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Lukas Coch wins Walkley Photo of the Year

AAP photographer, Lukas Coch, has won the prestigious 2018 Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year Prize for his image, Linda Burney Airborne.

Photo: Lukas Coch.

The photo shows Labour MP Linda Burney hugging Liberal MP Warren Entsch, after the same-sex marriage legislation was passed on December 7, 2017.

‘For Burney it was a bittersweet moment—her son, who was gay, had died just six weeks before,’ Lukas said. ‘For all of those who campaigned so hard for so many years, it was both a happy day and a day far too long in coming.

‘As a father myself I was just thinking, “how can she even be here at work such a short time after”, but it was really important to her. It was a bipartisan and emotional moment that was very nice to see.

‘It summed up that day.’

Lukas said that despite knowing it was a good shot, he was surprised it won.

Additionally, Nikon-Walkley Portrait, Community/Regional, and Contemporary Australian Daily Life prizes were awarded.

Illawarra Mercury photographer, Sylvia Liber, won the Portrait Prize for Trapped in the Wrong Body; she also won the Community/Regional prize for Sea of Emotions; while ABC Online photographer Matthew Abbott won the Contemporary Australalian Daily life Prize for Not a Farmer’s Wife.

Trapped in the Wrong Body: ‘Charlotte and Aley are two people on very different journeys of self-discovery,’ Sylvia said in her entry statement. ‘After years of torment, they come together in a love that transcends gender. Charlotte describes herself as trans, agender with a hint of girl, while Aley identifies as a transgender female who was assigned male at birth.’. Photo: Sylvia Liber.

The Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism also released the finalists for the remaining categories, with winners revealed on November 22 at the 63rd annual awards.

Matthew Abbott, The New York Times, Oculi, ABC and The Australian
Dean Lewins,, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Australian and Time
Andrew Quilty, The New York Times, Human Rights Watch, National Geographic Magazine, Politic and The Guardian

Lukas Coch, AAP, Linda Burney Airborne
Jenny Evans, Getty Images and The Daily Telegraph, Life Saver
Andrew Quilty, The New York Times, ‘It’s a Massacre’: Blast in Kabul Deepens Toll of a Long War

Scott Barbour, Getty Images, Sport 2017—2018
Brett Costello, The Daily Telegraph, No Limits
Craig Golding, AAP, Body of Work

Jenny Evans, Getty Images, Louth Races
David Gray, Reuters Wider Image, Drought From Above
Chris Hopkins, SBS Online Documentaries, My Name is Yunus
Winners are also announced for four photography prizes.

Sea of Emotions: ‘Life as a photographer is never the same from one day to the next,’ said Sylvia in her entry statement. ‘My work days generally start with finding powerful images in whatever job I’m assigned, from a simple weather photo to the extremes of the human condition.’ Photo: Sylvia Liber.


Not a Farmer’s Wife: ‘What we found (in Kimberley cattle country) was modern young women taking on leadership roles in a changing industry where skills such as social media, logistics and planning are just as critical as manual labour,’ wrote Matthew in his entry statement. ‘Over many days the women let us into their personal lives, and we were able to capture raw and intimate moments that get to the heart of what it means to be a jillaroo in 2018’. Photo: Matthew Abbott.

Check out all the finalist photos here.

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