Raphaela (Rosie) Rosella is an Australian artist from Nimbin NSW who currently resides in Meanjin (Brisbane). Raphaela works in the tradition of long-form photographic storytelling, and more recently in moving image. She has spent the past decade producing collaborative works using photography, sound and artefacts to amplify the lived experiences of women in her life as they grapple with the complexities of motherhood, trans-generational trauma, turbulent relationships, bureaucratic violence, and the burden of low expectations. Her artistic practice draws heavily on relational exchanges and a collaborative ethos to challenge tropes of victimhood and poverty.

In addition to her personal work, Raphaela has over ten years’ experience working with non-profit community arts and cultural development organisation Beyond Empathy—first as a participant and more recently as a community artist. Beyond Empathy uses the arts to influence change and enrich the lives of individuals and communities experiencing recurring hardship in Australia.

In 2014 she was one of 12 photographers selected worldwide (and the first Australian woman) to attend World Press Photo’s prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. Her work has been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally including: Photo Biennale Photoquai (France), International Centre for Photography (USA), UNSW Galleries/Australian Centre for Photography (Australia) Noorderlicht Photofestival (Netherlands), Photoville (USA), Reportage Festival (Australia), In/Out Transylvania Photo Festival (Romania) and Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art for Organ Vida International Photography Festival (Croatia).

Furthermore, her work has received many distinctions including: First Prize (Portrait Singles Category) World Press Photo Contest (2015), ArtStart Grant Recipient from the Australia Art Council (2015), Australian Photobook of the Year (Momentro Pro) (2015), finalist of the Moran Photographic Prize (2017) and most recently she was selected as the winner and first recipient of the Photographic Museum of Humanity’s Women’s Photography Grant (2017).

Raphaela holds a Bachelor of Photography with 1st class honours from the Queensland College of Art, a diploma of Community Services (Case Management) and has ten years’ experience working as a community artist.

*I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my girls, your families and communities. I can’t thank you enough; I treasure our friendship and I am perpetually grateful that you have allowed me into your lives. The work we do together would not be possible without your love, strength, trust, commitment and collaboration.

Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge and honour all First Nations people who’s land we stand on and pay my respects to Elders past present and future. I would also like to pay my respects to the Gomeroi people of the Kamilaroi/Gamilaroi/Gamilaraay Nation and the people of the Widjabul clan of the Bundjalung Nation - the lands of which my work is made.

Selected Achievements


1st Prize PHMuseum Women's Photography Grant 

World Press Photo 6x6 World Talent Program Nominator 

Shortlisted, Women Photograph + Pulitzer Center Grant 

One-on-one mentorship program in community with documentary artist Richard Mosse, funded by Beyond Empathy

Guest Speaker, Unless You Will Conference, RMIT (Melbourne, Australia)



Top 30 Finalist, Moran Photographic Prize



Awarded First Prize, Singles Portrait Category, World Press Photo Contest

Awarded Australian Photo Book of the Year, Momento Pro, Photobook Melbourne

Nomination, Prix Pictet Award

ArtStart Grant Recipient, Australia Council for the Arts

Mentorship with American documentarian and interdisciplinary artist Brenda Ann Kenneally, World Press Photo Perth 



World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass participant



Top 50 Finalists, Realise Your Dream Grant, British Council

Runner-Up, Sydney Morning Herald Emerging Documentary Photographer Scholarship

Guest Speaker, Women Documenting: The Experiences of Emerging and Accomplished Documentary Female Photographers, Reportage Festival

Guest Speaker, Oculi Panel Discussion: Objective/Subjective, Semi-Permanent

Guest Speaker, Triple J: Hack, Discussion on young women and pregnancy in regional Australia



Awarded Queensland Centre of Photography’s Youngbloods Edition.

Finalist UNCOVER Award, Perth Centre of Photography.

Awarded SOYA Photographic Award.

Australia’s Top Emerging Documentary Photographer, Capture Magazine.


Finalist, Head On Portrait Prize.

Honorable Mention, FotoVisura Spotlight Grant.

Invited to join Oculi, Australia’s leading documentary photo collective.

Participant, Masterclass with Alessandra Sanguinetti, Les Rencontres D’Arles.

One year mentorship with Australian Photographer Polly Borland, courtesy of Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA).

Assigned Issue Editor of The Australian PhotoJournalist Magazine.



FujiFilm Photographic Award, a scholarship presented to a body of work that documents aspects of the human condition.

ACMP Documentary Student Photographer of the Year.

Godfrey Rivers Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the field of Photography, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

2x Semi Finalist Moran Photographic Prize.

Griffith Award for Academic Excellence, Griffith University.

Assigned Picture/Co Editor of The Australian PhotoJournalist.



Griffith Award for Academic Excellence, Griffith University.



Griffith Award for Academic Excellence, Griffith University.



Secondary Finalist Moran Photographic Prize.



Granted a Disadvantaged Youth Scholarship from Youth Off The Streets to further my career in Photography. 

selected exhibitions


You’ll Know It When You Feel It, Class Act Exhibition, OuterSpace (Brisbane, Australia) (Forthcoming)

You’ll Know It When You Feel It, Engaged, Active, Aware — Women’s Perspectives Now Exhibition, Organ Vida International Photography Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia)

The Family Of No Man, Cosmos, Rencontres d’Arles (Arles, France) 

Let Her Rip, Byron School of Art (Mullumbimby, Australia) 

You'll Know It When You Feel It, ICP Projected, International Centre of Photography (New York, USA) 

You’ll Know It When You Feel It, In Your Dreams Exhibition, UNSW Galleries in partnership with the Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney, Australia)



HOMEtruths, Beyond Empathy (Moree, Australia) 

Realising Mother, Kudos Gallery (Sydney, Australia) 

The Ones We Love, In/Out Transylvania Photo Festival (Romania) 

You’ll Know It When You Feel It (Screening), In/Out Transylvania Photo Festival (Romania) 

Insider/Outsider, Women Photograph, Photoville (New York, USA)

You'll know it when you feel it, Australia Square (Sydney, Australia) 



Livable Cities, UN Habitat lll Conference (Ecuador)

Belonging, Obscura Festival of Photography (Malaysia)

HOME, New England Regional Art Museum (Armidale, Australia)

You’ll know it when you feel it, Head On Photography Festival (Sydney, Australia)



You didn’t take away my future, you gave me a new one, We Are Family Exhibition, Photoquai, (France)

Island – Australia, ACP, PhotoIreland (Ireland)

World Press Photo 2015, De Nieuwe Kerk, (Netherlands)

You didn’t take away my future, you gave me a new one, New England Regional Art Museum (Armidale, Australia)



Admire, Festival of the Brolga, Yaama Ganu Gallery, (Moree, Australia)



20/20 A World of Photography, Noorderlicht Photofestival (Netherlands)

Contemporary Documentary Photography from Oceania, Projections, Obscura Festival (Malaysia)

Reportage Censored, Reportage Festival, Hyde Park, (Sydney, Australia).

You didn’t take away my future, you gave me a new one, Queensland Centre for Photography, (Brisbane, Australia)

You didn’t take away my future, you gave me a new one, Four Stories Exhibition, Darling Quarter, Reportage Festival (Sydney, Australia)

Oculi: Home, Cleland Bond, Reportage Festival (Sydney, Australia)

Australian Photography, Chobi Mela Festival (Bangladesh)



We Met A Little Early, But I Get To Love You Longer, Gallery On The Lane (Southport, Australia)

ET AL. Photo Group Exhibition, Airport Gallery (Sydney, Australia)

Hatched, The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (Perth, Australia)



Local Eyes, Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane, Australia)

Visual Voices, UN Secretariat Building (New York, USA)

Transpositions, Chifley Tower (Sydney, Australia)

Gula Gama-li Embrace, NG Gallery (Moree, Australia)