Giulio Saggin

Giulio Saggin


Speaker type

  • Author
  • Storyteller / Performer
  • Non-fiction
  • Journalist / Feature writer
  • Motivational

Giulio began his career as a photographer on the Canberra Times in 1989.

Three years later he set off for Scotland with a one way ticket to Heathrow, enough money to buy a basic kit of camera gear, and a piece of paper with a few phone numbers on it.

At the start of 1998, after having had work published in every major Scottish and London-based newspaper, Giulio packed up his life in Scotland and returned to Australia to live out a dream.

That dream was to hitchhike all the way around Australia photographing everyone who gave him a lift. The idea scared the daylights out of him, but he was motivated by the fact he didn't want to grow old and look back at 'what might have been'.

Over eight months during 1998 he hitchhiked more than 23,000km and photographed, spoke with and wrote about his 53 hitches.

In 1999 he returned to Brisbane and self-published I did, the book of his hitchhiking journey. He also began speaking about his journey. Unintentionally, his 'living out a dream' story, aided by the portraits of his hitches, has proved an inspiration for audiences far and wide.

zzzHitch 18

Giulio joined ABC News Online in 2007 as their inaugural photo editor and, in 2011, self-published "Deep Fried Pizza", a novel about the world of news photography (fiction based on fact? Possibly).

While still working at ABC News Online, Giulio launched Resurfacr, the website where you can upload predictions and be reminded when their outcomes are due, in 2015.

In 2016, Giulio published You, The Citizen Photographer: Telling Visual Stories, a guide (introduction) to photography that shows how photos – visual stories – are constructed the same as written stories. It is based on a highly successful presentation and workshop he gave to ABC journalists and still gives to university students, all of whom love the fact photography is translated into a universal language – the written word.

Giulio has taken thousands of photos during his career and many have interesting, often funny, stories behind how they came about. Giulio also speaks – using his wonderful photos as backdrops – about the quirky stories behind each photo.


Giulio has many interesting stories to tell and has told them to a wide cross section of groups. His style has been described as 'easy and humorous' and, quoting one testimonial (below) – "I rate Giulio amongst the best presenters our Club has seen."

Books, portraits, public speaking, lecturing, award-winning panoramas ...
All these and more can be seen at What Giulio Does.

Giulio has some set presentations.

Talks I did

Aided by his photos, Giulio tells the story behind his hitchhiking journey around Australia photographing everyone who game him a lift and writing about each hitch. He discusses how he sat on the idea for over four years before selling his flat in Edinburgh, packing up his life up in Scotland and returning to Australia to embark on this journey of a lifetime. All because he 'didn't want to grow old and look back at what might have been'. Audiences far and wide have been inspired by the unintentional 'just do it' message of Giulio's story. As one testimonial (below) states - "(Giulio) engaged beautifully with his audience and his story, along with those of his subjects, was inspiring to all."


The Story Behind the Photo

Giulio has taken thousands of photos during his 25+ year career as a photographer. Just as in life, not everything goes to plan and in his presentation 'The Story Behind the Photo', he uses his photos as a backdrop while explaining the interesting/funny story behind how each photo came about - from photographing someone who 'works for a branch of the government that doesn't exist' to finding people to queue at an outback telephone booth. If you enjoy great story-telling with a few laughs thrown in, while looking at fabulous photos, this is for you. As one testimonial (below) states - "... the interesting and often funny stories behind how (the photos) came about meant the attention of our members never wavered."

Making Photography Easy

Giulio translates photography into a language everyone understands - the written word - and shows how photos (visual stories) are constructed the same as written stories. After all, if a photo is going to tell a thousand words, those (visual) words must be structured in a coherent manner.

He delivers his presentation in easy-to-understand language and uses 'not-so-good' and 'good' photos to highlight the points he discusses. This is very much a guide - an introduction of sorts - that gets people thinking about photography from a different perspective and is based on the message in his book, "You, The Citizen Photographer: Telling Visual Stories" (link on the right of this page).

Allowing for questions and discussion, an hour is optimum, but Giulio can tailor to suit. He also conducts a workshop version of this Talk (below).



Telling Visual Stories 

This is a workshop with an emphasis on enjoyment. Giulio's book, "You, The Citizen Photographer: Telling Visual Stories", shows how photos - visual stories - are constructed the same as written stories. In effect, photography is translated into a language we all understand i.e. the written word.

Giulio uses photos to give an overview of the message in his book, after which participants are sent out to take photos using the points discussed. Upon their return, the photos they have taken are reviewed and discussed.

The workshop acts like first gear in a car and gets the 'photographic' wheels rolling. As one testimonial (below) states, "Giulio is ... a gifted instructor and facilitator, who makes making better pictures interesting and fun."

Timewise, this workshop can be tailored to suit.


  • It was wonderful having Giulio work with our high school students, watching them transform their random iPhone images into much more interesting 'visual stories'. His workshops contained a good balance of technical concepts with enough time 'in the field' to put these ideas into practice. It was great deconstructing each other's photographs as a whole class, using their newly formed ideas and therefore giving students a deep understanding of the craft. I would highly recommend Giulio's workshops with young people.

    Samford Valley Steiner School - May, 2017

    Samford Valley Steiner School - May, 2017
    Giulio Saggin
  • Giulio designed his session around our needs for Visual Arts class and our aspiring photographers. He was very encouraging of the work produced by our students, giving feedback and suggestions on how they could extend their photography. Giulio was very professional, coming early to prepare for the sessions and ensuring he catered for our needs.

    Woodcrest State College - July, 2017

    Woodcrest State College - July, 2017
    Giulio Saggin
  • Giulio has been a popular guest speaker at a number of Rotary Clubs and good news travels fast. Giulio was recommended to me as an engaging speaker with a very interesting story supported by wonderful photographs – we were not disappointed. I rate Giulio amongst the best presenters our Club has seen. He had us enthralled with his real life experiences, delivered in an easy and humorous style. He is a genuine Aussie bloke enriched by worldly adventures that most of us would simply dream of. Give Giulio a go – you won’t be disappointed, but you will be inspired. You will also be delighted that you had the opportunity to meet this interesting Australian.

    Rotary Club Of Brisbane Mid-City

    Rotary Club Of Brisbane Mid-City
    Giulio Saggin
  • Giulio spoke at our Rotary Club and was received extremely well by all members. He was entertaining, funny and held everyone's attention for the entire presentation. I would highly recommend him to any organisation that is looking for a top class speaker to entertain and inform.

    Brisbane Highrise Rotary Club

    Brisbane Highrise Rotary Club
    Giulio Saggin
  • Giulio Saggin conducted a photography workshop with the ABC News cadetship program in 2016 in his role as Picture Editor with ABC News Online. Giulio’s engaging style, strong interpersonal skills and ability to translate his years of expertise into practical tips and techniques for novice photographers was exceptional.
    One of the difficulties for many experts have in a teaching role is unpacking and explaining their work, and what makes it exceptional. Giulio was able to provide clear explanations of the process use to create great photographs, and link that clearly to the role and circumstances of multiplatform reporters working with ABC News.
    Giulio is both an outstanding photographer and photo editor, and a gifted instructor and facilitator, who makes making better pictures interesting and fun.
    The practical exercises he devised combined with insightful feedback enabled the cadets to rapidly improve their photographic knowledge and skills.
    The feedback from the cadets was very positive. They considered it a valuable and enjoyable learning experience, which gave them improved practical skills they could apply as working reporters.
    I would highly recommend Giulio as a photographic instructor, mentor and workshop facilitator.

    ABC News

    ABC News
    Giulio Saggin

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Giulio Saggin