Robert Hannaford was born in South Australia, he studied art under Geoffrey Mainwarring at the Ballarat Technical Art School a division of the Ballarat School of Mines in the 1960s. Studying under Mainwarring was suggested by Sir Ivor Hele. Hannaford travelled to Ballarat to study the classic principles of perspective, anatomy, drawing and tonal painting.
In 1990 Robert Hannaford won the $100,000 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize for the work Bill. 
--Clare K.Gervasoni 09:21, 17 April 2015 (AEST)