The competition was judged by a panel of three distinguished astrophotographers - Phil Hart, Alex Cherney, and Peter Ward. They determined the winners in each category plus the honourable mentions and highly commendeds. Dr David Malin AM judged the Overall Winner as the best in show, from this list of winners.
Dr David Malin AM

David Malin has been involved in scientific imaging all his working life. He joined the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO, now the Australian Astronomical Observatory) as its Photographic Scientist in August 1975, shortly after scheduled observations began on the then-new, 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) in June 1975. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Scientific Photography at RMIT University in Melbourne. He was born in England and trained as a chemist, working for many years with a large international chemical company in the north of England. There he used optical and electron microscope and X-ray diffraction techniques to explore the very small before turning his attention to much larger and more distant things in Australia
Whilst working at the AAO, David Malin developed several photographic processing techniques to maximise the ability to extract faint and low contrast detail from the non-linear response and high densities of photographic plates.
These techniques were initially devised to enhance the scientific return from photography, but David Malin is now best known for the series of three-colour wide field images of deep space objects which have been widely published as posters and in books around the world. Most professional astronomical photographs are monochromatic; if colour pictures are required, three images are needed. During his career at the AAO, David Malin made about 150 three-colour images of deep sky objects, mostly using plates taken with the 4-metre (160 in) Anglo-Australian Telescope and the 1.2-metre (47 in) UK Schmidt Telescope.
Since 2004, the Central West Astronomical Society’s astrophotography competition, has been held in conjunction with the Society’s annual festival of astronomy, or AstroFest. David Malin has been the judge of the competition throughout competition’s history. The “David Malin Awards” is now recognised as the premier competition of its kind in Australia.
2019: Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
2006: Hubble Award of the Advanced Imaging Conference.
2003: Honorary Doctorate of Applied Science from RMIT University.
2000: Lennart Nilsson Award for outstanding imaging in science.
1998: Elected Fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics.
1994: University of NSW Press/Eureka Science Book Prize (for “A View of the Universe“).
1993: Commonwealth Medal of the Australian Photographic Society.
1993: Progress Medal, highest award of the Photographic Society of America.
1990: Rodman Medal of the Royal Photographic Society.
1986: Jackson-Gwitt Medal, Royal Astronomical Society.
1985: Henri Chrétien Award of the Americal Astronomical Society.
1983: Elected Fellow of The Royal Photographic Society.
Peter Ward

Peter Ward (B.Sc. ATPL AIPA)  has been photographing the sky for over five decades and is one of Australia’s most lauded astrophotographers. His images have won over 60 national and international awards. He was the Deep Sky photography winner for the coveted Royal Greenwich Observatory Astronomy photographer of the Year awards in 2020.
Peter was an Associate Editor at Southern Astronomy and Sky and Space magazines. His astrophotography  has been published on the web,  local and national newspapers, numerous magazines, text books and have featured in a national advertising campaign and have been screened  on national television . He was a vetting judge for the inaugural CWAS Malin awards in 2004 and was guest judge for the RASNZ Astrophotographic competition in 2016.
His portfolio is extremely diverse. He has won every photographic category of the CWAS David Malin awards showing mastery over an impressive range of imaging techniques using  varied cameras, lenses, telescopes, filters, focal lengths and software to create unique, compelling  images of the heavens.

Phil Hart

Phil Hart’s tagline is ‘engineer by day, astronomer by night’.
Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, he developed a strong interest in astronomy and photography. On a student budget through school and university, he built his own telescope which remains one of his more successful DIY projects.
He naturally has a strong technical approach to night sky photography but enjoys exploring the artistic side of the hobby as well. After five years in Scotland enjoying the northern skies and becoming addicted to aurora chasing, Phil returned to Melbourne and continued to dive deeper into the hobby, just as the age of affordable and high performing digital SLRs really began to bloom. Phil now lives with his partner Karen under the dark skies of central Victoria with space to breed more telescopes and observatory domes.
Phil has been the recipient of numerous David Malin Awards and in the 2019 Ballarat International FOTO Biennale was the winner of the Open Program Judges Award for his Eclipsed! exhibition.
Alex Cherney

Alex lives in Melbourne, Australia where he works as IT consultant and enjoys observing and photographing southern night sky.
Daughter’s kindergarten project on Space inspired Alex to take up astronomy and astrophotography in 2007. He developed a passion for time-lapse photography and travels throughout Australia and the world to photograph the most beautiful landscapes under the stars of the Milky Way. Alex loves to connect ocean, land and sky in his work.
His images and videos were published on covers of ScienceNature and other well-known astronomy magazines, book, numerous NASA APODs  and won prestigious Australian and international awards. Alex holds a Master of Science degree in Astronomy by the Swinburne Technology University (2018, Melbourne).
Alex is a passionate astronomer and an active member of Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society and ASV. He enjoys helping out to get people involved with astronomy at public and school viewing nights.
Alex is a member of TWAN and his recent images and videos can be found on Instagram, Facebook, and Vimeo.
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