Haunting image wins Walkley

Haunting image wins WalkleyAndrew Quilty's photograph 'The Man on the Operating Table' was named the 2016 Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year.

A haunting photograph of a body abandoned on the operating table of a bombed hospital has been named the 2016 Nikon-Walkley Photograph of the Year.

Freelancer Andrew Quilty took the shot in Kunduz, Afghanistan in the aftermath of a 2015 attack by an American AC-130 gunship.

Hospital staff, patients and carers were among 42 killed.

Mr Quilty says he photographed the only body “that was still somewhat visibly identifiable”.

“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,” he said.

Mr Quilty has been published in The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

He has been based in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul since 2013, covering the emergence of the Islamic State in the Middle East.

The Walkley Foundation also announced the winners of two other photography prizes:

  • Portrait Prize: Brian Cassey, of News Corp Australia, for his photo “Beaten Refugee”
  • Community/Regional Prize: Marc McCormack, The Cairns Post, for “Body of Work

The full lists of finalists is below.

The 61st Annual Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism will be held on December 2.


Print/Text News Report

Grant McArthur, Herald Sun, “Bacchus Marsh Baby Deaths”

Ben Schneiders, Royce Miller and Nick Toscano, The Age, “Sold Out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal”

Nick Tabakoff, The Daily Telegraph, “The Parramatta Eels NRL Scandal”

Social Equity Journalism

Linton Besser, Ali Russell and Alex McDonald, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Ripped Off”

Sharon Davis and Helen Grasswill, Australian Story, ABC TV, “Into the Fog of War”

Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Nick Toscano, The AgeThe Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, Fairfax Media, “Sold Out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal”

Multimedia Storytelling

Paul Farrell, Nick Evershed, Helen Davidson, Ri Liu, Josh Wall and Guardian Team Australia, Guardian Australia, “The Nauru Files”

Gina McKeon, Boris Etingof, Jake Duczynski and John-Paul Marin, SBS Australia, “My Grandmother’s Lingo”

Shirtfronted multimedia storytelling team, Fairfax Media, “Shirtfronted: The story of the Abbott government”

Headline Journalism

Mathew Quagliotto, The Daily Telegraph, “Thirst degree Murder”, “Law and Snorter”, “Tyred & Demotional”

Rob Stott, BuzzFeed Australia, “Old Abbotts Die Hard”, “Make Australia Hate Again”, “It Gets Bitter”

Chris Tinkler, Herald Sun, “Chopped Stuey”, “Last of the Mohicans”, “Deadly, with a chance of meatballs”

Coverage of Indigenous Affairs

Bronwyn Adcock, Background Briefing, ABC Radio National and The Saturday Paper, “Aboriginal Fishing: When culture becomes criminal”, “Indigenous fishing rights caught in the net”

Dan Box, Eric George and Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian, “Bowraville”

Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Clay Hitchens and Mario Christodoulou, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Callous Disregard”

Coverage of Community or Regional Affairs

Jane Bardon, ABC 1 NT and ABC News 24, “Exposing injustice in remote corners”

Melissa Cunningham, The Courier, Ballarat, “Royal commission into child sexual abuse: a path of hope to Rome

Newcastle Herald Staff Reporters, Newcastle Herald, “The foam and the fury”

Sports Journalism

Sarah Dingle, Background Briefing, ABC Radio National, “Inside the Matildas’ Strike”

Quentin McDermott, Peter Cronau and Mario Christodoulou, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Whatever it Takes”

Adrian Proszenko, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Parramatta Eels salary cap scandal”

Radio News and Current Affairs Journalism

Dan Box and Eric George, The Australian, “Bowraville Podcast”

Sophie McNeill and Fouad Abu Gosh, PM and AM, ABC Radio, “Voices from Besieged Syria”

Ben MillingtonAM, ABC Radio, “Abuse inside Cleveland”

Radio Documentary, Feature, Podcast or Special

Jane Bardon, ABC News Darwin, “Glencore’s acid test”

Dan Box and Eric George, The Australian, “Bowraville Podcast”

Sarah Dingle, Background Briefing, ABC Radio, “Is the Joint Strike Fighter the right plane for Australia?”

Feature Writing Long (over 4,000 words)

Jess Hill, The Monthly, “Suffer the Children: Trouble in the Family Court”

Mark Morri, The Daily Telegraph, “Serial Killer with a Badge”

Laura Tingle, Quarterly Essay 60, “Political Amnesia: How we Forgot How to Govern”

Scoop of the Year

Laura Banks and Anthony de Ceglie, The Daily Telegraph, “The hideous betrayal of Girl X”

Andrew Probyn, The West Australian, “Mediscare!”

Nick Tabakoff, The Daily Telegraph, “The Parramatta Eels NRL scandal”


Mark Knight, Herald Sun, “Subway”, “Census night in the Senate”, “Reg Grundy RIP”

Glen Le Lievre, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Paper planes”, “Surprise witness”, “Cage”

Peter Nicholson, The Australian, “Boris Brexit”


Sturt Krygsman, The Australian, “Not so Trojan Horse”, “Dangerous Waters”, “Michael Brand: The Gallery Director with the Hard Edges”

David Rowe, The Australian Financial Review and The Sun Herald, “New clothes”, “Malcolm X and Ali”, “White ribbon”

Sam Wallman, Kylie Boltin and Genevieve Dwyer, SBS, “Brick by Brick: A Comic from Eastern Europe’s Border Crisis”, “Winding Up The Window: The End of the Australian Auto Industry”

Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue

David Marr and Melissa Davey, Guardian Australia, “Cardinal Pell before the royal commission”

Grant McArthur, Andrew Jefferson, Ruth Lamperd, Evonne Madden and Matthew Johnston, Herald Sun, “Bacchus Marsh Baby Deaths”

Sky News Team, Sky News, “2016 Election Coverage”

Feature Writing Short (under 4,000 words)

Ben Doherty, Guardian Australia, “How the Australian immigration detention regime crushed Fazel Chegeni”

Julia Medew, The Age, “The big sleep”

Gabbie Stroud, Griffith Review, “Teaching Australia”

Business Journalism

Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodolou, Fairfax Newspapers and Four Corners, ABC TV, “CommInsure scandal”

Panama Papers Team, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Australian Financial Review and Four Corners, ABC TV, “Panama Papers”

Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Nick Toscano, The Age, “Sold out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal”

International Journalism=

Paul Farrell, Helen Davidson, Ben Doherty, Nick Evershed,  Will Woodward and Guardian Australia Team, Guardian Australia, “The Nauru files exposed”

Sophie McNeill, Aaron Hollett, Mark Corcoran and Matt Walker, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “Yemen: The War on Children”

Sally Sara, Matt Davis and Gregory Nelson, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “#BlackLivesMatter”


Aaron Hollett, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “Yemen:The War on Children”

Greg Nelson and Matt Davis, Foreign Correspondent, ABC TV, “#BlackLivesMatter”, “Get Up, Stand Up” and “Freedom Riders”

Andy Taylor, 60 Minutes, Nine Network, “Predator”

Television/Audio-Visual News Reporting

Waleed Aly and Tom Whitty, The Project, Network Ten, “Milked Dry”

Chris O’Keefe, Nine News, Nine Network, “Bankstown Hospital”

Robert Ovadia and Chris Maher, Seven News, Seven Network, “Parramatta Police Shooting”

Television/Audio-Visual Daily Current Affairs

Anne Connolly and Suzanne Smith, 7.30, ABC TV, “Anglican Church Paedophile Ring”

Louise Milligan and Andy Burns, 7.30, ABC TV, “George Pell Investigation”

Matthew Peacock, 7.30, ABC TV, “St Vincent’s Chemotherapy”

Television/Audio-Visual Weekly Current Affairs

Linton Besser, Louie Eroglu, Jaya Balendra and Elise Worthington, Four Corners, ABC TV, “State of Fear”

Sharon Davis and Helen Grasswill, Australian Story, ABC TV, “Into the Fog of War Parts 1 & 2”

Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Mary Fallon and Elise Worthington, Four Corners, ABC TV,  “Australia’s Shame”

Investigative Journalism

Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Media and Four Corners, ABC TV, “CommInsure scandal”

Dan Box and Eric George, The Australian, “Bowraville Investigation”

Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Mary Fallon and Elise Worthington, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Australia’s shame”


Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Four Corners, ABC TV, “Jackson and Lawler”

Leigh Sales, 7.30, ABC TV, “Bill Shorten interview”

Michael Usher, Laura Sparkes and Grace Tobin, 60 Minutes, Nine Network, “Where is William?”

Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique

Waleed Aly and Tom Whitty, The Project, Network Ten, “ISIL is Weak”, “Click Something Else”, “Milked Dry”

Greg Jericho, Guardian Australia, “Scott Morrison’s car-crash logic and the real story behind the ‘taxed-nots’”, “I spend my time writing about the economy, but the climate data hits me right in the gut”, “I no longer see my daughter’s Down syndrome, I only see a beautiful girl called Emma”

Jacqueline Maley, The Sydney Morning Herald, “Trump, tax and terror”

Walkley Book Award Longlist

Mark Baker, Phillip Schuler: The remarkable life of one of Australia’s greatest war correspondents, Allen & Unwin

Yoni Bashan, The Squad, HarperCollins Publishers

Sarah Ferguson and Patricia Drum, The Killing Season, Melbourne University Press

Madeline Gleeson, Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru, NewSouth Publishing

Stan Grant, Talking to My Country, HarperCollins Publishers

Thornton McCamish, Our Man Elsewhere: In Search of Alan Moorehead, Black Inc.

Sebastian Smee, The Art of Rivalry, Text Publishing

Luke Williams, The Ice Age, Scribe

Ashleigh Wilson, Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and the Other Thing, Text Publishing

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 SBS.com.au

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”

For more news from NewsMediaWorks, click here.

Leave a comment