Australian artist Tom Roberts was one of the first Australians, lobbying among Australian Prime Ministers for the establishment of national art gallery. In 1910, Prime Minister Andrew Fisher agreed to this proposal, and in 1911 the Australian Parliament established the Historic memorial Council, a bipartisan Committee composed of six political leaders. The Committee has decided that the government must collect portraits of Australian Governor-General, parliamentary leaders and the main “fathers” of the Australian Federation, written by Australian artists. This led to the establishment of the Advisory Council of the Commonwealth on matters of art”. Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, which until 1973 was responsible for the acquisition of various works of art (although this was also engaged in the Parliamentary library Committee, which was acquired for the national collection of different landscapes). Before the opening of the building of the National gallery’s collection was exhibited in the Australian Parliament, diplomatic missions abroad and galleries of other States.
Since 1912 the building of the National gallery was one of the priorities of the Advisory Board of the Commonwealth on matters of art. But because of the great depression and world wars, the solution to this problem was postponed because, according to the government, much more important was the creation of other infrastructure in the nation’s capital, Canberra, including the construction of the Parliament building, the artificial lake Burley Griffin and the National library of Australia. Only in 1965 the Advisory Council was able to convince the Prime Minister Robert Menzies in the need to start construction of the National gallery of Australia. 1 November 1967 Prime Minister Haroldo Hold was officially announced that the government will organize the construction.