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Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year unveiled; finalists announced for 2016 Nikon-Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism and  Walkley Documentary Award

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 October 3 attack by an American AC-130 gunship on the hospital in which 42 were killed, including MSF staff, patients and patient carers.

The image was a clear standout for the judges, an arresting image.

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.

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


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


  • 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”


  • 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”


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

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


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


  • 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 NSW and the ABC in Brisbane.

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


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, Chris Hilton, Alan Erson, Victoria Midwinter Pitt (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.

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