Megan Lewis

Australia
BIOGRAPHY

Award-winning photographer Megan Lewis was born and raised in rural New Zealand. After commencing her career with provincial newspapers she moved to Sydney in 1993, at the age of 21. Within a week of arriving there she was employed as a junior staff photographer for Reuters International news agency.

During her time with Reuters, Megan's work regularly appeared in international publications, including the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and as a front cover for Time Magazine. She also wrote feature articles to accompany her photo essays on a Zimbabwe wildlife conservancy and Sydney's real-life 'water rats', the Water Police.

In early 1998 Megan was lured by The Australian, News Ltd's national daily newspaper, to their Perth bureau. She covered national and international stories, including the international headline story of MV Tampa, the Norwegian freighter that rescued drowning refugees near Christmas Island. She covered events as diverse as the riots in Indonesia, Queen Elizabeth's 2000 tour of Australia and the first tremors of East Timor's bid for independence.

In July 2002, Megan left The Australian newspaper to live full-time with the Martu people, one of the last indigenous groups in Australia's Great Sandy Desert to come into contact with Europeans. Her book Conversations with the Mob (UWA Publishing) was the product of eight years continuous involvement with the Martu, including several years living with them.

Her intimate photographic portrayal of the Martu people won her a 2005 Walkley Award, the most prestigious award in Australian journalism. Megan was also voted by her peers as winner of the Nikon Photographers Choice Awards in 2006.

Her work has been exhibited in Australia and Europe, and she has been a guest lecturer at Griffith University in Queensland. Megan was invited to speak at the 2008 Sydney Writers Festival about her book and experiences of living with the Martu people.

She was widely interviewed on TV and radio; her book has been enthusiastically reviewed in several national and international publications, and in academic circles.

"I believe that your book …offers a great potential and insights crucial to the discipline of anthropology (and) visual media anthropology." Dr. Martha Blassnigg, Senior Teaching Fellow, International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Justus-Liebig-University

Megan, who works as a freelance photographer based in Perth, also has a long track record for stills photography for feature films, TV series and documentaries.

AWARDS

2005 Winner of Walkley Award for Martu Photographic Essay

2006 Winner of The Australian Photographers Choice Awards

2nd Prize in the West Australian Awards, for 'Refugees on Ashmore Reef'

3rd Prize in Australian Journalism Awards 2001, for 'Emus walking through the Pinnacles'

Merit in Best News Photo of the Year for the Australian Press Photographer of the Year

Awards 1998, for 'A student protesting on top of parliament building during riots in Jakarta'

Merit in Best Sports Photo of the Year for the Australian Press Photographer of the Year 1994

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