Fremantle: best of Australian photojournalism on display at WA Maritime Museum

MEAA WA Media Section president Martin Turner viewing Jason Edwards' Ballerina.
Scott Barbour, Family Bond.
Eddie Jim, Champagne Shower.
Andrew Quilty, The Man on the Operating Table.
Jake Nowakowski, Moomba Gang Riot.
MEAA WA Media Section president Martin Turner viewing Jason Edwards' Ballerina. Scott Barbour, Family Bond. Eddie Jim, Champagne Shower. Andrew Quilty, The Man on the Operating Table. Jake Nowakowski, Moomba Gang Riot.

THE best of Australian photojournalism is on display at the WA Maritime Museum.

The Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism recognise work across a range of genres, from news and sport to portraiture and photographic essays.

This exhibition is a chance to reflect on the year in news, through the individual worldviews and skilled lenses of Australia’s best photographers.

The Walkley Awards are the highest honour in Australian journalism, celebrating excellence across all media.

The first Walkleys were bestowed in five categories in 1956.

Since then the awards have grown to more than 30 categories including documentary film and non-fiction books.

Some of these images are the work of a split second, others took months of research and trust-building.

Photographers interact with their subjects with perhaps more intimacy than storytellers in any other medium, and the tales they tell can move you with a single frame.

MEAA WA Media Section president Martin Turner said it was an inspiring collection and a symbol of hope for journalism.

“Many are aware that our industry has been going through a very torrid time in recent years,” he said.

“The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance estimates that some 3000 journalism jobs have been lost just in the last five years or so.

“It has put enormous strain on newsrooms, particularly as photographers have been one of the roles hardest hit in this attrition.

“The task of taking photographs has therefore fallen to far fewer photographers, as well as reporters.”

The exhibition was a testament to the importance of photography to news reporting, Mr Turner said.

“The quality of these images is really startling, particularly in large form in such beautiful reproductions as in this exhibition.

“There is really no substitute for taking the necessary time and applying your skills to capturing a singular moment in the way that these images demonstrate.

“Visitors will no doubt respond with delight and some awe when they visit.

“It’s the same response you feel when you see a great image in the newspaper or on the web.”

The union representative had a message for members of the public.

“If you want to see good photography flourish, make sure you purchase quality journalism from news sites and newspapers,” he said.

“And when you see amazing pictures like this, respond to them and let the media know how much you value the skills of the photojournalists that you’re experiencing.”

The exhibition continues from 9.30am-5pm daily until Sunday, October 1, at the museum, at Victoria Quay, Peter Hughes Drive, Fremantle.

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