Supported by Nikon, the Australian photojournalism awards are organised by the Walkley Foundation.
Andrew Quilty, a freelance photographer, captured the image of the young girl at Boost hospital in Lashkar Gar, Afghanistan.
Judges said they felt Quilty captured a striking and powerfully emotive image that allows the viewer to ‘gauge instantly the full magnitude of the little girl’s injuries’.
They added: ‘That her burns are the result of a domestic accident and not military conflict increases the surreal impact – almost that of a fine art picture.’
Quilty is currently on assignment on the Turkish side of the border with Syria, according to his latest post on Twitter.
His interest in photography began when he was given a Nikon F3 by his uncle, and set off on Highway 1 around Australia in 2001.
His work has appeared in publications such as Time Magazine, The New York Times and The Guardian.
The awards aim to recognise and reward excellence in Australian journalism.
The winner of the photojournalism competition will be announced in December.
To view the work of this year’s finalists, visit the awards website.