Photographer & Publisher
In 2012, Michael’s ‘Indonesia’s Global Treasures’ won the International the Palme d’Or (Gold) Prize for Best Book of the Year at the World Underwater Images Festival (Festival Mondial de l’Image Sous Marine). Michael is the first to have won this prestigious award twice; the first was for “Heart of the Ocean” in 2009. Outdoor Photography named Michael AW as one of the world’s most influential nature photographers. His essays and images have been featured in BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, Nature, Ocean Geographic, Times, Nature Focus and more. In 2010 he won the Gold Diver award for the Portfolio category at the World Festival of Underwater Images in France. He is also a recipient of awards from the Natural History Museum BBC Photographer of the Year Wildlife Competition in 2000 and 2010. In 2006 he won the Best Winner award in the underwater category.
In 2008 Stan Waterman conferred Michael with the Peter Benchley Shark Conservation Award by Sharks Research Institute in recognition of his highly effective and unrelenting campaign against shark fin soup consumption in the Asia Pacific region. Michael is also a recipient of the WYLAND ICON award for Conservation in 2011 and in 2012 he was presented the Diver of the Year Award at the Beneath the Sea Festival in New Jersey.
Michael is an active member and Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a Fellow International of The Explorers Club.
A writer, publisher and ocean advocate, Michael founded Ocean Geographic Society and its namesake magazine, Ocean Geographic. Michael AW is the founder of OceanNEnvironment, a charity organization registered with Environment Australia.
In 2010, Michael the Elysium Epic Visual Expedition to the Western Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. The Elysium Expedition involved 57 team members from 19 countries who scouted and recorded the flora and fauna of the Western Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia, documenting climate change and ocean change in this fragile ecosystem and following in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-16 Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition.
In April 2013, the Elysium Expedition opened a photographic exhibit at Australia’s National Maritime Museum. Also in 2013, Michael published a beautiful table top book, entitled Elysium Shackleton Antarctic Epics,” his thirtieth book of the sea.
The Elysium film has been launched on YouTube, in 11 video segments, at: