Prize-winning pics depict life portraits

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A striking image of two women night-hunting for file snakes in the Northern Territory has been selected as the winner of the 2022 Australian Life photography competition.

Titled Hunting with Fire, the image was taken at the Djulkar waterfall in West Arnhem Land by photographer Matthew Abbott, who won the $10,000 cash prize.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore announced the winner tonight at the launch of the outdoor Australian Life exhibition in Hyde Park.

Katelyn Slyer was announced as the winner of the People’s Choice award, taking home a $5,000 Olympus photography prize pack for her image Wombarra Bowling Club of attendees gathering on the lawn during a music gig on the south coast.

“Selecting the winner of Australian Life was an arduous task for the judges – the calibre of finalist images is just incredible,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“I congratulate Matthew as the Australian Life prize winner, and Katelyn as this year’s People’s Choice winner.

“St James’ walkway looks fantastic, dressed with these beautiful images, and I encourage everyone to come along and see this extraordinary exhibition in person.”

The Lord Mayor also announced the winners of the Little Sydney Lives photography competition.

Lacey Griffiths from Blackwall won the age 3 to 7 years category for her image Sparkly Spikes taken during a bush walk with her younger brother. Waiaria Macedone-Hunt from Erskineville won the age 8 to 12 years category for her image Reflections in an Erko Window of a Barbie window display at Café Piccolo. Both winners took home a $500 photography pack.

Matthew Sidarous from Sun Valley was the age 3 to 7 group runner up, and Alison Faith Tjahjadi from Werrington was the age 8 to 12 group runner up, each taking home a $250 prize pack.

“These images are such charming interpretations of life in Sydney by our city’s youngest photographers,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The exhibition in Sandringham Gardens at Hyde Park is delightful and sure to bring joy to all those who visit.”

Winners of the photography competitions were selected by a panel of judges comprising artist Atong Atem, photographer Sam Ferris and curator Sebastian Goldspink.

The Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives exhibitions will run until 9 October.

For more details on all the Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives winners and finalists, visit

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