Congratulations to Jaq Grantford on Becoming the 2019 Kennedy Prize Winner with her portrait of “Tootsie, Just an Old Drag Queen”

Jaq Grantford - Tootsie, Just an Old Drag Queen
Photo: Brenton Edwards

In 1953, at the age of 20, Tootsie was jailed in Pentridge for two years simply for being gay. And then at the age of 62, he embarked on a grand new adventure and started to dress in drag and perform throughout the pub circuits of Melbourne, becoming famous in the Australian drag scene. Two weeks after seeing his portrait he died, aged 84.

Congratulations to joint winners, Ellie Kammer & Jess Mara, of the

2019 People’s Choice Award


Kennedy Prize 2019 peoples choice twinning Ellie Kammer
Twinning – Ellie Kammer

The most beautiful thing in my world is my incomparable connection with my twin sister. We only exist fully together. While I suffer with an incurable and chronic disease, she breathes life into me. We carry each other always.

Oil on Belgian linen
Embrace (Self Portrait with Son) – Jess Mara

Embrace is a self portrait with my 2 year old son Sam. I wanted to create a painting that captures a bond between mother and child. Our bodies intertwined, limbs protruding, in a loving protective and all consuming embrace.

Oil on linen

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2019 Kennedy Prize Finalists



    • Nunzio Miano
    • Elizabeth Barden
    • Katherine Nolan
    • Vanessa Newell
    • Vicki Sullivan
    • Jimmi Buscombe
    • Ben Ryan
    • Jamie Preisz
    • Elinor Alexander
    • Lynn Miller
    • Mark Davis
    • Jaq Grantford
    • Rochelle Maree
    • Carolyn O’Neill
    • Anh Nguyen
    • Luke Cornish
    • Sarah Hickey
    • Sean Hutton
    • Marieka Hambledon
    • Philip David
    • Harry Silby
    • Bernadette Freeman
    • Lise Temple
    • Patrick Cassar
    • Troy Argyros
    • Linda Lee
    • Victoria Hempstead
    • Megan Roodenrys
    • Stephen Pleban
    • Amaya Iturri
    • J Valenzuela Didi
    • Jess Mara
    • Annie O’Rourke
    • Colleen Stapleton
    • Lucy Bonnin
    • Joshua Baldwin
    • Anne-Marie Zanetti
    • Lucy Parkinson
    • Leoni Duff
    • Amelia Carroll
    • Dennis McCart
    • Alexandra Plim
    • Josh Miels
    • Donovan Christie
    • Maureen Kay Kane
    • Liz Sullivan
    • Peter Tankey
    • Michael Simms
    • Ellie Kammer