Bringing Australian Life into the frame

City-of-Sydney-Australian-Life-2022-Matthew-Abbott-Hunting-with-FireThe City of Sydney is calling on photographers from across the country to give us their best take on life in Australia for one of the nation’s top photography competitions. 

We’re looking for images that illustrate diversity in Australia, from a country landscape or city skyline to an inspirational portrait or a candid moment captured on camera. 

The City of Sydney’s Australian Life photography competition will award a $10,000 cash prize to the winner, with 28 finalists featuring in an outdoor public exhibition at Circular Quay. 

“From a humble beginning in 2002, Australian Life has grown into one of the country’s most prestigious photography competitions,” said Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.

“Every year hundreds of photographers, both amateur and professional, send in their depictions of life around Australia. Entries range from rugged images of the Australian outback to vivid snapshots perfectly capturing a moment in daily life.”

“We’re looking for photos taken in the past 12 months that demonstrate the variety, colour, and expanse of life in Australia,” said the Lord Mayor.

A panel of judges will select 28 finalist images to feature in the outdoor exhibition, which runs from 14 September to 8 October. The Australian Life winner will be announced at the opening of the exhibition.

“We’re moving this year from our usual site at Hyde Park, giving photographers the chance to showcase their work at the iconic Circular Quay,” said the Lord Mayor. 

The start of the exhibition also kicks off the People’s Choice award, where visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite image. 

An OM System professional pack, valued at over $2,000, will be presented to the people’s choice winner at the closing of the exhibition.

Last year’s competition winner, Matthew Abbott, returns this year as a judge. He won the 2022 prize with his image, Hunting with Fire, which shows two Indigenous Australian women hunting for snakes in West Arnhem Land.

Joining Matthew on the judging panel will be Indigenous artist and producer Travis De Vries, documentary photographer Sandy Edwards and prominent Australian photographer Liz Ham. 

Australian Life is part of the City of Sydney’s year-round Art & About program of events and temporary art projects in unusual spaces throughout the city.

Entries for the Australian Life competition close at 11:59pm on Sunday 21 May 2023.  The competition is open to professional and amateur photographers. For more information, including terms and conditions, visit: for details.

Image: Matthew Abbott, Hunting With Fire – Winner of the 2022 Australian Life photography prize – courtesy of the City of Sydney