AIPP shuts doors after 75 years – Australian Photography

11 November 2021

The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) has announced it will cease operations effective immediately, drawing to an end 75 years of representing professional photographers in Australia. 

In a statement, the Institute placed the blame on financial losses due to Covid-19, but also stated it had been ‘in a slow decline for more than a decade.’

The AIPP could trace its roots back to 1944, when photographers from various state professional photography associations gathered to form an Australian association to provide a united voice on behalf of photographers.

Over three quarters of a century, the Institute contributed to copyright and privacy laws in Australia, as well as input into tertiary education for photographic training. It also contributed to the professional development of thousands of Australian photographers over this time.   

In the last few years the Institute had faced its fair share of challenging events. In 2018, the Institute permanently closed its National Office, which was followed by the resignation of the then National Board.

In 2019, the Institute found itself at the centre of an international controversy when it was forced to rescind the awards of AIPP member and photographer Lisa Saad. At the time, it was revealed she had appropriated an image by another photographer and used clip art in a number of her AIPP-award-winning images.

However the statement released today suggested much of the blame for the Institute’s position could be placed on ‘a devastating reduction in membership revenue’, with an AIPP FAQ document confirming that over the last 20 months, more than 700 members were unable to meet their fee commitments. This had led to a shortfall of funding to keep the Institute operational. According to the AIPP, this reduction also accelerated a downward trend that had been observed over the past five years.

Despite efforts to reverse the decline, reinvigorate the AIPP for a new generation of image-makers, and align itself better with the arts industries, ultimately the Institute could not stem the losses. 

As a result, the AIPP will cease trading immediately and an Administrator will be appointed to manage the process as required by the Corporations Act 2001.

This closure also includes sections of the AIPP website (including the awards website), most AIPP email addresses and all AIPP social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter).

You can see the full statement from the AIPP below.

AIPP Closes After 75 Years Of Serving Photographers

The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) today announce the closure of Australia’s leading body for photography after unprecedented financial pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The present iteration of the organisation was the latest in a series of entities that traces back to March of 1944, when photographers from various state professional photography associations gathered to form an

Australian association to provide a united voice on behalf of photographers. AIPP and its members throughout its history informed copyright and privacy laws in Australia, as well as providing input into tertiary education for photographic training. It also contributed to the professional development of thousands of Australian photographers who are recognised for their achievements both nationally and internationally, many of whom received the Order of Australia and other prestigious titles and awards. AIPP managed the World Photographic Cup teams from the competition’s inception in 2014 and achieved two World Cup wins (2019 and 2021) and a second placing (2018) for Australia.

AIPP had been in a slow decline for more than a decade. The current AIPP Board had significant plans and initiatives to reverse this decline, reinvigorate the AIPP for a new generation of image-makers, and align itself better with the arts industries. However, the pandemic has made it impossible to implement these changes.

Efforts are being made to preserve AIPP’s history and legacy. AIPP recognises the outstanding contributions of its volunteers, members and trade partners throughout its history in the pursuit of improving professional photography. Together we have built a community of proud and talented image makers that remains very strong – long may this continue.

AIPP will cease trading immediately and an Administrator will be appointed to manage the process in an orderly fashion as required by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

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