We are thrilled to congratulate Yvonne Audette AM, awarded Member of the Order of Australia in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for significant service to the visual arts as an abstract painter.

For the past 30 years, Yvonne has led life drawing classes on Saturday mornings through the Hawthorn Artist Society. Her much-loved classes, now held weekly at Hawthorn Arts Centre, are based in the tradition of abstract expressionism and involve 3 hours of high-action, short poses that have tested many outstanding life models and inspired hundreds of students.

Yvonne is widely recognised as one of Australia’s greatest abstract painters. Originally from Sydney, Yvonne studied at the Art Students League in New York in the 1950s, during the height of abstract expressionism. The artist worked and lived among some of the seminal artists of the 20th century, including Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Lee Krasner. 

Yvonne travelled extensively through Europe from 1955, where she established her reputation as a successful abstract painter, before returning to continue her long career in Australia. Her paintings are held in many significant Australian collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australian National Portrait Gallery, Tarrawarra, as well as the University of Melbourne and Monash University, among others. Yvonne celebrated her 90th birthday this year and continues to offer her classes in the rehearsal space of Hawthorn Arts Centre every weekend.

The Queen's Birthday Honours List is released annually on the Monday of the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June. An Appointment to the Order of Australia is the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service. The 2020 Honours recognised 933 exceptional Australians, including 68 from the Arts and Culture sector.


The Hawthorn Artists Society is a not-for-profit organisation fostering and encouraging all kinds of visual art, offering a diverse range of art classes as well as life drawing sessions and workshops. For over 35 years, hundreds or artists, including some of the most distinguished in Australia, have worked, studied, lectured and participated in activities at the Society.  

For more information, see Hawthorn Artist Society.