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Head On Conversations are a series of panel-style discussions designed to explore topics raised by and about photography and to provoke thought to inform and inspire.

Speakers include experts and featured exhibitors from various areas of expertise, across photography, curatorial, public office, academia, journalism and environmental practice. A highlight of the Head On Photo Festival, Head On Conversations provide an opportunity to explore, understand and action the social challenges raised by the range of exhibitions throughout the Festival.

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Have you heard about the Head On Photo Festival Pass?—your one-ticket entry to the opening weekend events of Head On Photo Festival 2023. The festival pass is available for a limited time only and includes exclusive Head On Foundation bespoke products.

Festival Pass

Session 1: Are you talking for me?

As a photographer, how do you ensure the story you tell is the subject’s point of view? Is the story that the photographer is trying to project or the issues?

Is it the photographer’s story or the story of the subject?

This Head On Conversation will discuss how to choose topics, places and pictorial conversations and ensure they represent the voice of the subject.

10am The Muse Ultimo TAFE


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Session 2: Its mine

How do you build and consider your personal style? How do you project/communicate it to the world? This conversation will help you understand how to define and capture your personal style, and how to capture it in others.

11:15am The Muse Ultimo TAFE

Moderator: Claudia Chan Shaw, Curator. Broadcaster. Artist.


  • Kent Johnson, Featured Exhibitor
  • Dario Gardiman, TAFE PhotoImaging teacher and photographer
  • Karabo Mooki, Featured Exhibitor

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How do you ensure your images bear witness to history, serve as catalysts for change and observe a place in time?

Are you a witness or an agent of change? Do causes such as environmentalism and war photography suffer because of the ubiquity of images around these topics?

This Head On Conversation will discuss the role of effective witness in the changing the world.

1.15pm The Muse Ultimo TAFE

Moderator: Tony Maniaty, Photojournalist & Publisher


  • Alan Davies, Independant Curator and Photography historian
  • Andrea Durbach, Human Rights Lawyer, Australian Human Rights Institute
  • Gary Ramage, Featured Exhibitor
  • Andrew Quilty, Photojournalist
  • Helen.Vatsikopoulos, Professional Industry Fellow Journalism and Writing Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professional Fellow University of Technology Sydney

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage