The Ballarat International Foto Biennale proudly presents the GradFoto 2023 exhibition, featuring 21 finalists from 10 universities. This award celebrates the creative excellence of graduating students, and is open to emerging contemporary artists from institutions in Australia and – for the first time – Aotearoa New Zealand whose artistic practice includes photography. Following its inaugural launch in 2020, GradFoto 2023 continues to showcase the high calibre of graduates’ photographic work to audiences across Australia and beyond. GradFoto is an annual award presented each year for graduating artists. For all enquiries, please email


This year, GradFoto was judged by Virginia Woods-Jack, curator of Women in Photography NZ & AU and photographic artist based in Aotearoa New Zealand. Virginia said, ‘I want to express my gratitude and congratulations to all the artists who submitted their work for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale’s 2023 GradFoto Award. The high quality of work presented is a testament to the talent and dedication of emerging artists, which made the judging particularly challenging. It was exciting to see such a broad range of projects utilising historical, contemporary and emerging technologies to cover such a broad subject matter. I enjoyed looking at every entry.’

‘This award provides a fabulous opportunity for emerging graduate artists to showcase their skills and creativity in a competitive and supportive environment. Please continue to practice and hone your skills, your multifarious voices are a vital component for the future of our arts and culture. Opening the award to entries from Aotearoa New Zealand furthers this approach increasing the award’s reach and diversity, whilst fostering cross-cultural exchange and collaboration, which we all benefit from. I am excited to see this aspect of the GradFoto Award grow over the coming years. I wish you all the best and luck for your future endeavours.’

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale recognises how important it is for photo-media graduates to have opportunities as soon as they graduate so along with selecting an overall winner, three additional finalists were recognised as ‘Highly Commended’. We extend sincere appreciation to Virginia for her valuable contribution to the judging process for the GradFoto 2023 award.

Thank you to Auckland University of Technology; Canberra School of Art; Charles Darwin University; Charles Sturt University; Curtin University; Collarts; Deakin University; Edith Cowan University; Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland; Federation University Australia; LCI Melbourne; Melbourne Polytechnic; Monash University; Murdoch University; National Art School; North Metropolitan Tafe; Oxygen College; Photography Studies College; Queensland College of Art and Design, Griffith University; RMIT University; Swinburne University of Technology; Sydney College of the Arts; TAFE New South Wales; TAFE Queensland; Te Kura Kōwaiwai Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury; UNITEC; University of New South Wales; University of Tasmania; University of Technology Sydney; University of Western Australia; University of Wollongong; Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne; Whitecliffe College of Art and Design; Whitehouse Institute of Design; and Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University for participating in GradFoto 2023.