Walkley Award-winning photographer and cinematographer, Michael Mulrine, was one of Australia’s leading photojournalists. Being a photojournalist means a photographer could be called upon to photograph almost any subject in almost any situation and under most lighting conditions.
As Director of Photography, he has filmed interviews with high-profile personalities in both the public and private sectors, pieces for network television, and provided video content for business, government and the not-for-profit sectors.
Michael has known and photographed five Australian prime ministers and has photographed many other Australian politicians as well as overseas heads of state, including former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, and Prime Minister Sato of Japan.
As a photographer, Michael undertook assignments for The Australian and a stable of Murdoch publications.
He later shot feature assignments for The Illustrated London News, the Sunday Observer, and Life magazine, and shot fashion for Vogue Australia while running his Melbourne photographic studio.
His clients included government agencies, corporations, and creative artists.
Michael’s photographic assignments included a number of historical events. He was at Pentridge Prison in Melbourne on the night that Ronald Ryan was hanged, the last capital-punishment execution to occur in Australia.
He hired a light plane and flew to the crash site of the Southern Aurora, which killed 9 people and injured 117. The train, carrying 190 passengers, tore past the red signal at the level crossing on the edge of Violet Town, 170km northeast of Melbourne, where it was supposed to stop to let a goods train pass.
Instead, it ploughed head-on into the Albury-bound goods train at 110km/h. The Southern Aurora’s driver had died of a heart attack some 10 minutes before. Two other crew could have prevented the crash but the guard had dozed off after the train left Albury and the fireman had left the engine room to brew tea as the train shot past the signal.
Michael used his own camera gear on this assignment and so, with a long telephoto lens, was able to get clear shots of the wreckage from the plane. The Australian ran a telling photo across page one, the largest photo it had ever used.
Michael was the first photographer at Portsea Naval Station in Victoria on the day former Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared while scuba diving off Cheviot Beach—never to be found.
Michael’s photographs of the navy rescue divers in the seething surf at dusk were published in Life magazine, and his sensitive photos of Holt’s daughters-in-law from that fateful day were syndicated around the world.
He later provided extensive pictorial coverage of the Holt funeral, attended by dignitaries from around the globe, that was published and syndicated internationally.
Michael was invited into Holt’s house in Toorak, Victoria, to photograph the prime minister and his wife together shortly before the Portsea disappearance—the last formal photograph of the couple together.
He covered the visit to Australia of US President, Lyndon Baines Johnson—the first ever US presidential visit to Australia. Michael also provided detailed public and background coverage of the 2016 Federal Budget for the Australian Government.
Michael is a member of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS), the peak industry body dedicated to producing excellence in cinematography. He is also a member of the Canberra Society of Editors.