Meet the Stories Committee

By June 24, 2020 No Comments

With a background in documentary photography and visual storytelling, it was only a matter of time until the team behind Australian Photography Awards created an initiative to reward excellence in the field of photographic narrative. In late 2019, we decided to finally bring this idea to fruition.

There is a lot more to consider when working with series-based bodies of work rather than single image awards. There is more backend development to handle the large entries, more communication required to explain to photographers exactly what we are looking for and more hours needed to review large complex bodies of work.

Like every award that we run, we knew that we would need to bring on an external committee to join the APA team. Stories would need specific insights and understanding of the subtle complexities which come with these types of visual narratives, so we reached out to two incredible storytellers that we knew would be the perfect fit to evaluate submissions. We would like to introduce you to them now.


Alison Stieven-Taylor

Alison is a photographer, writer and academic. She is a commentator and journalist. She is also a lecturer and PhD candidate. Alison is a lot of things, but importantly for us, she is an expert in the field of visual storytelling.

With a varied background in print media, Alison has written for many newspapers and magazines including The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, Pro Photo Magazine, L’Oeil de la Photographie and most recently, her own highly regarded blog Photojournalism Now. Photojournalism Now is designed to showcase a selection of work from around the world, exhibitions, book reviews, interviews and photo essays by well known and emerging photojournalists and visual storytellers.

At Monash University, Alison is doing her PhD on visual journalism as social change. She is also a lecturer in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash Faculty of Arts. In these roles Alison is fully utilising her combination of skillsets considering her experience of over 20 years in Journalism.

This kind of experience provides Alison with the kind of insight into the nuances and subtleties of visual storytelling that you can only gain by being dedicated to the field for your entire career.

Matthew Abbott

Matthew is a documentary photographer widely recognised for his work covering social and cultural issues both here in Australia and around the world, most recently covering the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires which earned him 2nd prize in the Spot News category of the 2020 World Press Photo contest.

Working for editorial clients such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Der Spiegel and La Repubblica, Matthew knows well the in’s and out’s of what makes for successful storytelling. His personal project, The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards, saw his first solo exhibition at APA’s very own Fox Gallery and was followed up by an exhibition at ‘La Nuit des images’ at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland organised by the Australian Centre of Photography and a selection of the work was then exhibited at the Red Hook Gallery, New York.

Matthew is also a member of Oculi, one of Australia’s most highly regarded photographic collectives. Working alongside many other great artists who all create within the field of visual narrative, Matthew’s involvement in Oculi grants him unique access to the best of contemporary image making and storytelling from the Australia’s top contemporary photographers.

It’s through this lens of high achievements that both Matthew and Alison will be judging Stories – bringing with them decades of experience and the highest form of understanding of what makes a great photographic narrative.

Matthew and Alison, along with all of us at Australian Photography Awards, can’t wait to see your Stories.

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