Portia Geach Memorial Award

Medium / category: Portraiture

Eligibility: Women Australian artists

Associated institution: S.H. Ervin Gallery

The Portia Geach Memorial Award is an Australian art prize for portraiture by women artists. The Portia Geach Memorial Award was established by the bequest of (Florence) Kate Geach to honour her sister, artist Portia Geach who died in October 1959. Born in Melbourne in 1873, Portia Geach studied design and painting at the National Gallery School, Melbourne from 1893 to 1896 winning a prize for her nude painting. In 1896 she won the first travelling scholarship awarded to an Australian to study at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, where she remained for four years.

The non-acquisitive award of $30,000 is awarded by the Trustee for the entry which is of the highest artistic merit, ‘…for the best portrait painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, or the Sciences by any female resident who was born in Australia or was British born or has become a naturalised Australian and whose place of domicile is Australia.’

Notable Previous Winners


  • Lynne Savery, Kindred Spirits

Winner: Portia Geach Memorial Award

The Different Award Categories

In addition to the Portia Geach Memorial Award, finalists are eligible for the $1,000 People’s Choice Award given in memory of Harry & Winifred Macorison by Dr Heather Macorison & Hilary Macorison.

Information up to date from June 14 2023