• World Rare Disease Day – Steve Waugh and Sarah Walker. Photo by Jack Atley.
    World Rare Disease Day – Steve Waugh and Sarah Walker. Photo by Jack Atley.

The winners of this year’s 2011 Moran Prizes have been announced, with Jack Atley taking first prize in the $100,000 Open Section of the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize with his image World Rare Disease Day – Steve Waugh and Sarah Walker.

Eleven Highly Commended prizes of $2,000 each were also awarded in the Open Section, selected by Australian photographer and writer Robert McFarlane.

Atley's image was shot on 'World Rare Disease Day', backstage at the Sydney Opera House, just prior to Waugh and three-year-old Sarah going on stage to deliver a speech. Sarah suffers from one of the world's rarest diseases – "interstitial lung disease".

Former Australian Test Cricket captain, Steve Waugh, established The Steve Waugh Foundation with his wife Lynette, around 4 years ago. The Foundation specifically helps youths with the rare diseases.

The other big winner was Melbourne-based artist Vincent Fantauzzo who was named the $150,000 winner of the 2011 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize for his painting Baz Lurhmann "Off Screen".

A total of $300,000 prize money will be given to the winners across all categories at a special event this evening at the State Library of NSW.

Jack Atley is a freelance photographer based in Sydney. He shoots for a range of leading commercial clients. He is a former overall winner of The Australian Press Photographer of the Year Award. In 2008 his work was also selected as highly commended runner up winner in The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize. In 2010, his work was listed as a Top Ten Finalist in The Sony World Photography Awards from some 37,617 entries. In 2011, he was appointed as The Official Photographer to the Sydney Opera House (VAPS project) for the next three and a half years.

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