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Cardinal Pell photo wins Nikon-Walkey POTY

Fairfax photographer, Jason South, has been announced the winner of the 2019 Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year Prize for Running the Gauntlet. The image shows Cardinal George Pell, the world’s most senior Catholic cleric to be charged with child sex abuse, arriving at Melbourne County Court.

Cardinal George Pell runs the gauntlet of media and angry Christians at the Melbourne County Court before hearing his sentence. Photo: Jason South.

The Nikon-Walkley judges said Jason’s image managed to tell the biggest news story in Australia in a single frame. ‘It’s no mean feat to get an image that good out of a court job,’ they said.

This isn’t Jason’s first Walkley win, having bagged the Press Photographer of the Year award in 1999, 2003, and 2010. He’s worked for The Age across Melbourne and Victoria, as well as covering conflict and stories in East Timor, Iraq, Indonesia and West Papua.

The prestigious Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism is Australia’s leading news media contest, with Nikon sponsoring the photography component for more than two decades.

This year the judges are Griffith University senior lecturer in photography, Heather Faulkner; photographer, David Gray; photographer, Steven Siewert; RMIT School of Art associate professor, Shane Hulbert; and The Age photo editor, Danie Sprague.

Three other Nikon-Walkley Photo Prizes have also been announced.

Sunday Age photographer, Justin McManus, won the Portrait Prize for Landon and Joey.

Landon Punch is a young Yindjibarndi man who lives in the town of Roebourne in remote Western Australia. Landon, like many others in the community has a fearful and strained relationships with police. Landon is pictured with a joey that he is hand rearing until it is big enough to be released back into the bush, after he killed the baby kangaroo’s mother for food. Photo: Justin McManus.

The judges praised the ‘softness and fragility of Justin McManus’ portrait of Yindjibarndi man Landon Punch with a joey. The portrait is part of a series, in which McManus has photographed Aboriginal families and community members who have lost loved ones while in police custody’.

Newcastle Herald photographer, Max Mason-Hubers, won the Community/Regional Prize for A year of ups and downs in Newcastle. Here’s one photo, Neema, New Citizen.

Neema M’maalo’s mother, Ababele, was pregnant with Neema when she fled the Congo civil war in the late ’00s to a refugee camp in Tanzania, where Neema was born. They were eventually settled in Australia when Neema was 12. Now 20, Neema is about to start a degree in business and commerce at the University of Newcastle. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers.

The judges said that the portfolio demonstrates ‘the intimacy and trust a regional photographer can build with his community, Max Mason-Hubers’ body of work shows a range of subjects portrayed in different ways. From a news action shot to a stunning portrait, these five images represent highlights from Mason-Hubers’ past twelve months in Newcastle’.

New York Times photographer, Matthew Abbott, won the Contemporary Australian Daily Life Prize for Chinese Tourism Boom. Guess what it’s about.

Spectators snap photos of ram Bruce, “the boss”, walking down the runway before a shearing demonstration. Photo: Matthew Abbott.

Here’s the Walkley’s comments.

‘In 2018–19 Australia hosted 1.3 million Chinese tourists — more than the population of Australia’s fifth biggest city, Adelaide. Pumping $11.5billion into the economy during the same period, Chinese tourists account for more than a quarter of spending by international visitors. They are now the top source of tourists, outnumbering our New Zealand neighbours.

Matthew Abbott set out to visualise this story, deciding to embed himself in the most typical and ordinary Chinese tour he could find: a bus trip from Canberra to Sydney to the Gold Coast. The result is a strong set of human interest images, which the judges agreed were composed and lit beautifully. Capturing spontaneous moments over his four-day journey, Abbott’s light-hearted, fly-on-the-wall documentary journalism helps us see Australia through Chinese eyes.’

The Walkley Foundation also announced finalists for the remaining four categories, including the top prize – the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year. Winners will be announced November 28 at the Walkey Awards.

The finalists are as follows:

Press photographer of the year
– Scott Barbour, Getty Images and AAP
– Chris McGrath, Getty Images
– Jeremy Piper, National Geographic, Oculi and AAP

News photography
– Chris McGrath, Getty Images, The Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
– Matt Roberts, ABC, The Second Coming of Senator Lambie
– Jason South, The Age, Pell

Sport photography
– Craig Golding, AAP, Invictus Games 2018
– Quinn Rooney, Getty Images, The Art of Sports Photography
– Cameron Spencer, Getty Images, H20

Feature/Photographic Essay
– Chris McGrath, Getty Images, The End of the Caliphate
– Ryan Pierse, Getty Images, The Unlosable Election
– Jason South, The Age, Christchurch Massacre

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