2021 APRA Professional Development Awards Winners Announced!

An exciting next wave of Australian songwriters and composers have been announced as the recipients of the 2021 APRA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AWARDS (PDAs).

APRA AMCOS is delighted to now present the PDAs annually to honour developing songwriters and composers across a range of genres, providing a $10,000 cash award at a crucial stage in their career.

The 2021 APRA PDAs showcase music creators across multiple disciplines, from Fijian hip-hop  artist Jesswar to contemporary composer Connor D’Netto, to screen composer and creative technologist Freya Berkhout, innovative pop artist Woodes and inaugural Music Theatre honourees Hugo Chiarella  and Naomi  Livingston.

Congratulations to the 2021 PDA recipients:

Alex Lahey – Popular Contemporary
Elle Graham pka Woodes / Tornado Club – Popular Contemporary
Connor D’Netto – Classical / Experimental
Sarah Buckley – The Buckleys – Country / Americana
Christopher Arnott pka Friendless – Dance/ Electronic
Jessica Koroi pka Jesswar – Hip Hop / Rap / R&B / Soul
Freya Berkhout – Film and Television / Gaming
Steve Barry – Jazz / Improvised Music
Hugo Chiarella & Naomi Livingston – Paradise Road – Music Theatre
Jeremy Marou – Smugglers of Light Foundation Music and Media Award

APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston Said:

Our objective and intention with the Professional Development Awards is simple – provide recognition and financial support to developing songwriters and composers, so they can continue to follow their dream.

It’s a challenging time for anyone in contemporary music. Event cancellations and postponements and restricted travel translates into limited career development and a lack of international opportunities for our members. APRA AMCOS applauds this year’s recipients for their vision and tenacity, and we’re excited to see what they will achieve next.

Each winner is awarded a $10,000 cash prize as well as a prize from Australis Music ranging from an Epihone Casino Coupe guitar to a Behringer POLY-D Synth.

Musician, songwriter and youth worker, Jeremy Marou, has been named the recipient of the $12,000 Music and Media Award grant from the Smugglers of Light, a foundation set up by Australian composer and conductor Nigel Westlake in memory of his son Eli Westlake, who was tragically killed in 2008 at the age of 21.

Nigel Westlake Said:

For over 10 years Jeremy Marou has been forging a career as one of Australia’s leading singer-songwriters and is also a prominent role model for young and emerging artists in his community. We are thrilled to be able to offer Jeremy this opportunity to expand his writing and compositional skills, whilst taking time to reconnect with his Torres Strait Islander roots and share his skills and experiences with his community.

A panel of judges comprising Brooke McClymont, Caitlin Yeo, Dom Alessio, Jenny Morris, Joel Ma, Pip Norman, Yve Blake and more have determined the impressive winners from a pool of close to 1,000 applicants.

Previous PDA winners include Gotye, Ainslie Wills, Julia Jacklin, Ecca Vandal, Ruby Boots, Briggs, Morgan Evans, Sally Seltmann and screen composer Pru Montin.


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