Ocean Talks: Moments That Took My Breath Away

Be captivated by intimate moments of adventures with orcas, leopard seals, sharks, whales and more!

Thursday 7 March 2019 - SOLD OUT

6 – 8.00pm 

Multi-award-winning international nature photographer Michael Aw has lived on the edge of art and adventure – having been thrown completely out of the water by humpback and brydes whales while in pursuit of that one special photo.

Michael will share intimate moments with orcas, leopard seals, crocodiles, tiger sharks, great whites, and southern right whales. Plus, for the first time ever, see pictures of undescribed species of the stunning Dumbo Octopus recently discovered in the deep Arctic ocean.

In this visually-rich evening, Michael will share the extreme lengths he goes to, to capture animal behaviour, photographic techniques, and his first-hand accounts of the changing environments of Antarctica and the Arctic circle.

This evening will also include the launch of Subaqueous, an installation of 16 student-produced films on regional ocean conservation issues. Produced in partnership with the University of Sydney.

Hosted by the maritime museum’s Alex Gaffikin, curator of photography exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year.


Note: Ticket includes light refreshments and exclusive access to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition between 5 - 6pm.



Michael Au

Michael Aw is a multi-award-winning wildlife photographer, explorer and conservationist. He has authored 36 books on ocean life, has won more than 66 international photographic awards and has been named one of the world’s most influential nature photographers by Outdoor Photography.

He has been published by BBC Wildlife, GEO, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, Nature, Ocean Geographic, Asian Geographic, Nature Focus, Times, and Discovery to name a few. Michael is recipient of four awards from the Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year Wildlife Competition in 2000, 2010, and in 2006 and 2015 he won the underwater photography category.

During 2010-2016 Michael was the project director for the Elysium Epic expedition to the Antarctic and Arctic with 66 team members comprising the world’s best image makers and scientists. In 2018 he led a team of 50 on an expedition across the heart of the Coral Triangle, for a first-ever baseline survey of the biomass of corals and fishes in the region.

Alex Gaffikin

Alex Gaffikin is Head of Interpretation and Design at the Australian National Maritime Museum. She has had some weird and wonderful experiences during her museum career. A highlight was talking to an astronaut in Houston who had lived on the space station while working at the Science Museum in London.

While working at the Natural History Museum she worked on Wildlife Photographer of the Year and got to see the huge collection rooms crammed full of pickled, dried and pinned critters. Her favourite was the giant squid with its huge glassy eye. Alex is enjoying bringing the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition to Australian audiences at the maritime museum.




2019 Ocean Talks Series

An exciting new series of monthly talks by fascinating marine experts happening at the museum in 2019. 
Head HERE for the full list of events.



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