Marley Morgan, a photographer from the Wiradjuri, Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay nations, has won the first-ever iStock inclusion scholarship.
Awarded locally in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts, the scholarship was open to commercial photographers, videographers and illustrators based in Australia, in the United States, United Kingdom and Latin America.
The photographer and mother of three has a particular focus on Indigenous women, motherhood and culture.
She said she was inspired to photograph Indigenous women, especially mothers, in a positive light after giving birth to her first child and not to identify with the women in the material she saw in the medical offices.
She said she plans to use the $5,000 grant to create a stock library that will address the lack of diverse and positive images of Indigenous peoples in the media.
“The use of Indigenous faces in commercial imagery is often for oppressive purposes to highlight negative issues affecting the Indigenous population, such as over-representation of incarceration rates, welfare management programs, children in care and social housing,” she said.
“My work seeks to address the lack of representation in the commercial imagery space.”
Patricia Adjei, First Nations arts and culture sector development manager for the Australian Council, said she hopes the grant will help fill a shortage of First Nations photographers.
“First Nations people are the keepers of First Nations culture, yet we often see non-Indigenous photographers recording First Nations peoples and stories,” she said.
Other scholarship winners include American filmmaker Malaika Muindi, British photographer Mathushaa Sagthidas and Colombian photographer Natalia Ortiz Mantilla.
In addition to the $5,000 prize, each winner will receive 100% royalty on the iStock website.