The Walkley Awards are the highest honour in Australian journalism, celebrating excellence across all media. Since 1956, when the first Walkleys were bestowed in five categories, the awards have grown to more than 30 categories including documentary film and non-fiction books.
The Nikon–Walkley Awards for Excellence in Photojournalism recognise the work of photographers across a range of genres, from news and sport to portraiture and photographic essays. This exhibition lets us reflect on the news through the individual world views and skilled lenses of some of Australia’s best photographers.
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Beaten Refugee, Brian Cassey, News Corp Australia
Iraqi asylum seeker Abdullatif Almoftaji stares through the wire of a police cell in the town of Lorengau, Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Abdullatif was 17-years- old when he was first detained trying to enter Australia three years ago.
Photographer Brian Cassey says:
“I first met Abdullatif at a Lorengau guest house. A couple of days later we heard that he had gone on a drunken bender with another asylum seeker and it was alleged that he tried to steal food and other items from the guest house.”
Abdullatif was arrested, charged with several offences and thrown into the police cell, wounded, with just shorts and a torn shirt. Cassey made the image through a hole in the cell wire. Later a police officer caught him trying to pass Abdullatif food and a new shirt through the same hole and threatened to lock him up too.