ophthalmologist for his medical work with disadvantaged patients in remote areas.”

Loane made his debut for the Wallabies against Tonga at the age of 18, when he was a second-year medical student at the University of Queensland. He is the youngest forward selected to represent Australia sinceWorld War II. Loane was appointed Wallabies captain in 1979 against the All Blacks and led the team to the first Bledisloe Cup victory in Australia in 45 years.

He retired from rugby in 1982 to pursue studies in ophthalmology. He set up the Cape York Eye Health project in 1999 to provide eye health services to remote indigenous communities of Cape York.

The photograph of Mark Loane is the final in a series of three commissioned portraits of Australian rugby luminaries by Gallery benefactor Patrick Corrigan. The two other works are of Ken Catchpole by Gary Grealy and Mark Ella by Nikki Toole. The portrait will be on public display from  April 10.

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