Michael Coyne

Award-Winning international conflict photographer


Michael Coyne has worked as a photographer for over 30 years, covering wars, revolutions, famine, natural disasters and other international events in places as diverse as the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa. His photographs have featured in numerous prestigious publications including Time, Life, the New York Times, Newsweek and National Geographic. Michael’s extensive work has been featured in a number of solo exhibitions around the world, and is held in collections in Washington, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hong Kong, London and Rome.

Consistently rated as one of Australia’s very best speakers, Michael’s enlightening and moving presentations, which draw on a unique perspective from three decades as one of the world’s preeminent photojournalists, are full of humanity, insight and humour.

Current Work:

For five years Michael has been travelling the world working on a project concerning the demise of village life. In the past two years he has been with villagers who have HIV/AIDS in Thailand, Myanmar and Nepal and on farms with landmine victims in Cambodia, boated across the flooded paddy fields of Bangladesh, and photographed a typhoon in the Philippines. He has documented village girls who have become sex workers in Pakistan, Thailand, and Hong Kong, and in Pakistan photographed indentured slaves and children working in brick kilns. In China he revealed the lack of safety equipment in a coal-mining village, photographing miners with no protection from coal dust. He has photographed dancing Gauchos on the pampas of Argentina, a prison guard in the Philippines who sings karaoke to prisoners with a loaded ArmaLite on his arm, a witch doctor in Malawi who uses ancient practices to cure AIDS (including his own urine), and the forcing of Bedouins from their villages in the Jordan Valley, their grazing lands seized by the Israel military for security purposes.

Previous experience

Michael spent eight years in the Middle East documenting the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and covering the Iranian revolution and the Iran/Iraq war, his work receiving a number of awards including from the American National Press Photographers Association and the Overseas Press Club of America.

Author: Michael Coyne’s many successful books include Second Spring – The Regeneration of the Jesuits, Numurkah Lakes & Roses and A World of Australians, and his life and work have been the subject of three documentary films and a play.

Awards: In April 2003 Michael was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government for service to photography, and in 2007 The Australian Institute of Professional Photography awarded him a Fellowship, the highest award a photographer can receive in Australia.

Education: Michael has a PhD in Documentary Photography from Griffith University, and is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, an Honorary Lecturer at Hong Kong University, and a Senior Fellow at PSC.


Talking Points
Putting Your Creativity to Work
Capturing the Moment: Motivation, persistence and achievement
International Affairs: A different perspective
Photography Workshops: From beginner to advanced