Trent Parke was born in 1971 and raised in Newcastle, New South Wales. Using his mother's Pentax Spotmatic and the family laundry as a darkroom, he began taking pictures when he was around 12 years old. Today, Parke, the only Australian photographer to be represented by Magnum, works primarily as a street photographer.
In 2003, with wife and fellow photographer Narelle Autio, Parke drove almost 90,000 km (56,000 miles) around Australia. Minutes to Midnight, the collection of photographs from this journey, offers a sometimes disturbing portrait of twenty-first century Australia, from the desiccated outback to the chaotic, melancholic vitality of life in remote Aboriginal towns. For this project Parke was awarded the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography.
Parke won World Press Photo Awards in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005, and in 2006 was granted the ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award. He was selected to be part of the World Press Photo Masterclass in 1999. Parke has published two books, Dream/Life in 1999, and The Seventh Wave with Narelle Autio in 2000. His work has been exhibited widely. In 2006 the National Gallery of Australia acquired Parke's entire Minutes to Midnight exhibition.