Fairfax photojournalist Kate Geraghty named winner in International Photography Awards

Fairfax photojournalist Kate Geraghty has been named a winner in the International Photography Awards for a series of haunting images captured during the last days of the battle to liberate West Mosul from Islamic State fighters.

Geraghty's photographs, entitled Mosul, won third place in the professional editorial (war/conflict) category of the International Photography Awards, which celebrate the achievements of the world's finest photographers.

Her photos portray the anguish of those desperately fleeing the last Islamic State-held areas in the Old City, including 18-year-old Abdulrahman who suffered burns to 60 per cent of his body and later died in a field hospital.

Geraghty said she was humbled her work was selected alongside photographers whom she deeply respected and who had been a source of inspiration.

"For me it has been a privilege to meet and tell the stories of Iraqi people since the 2003 invasion," she said.

"I hope these images from Mosul show the bravery and strength of the people who have endured the unbearable with dignity and grace."

Mosul has also been shortlisted in the photography category of the 2017 Amnesty International media awards.

Geraghty, who joined The Sydney Morning Herald in 2001, is a five-time Walkley winner, three of which were for Nikon press photographer of the year.

She also won the Australian UN media peace award for photojournalism in 2009 and Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (PANPA) news photo of the year in 2013 and 2017.

Geraghty's first overseas assignment for The Sydney Morning Herald was to cover the 2002 Bali bombings.

Since then she has documented world history, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, the war in Lebanon, the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014 and the drug wars in the Philippines.

In 2010 she was Tasered and then detained by Israeli authorities when they stormed a flotilla of boats heading to Gaza.

Sydney Morning Herald editor Lisa Davies said Geraghty was passionate, motivated, dedicated, brave and "just so talented".

"Kate is one of those journalists you want to clone. She never gives up or misses an opportunity, and instinctively inspires the reporters around her to new heights," Davies said.

"When Kate's in Sydney, she is raising the bar on everyday stories. When she's covering an international crisis, our audiences get world-class images. But in every photograph she files, you get a touch of Geraghty magic. We couldn't be more proud to call her a colleague."

Sydney Morning Herald photographic editor Mags King said Geraghty was able to create arresting images that encapsulated the intensity or the stillness of a moment even when working in challenging and fluid situations.

"Her photography, whether it be covering domestic or overseas news, shows empathy and sensibility," King said.

"There is honesty and beauty in Kate's photos, often appearing biblical in tone and composition. She also shows restraint and compassion in depicting people at the height of grief and trauma."

Each year the IPA invites an established curator to select 45 images from among the winners to be exhibited in an exclusive show in New York. The exhibition then travels to various countries to be included in photo festivals and galleries.

The story Fairfax photojournalist Kate Geraghty named winner in International Photography Awards first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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