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Game-Changing Opportunity For Songwriters And Composers

17 January 2023 | 10:32 am | Staff Writer

Applications close on February 28, 2023

Melanie Dyer

Melanie Dyer (Image: Supplied)

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APRA AMCOS has announced the return of the annual Professional Development Awards, a career boosting initiative which has helped further the musical success stories of Gotye, Ecca Vandal, Melanie Dyer, Ngaiire, Morgan Evans, Baker Boy, Amanda Cole and many more.

The Professional Development Awards aim to create serious opportunities for emerging songwriters and composers.  In 2023, twelve individual winners will each take home $10,000 cash and a prize courtesy of Australis Music.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) will honour three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, supporting music creators at different creative stages: NATSIMO Professional Development Award; NATSIMO Youth Professional Development Award (under 25 years old) and NATSIMO Senior Professional Development Award (50 years old and over).

Applications are now open to emerging songwriters and composers across the following categories:

  • Popular Contemporary - (2 Awards) includes Pop, Rock, Alternative, Blues, Roots, Folk, Metal, Christian and Children's
  • Country/Americana
  • Jazz & Improvised Music
  • Classical & Experimental
  • Dance/Electronic
  • Screen Composition (Film, TV, Games)
  • Hip Hop/Rap/Soul/RnB
  • Music Theatre/Stage - workshop funding only
  • NATSIMO Senior PDA

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The 2023 APRA Professional Development Awards judges include Adalita, Marianna Annas, Dan Biddle, Yve Blake, Nicolette Boaz, Gabby Colombi, Yantra de Vilder, Mia Dyson, Matt Fell, Dallas Frasca, Sosefina Fuamoli, Lance Ferguson, John Ferris, Neil Gooding, Michelle Guthrie, Karen Hamilton, Reg Harris, Paul Healy, Fanny Lumsden, Jenny Morris, Joel Ma, Ngaiire, Ben Nicholson, Dave Ruby Howe, Jane Stanley, Laura Tipoki, Ecca Vandal, Rishin Singh, Vanessa Tomlinson and Chelsea Wilson with more to be announced.

Reflecting on her 2015 Professional Development Award, singer-songwriter Ngaiire said, “I think the biggest thing for me was the encouragement. Being a music artist sometimes feels like a solitary marathon except you never know how long the road is, and your training mostly happens as you're going along so you're constantly on this slog to never arriving but always growing.”

Applications for the awards close at 5.00pm AEDT Tuesday, 28 February 2023.

For more information and to apply, visit