Photo of the Year unveiled; finalists for Nikon-Walkleys and Walkley Documentary Award announced

Warning: This is a graphic image showing the violence of war. It may distress some readers.

The Man on the Operating Table. Andrew Quilty

The Man on the Operating Table. Andrew Quilty

Andrew Quilty’s “The Man on The Operating Table” has been named the 2016 Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year.

The image was shot by Quilty inside the Médecins Sans Frontières Kunduz Trauma Center in Afghanistan, following the Oct. 3, 2015, attack by an American AC-130 gunship on the hospital in which 42 were killed, including MSF staff, patients and patient carers.

The arresting image was a clear standout for the judges.

Photojournalist Andrew Quilty describes the scene that met him in Kunduz:

“The body of the man on the operating table had been the only one among the human remains in the trauma centre that was still somewhat visibly identifiable. And when I first saw him, this man had been lying dead on that operating table for a week as the fighting continued to rage across the city. It would be four more weeks before I’d learn his name.”

All finalists detailed below were announced tonight at the State Library of New South Wales.

See our online showcase of finalists’ photographs.

Winners will be announced Dec. 2, 2016, at the 61st Annual Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.


Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year

Alex Coppel, Herald Sun
Jason Edwards, Herald Sun
Andrew Quilty, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, TIME Lightbox and

News Photography

Annette Dew, News Corp Australia, “Close your eyes, I love you”
Jake Nowakowski, Herald Sun, “Moomba Gang Riot”
Andrew Quilty, Foreign Policy, “The Man on The Operating Table”

Feature/Photographic Essay

Danella Bevis, The West Australian, “The Day After”
Eddie Jim, Good Weekend Magazine, Fairfax Media, “Standing Tall”
David Maurice Smith, Guardian Australia, Sydney Morning Herald, The Globe and Mail and Mother Jones Magazine, “Refugee Crisis in the Balkans”

Sport Photography

Scott Barbour, Getty Images, “Peak of the Action”
Eddie Jim, The Age, Fairfax Media, “Champagne Shower”
Cameron Spencer, Getty Images, “The Defining Moment”

2016 Nikon-Walkley Award Judges:

  • David Callow, photographer
  • Kirk Gilmore, photographer
  • Glenn Lockitch, photographer and teacher, Australian Centre for Photography
  • Sam Mooy, picture editor, Australian Associated Press
  • Alison Stieven-Taylor, journalist and photographer

Comma drop

Winners are also announced for two photography prizes. The winners each receive $5,000 worth of Nikon gear.

Nikon-Walkley Portrait Prize

Winner: Brian Cassey, News Corp Australia, “Beaten Refugee”

Nikon-Walkley Community/Regional Prize

Winner: Marc McCormack, The Cairns Post, “Body of Work”

The finalists’ photographs will be toured around the nation in a series of free public exhibitions and are currently on display at the State Library of New South Wales and the ABC in Brisbane.

The Walkleys thank Nikon for its support of the photography awards and prizes.

Comma drop

Documentary Award shortlist announced

Three outstanding documentaries have been shortlisted for the Walkley Documentary Award. These films capture Australia’s longest-running war, the nation’s domestic violence problem, and tragedy on Mount Everest. They are:

Afghanistan: Inside Australia’s War, Victoria Midwinter Pitt, Chris Hilton and Alan Erson (Essential Media and Entertainment, ABC TV and Screen Australia)
Hitting Home, Sarah Ferguson, Nial Fulton and Ivan O’Mahoney (In Films and ABC TV)
Sherpa, Jennifer Peedom, Bridget Ikin and John Smithson (Felix Media)

All three films will be screened free for the public at the State Library of NSW on Tuesday October 18 and Wednesday October 19. RSVPs are essential.

Comma drop


For media enquiries, including requests to reprint finalists’ photos online or in print, contact Kate Golden at or (02) 9333 0951.

Comma drop

We thank our premier award partners