Raphaela Rosella is an Australian documentary artist working in the tradition of long-form documentary storytelling. Her work explores the lived experience of several young women facing social disadvantage in Australia.

Blending the conventions of photography, documentary practice and advocacy, Raphaela has spent over a decade documenting women in her life as they grapple with the complexities of motherhood, bureaucracy and turbulent relationships. Raphaela is committed to telling these stories in the hope that audiences begin to consider the complex and cyclical nature of social disadvantage, and acknowledge the resilience of young women who share this lived experience.

In addition to her personal work, Raphaela works as a community artist and youth mentor with non-profit community arts and cultural development organisation Beyond Empathy. BE uses art to influence change in the lives of young people and communities experiencing recurring hardship.

Raphaela has exhibited extensively including: Photoquai (France), Noorderlicht Photofestival (Netherlands) and In/Out Transylvania Photo Festival (Romania). In 2014 she was one of 12 photographers selected worldwide to attend World Press Photo’s prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass held in Amsterdam. Furthermore, her work has received many distinctions including: First Prize (Portrait Singles Category) World Press Photo Contest (2015), Australian Photobook of the Year (Momento Pro) (2015) and most recently PHMuseum Women's Photography Grant (2017). 

Raphaela holds a bachelor of Photography with first class honours from the Queensland College of Art (2012 and a diploma of Community Services (Case Management) (2014). 

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, ICP Projected, International Centre of Photography (New York, USA) 

In Your Dreams, 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)



We Are Family, 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)

Four Stories, 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)