Kate Geraghty

Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year

Fairfax Media

A portfolio of insightful images from Afghanistan, Indonesia and indigenous Australia has won Kate Geraghty her third Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the year award.

Her image of Khalid Mishal, Palestine’s Hamas leader, was a world exclusive. “It took more than two years of negotiating with Hamas to photograph behind the scenes of Khalid Mishal’s life, especially with family as he has never been photographed with them before,” says Geraghty.

In another world exclusive, she portrays Idris, the only Bali bomber who walks free, and who feels no remorse for his involvement in the terrorist attacks or the deaths of 202 people.

Half a world away, Geraghty photographed Aboriginal debutantes in Airds during the six weeks of dance practices before the ball, and portrayed the Aboriginal wrestling style Coreeda, possibly the world’s oldest sport.

Photography has taken Geraghty around the world; she has covered the Bali bombings, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the South Asia tsunami, the 2006 war in Lebanon and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most recently she has returned from covering the arrival of asylum seekers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea where she shot the image “Asylum”, a finalist for the News Photography category this year.

This is Geraghty’s fifth Walkley. She was Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year in 2006 and 2007, and won the photographic essay category in 2006 and 2007. She has been a photographer at The Sydney Morning Herald since 2001, after starting out at The Border Mail in Albury-Wodonga in 1997.

Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year is sponsored by 


Kate Geraghty is an all-round storyteller. She’s the ultimate professional. There’s an integrity to her work and she shows great skill at editing her work into a concise portfolio where no shot is wasted. The photographs are obviously incredibly well researched and she has a gift for being able to communicate with people. She has the maturity to stand back and edit her work, choosing only the images that stand strongly on their own. This is a seamless portfolio, and she makes it look so effortless it’s easy to underestimate her work.

Judges’ comments