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Award-Winning international conflict photographer

Wherever it is, whatever it takes.

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.

Michael was an enlightening speaker whose words and images took us on a fascinating journey to a different perspective. ANZ

Michael's style was both informative and witty. In rating the 10 years of guest speakers attending our annual meetings, without hesitation I would rate Michael number one.

Australia Building Services Association

Michael was a very interesting and great presenter and many delegates enjoyed is presentation.

CPA Australia

I would like to sincerely thank you for your contribution to our program with your keynote address. We have had many congratulatory comments on your presentation and it added greatly to the overall enjoyment of the weekend. Your ability to get to some of the places you did was a credit to you. It was a most enjoyable and entertaining talk with many fabulous photos.

Rotary International

On behalf of the P.H. Committee and myself please accept our most sincere thanks for your presentation at our 'Together in Success' Convention in Vietnam. Schwarzkopf Professional over the past 25 years has produced many great Conventions and this has to be rated as one of the best. The delegates have expressed their gratitude and I know that as a result of their attendance and participation they will all be on track to increase their effectiveness and grow their businesses. Michael, your presentation generated great comment and was extremely well received by our delegates. Your warmth coupled with your compelling stories and obvious passion for life gave our delegates a greater understanding of the images that touch their lives on a daily basis. Thank you for your preparedness to join our delegates during our breaks and dinner. This gave a personal touch with the great opportunity for our delegates to have a personally signed copy of your sensational book. Your ability to relate shared experiences in an inspirational manner was a brilliant way to commence our Convention. Once again thank you for a job well done. I know that all of our P.H. members will remember their time in Vietnam and your presentation has guaranteed a greater business future for all of our delegates.

Schwarzkopf Professional

Michael showed some fantastic shots and his presentation was very interesting and at times quite moving. He was delightful to deal with. Michael stayed on for lunch as well and a number of delegates used the opportunity to chat to him over lunch, which was an added bonus.

The MINT Organisation

Michael is an extremely engaging speaker who connects with his audience through a spoken and visual narrative that touches on many elements of the human condition. His selection of photographs are beautiful, confronting and thought provoking. Combined with the stories behind these images, Michael's presentation readily captures the audience's attention and broadens their world view. A number of students, staff members and parents who had attended previous events in our speaker series remarked that they found Michael's presentation the most interesting and inspiring. I would have no hesitation in recommending Michael Coyne as a high-calibre speaker.

Melbourne Grammar School
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