National Portrait Gallery Australia
Portrait of Mark Loane
The portrait of Australian rugby great Dr Mark Loane was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in 2016 and entered its permanent collection in 2017.
Loane played his first Test for Australia at the age of 18 in 1973, making him the youngest forward chosen to represent Australia since World War II. In 1979 he became appointed Wallabies captain against the All Blacks to lead the team to the first Bledisloe Cup victory in Australia in 45 years. After 89 games for Queensland and 28 Tests for the Wallabies he retired from rugby at the peak of his career in 1982.
After his active time as a rugby player he continued to pursue his studies in ophthalmology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Further studies and fellowships followed at Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia and the University of California, San Diego. Returning to Queensland and to private practice, he set up the Cape York Eye Health Project in 1999 to provide eye health services to the remote Indigenous communities of Cape York, chairing the Indigenous and Remote Rural Eye Health Service for five years. Loane was named a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011, particularly for his work with the Indigenous communities of North Queensland.
Depicting Loane in front of a row of lockers in a hospital changeroom after surgery, the setting links his achievements in medicine with his sporting accomplishments on the rugby field.
This photograph was the final in a series of three commissioned portraits of Australian rugby luminaries made possible with funds provided by gallery benefactor Patrick Corrigan AM.