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Ninajirachi, Sara Berki, Elsy Wameyo & More Win 2024 APRA AMCOS Professional Development Awards

15 February 2024 | 4:17 pm | Ellie Robinson

The awards aim to “nurture and acknowledge the next exciting wave of songwriters and composers”.

2024 APRA PDA Winners

2024 APRA PDA Winners (Credit: Adam Davis-Powell)

APRA AMCOS have announced the winners of this year’s Professional Development Awards (PDAs), drawn from a pool of nearly 1,000 artists.

In addition to the accolade itself, each PDA winner receives a cash prize of $10,000 to aide in establishing or bolstering their musical careers. The shortlist was voted on by a panel of judges including Imogen Clark, Hau Latukefu, Kristy Gostelow, Sosefina Fuamoli, Ngaiire, Nina Las Vegas and Tim Levinson.

In the way of genre-based titles, Ninajirachi won the PDA for Dance/Electronica, while Sara Berki won for Country/Americana, Rebecca Bracewell won for Classical/Experimental, Elsy Wameyo won for Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B/Soul, and Vanessa Perica won for Jazz/Improvised.

Elsewhere in the list of winners, Mel & Sam took home the Music Theatre PDA, whole Michael Allen won for Screen Composition, and producer-songwriters Aidan Hogg and Hannah Cameron were both honoured for Popular Contemporary.

Three awards were also handed out in partnership with NATSIMO (the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office) – Miss Kaninna won the General award, while THOM won the Youth award and Warren Mason won the Senior award.

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In a press release, NATSIMO director Leah Flanagan said the organisation is “excited to support these songwriters and foster artistic development and cultural impact at all life stages”. She spotlit THOM’s “youthful, self-described ‘audacity’”, Miss Kaninna’s “unique career-path from musical theatre to pop” and Mason’s “songwriting as a means of healing”.

“These awards not only nurture and acknowledge the next exciting wave of songwriters and composers,” said Dean Ormston (chief executive at APRA AMCOS), “but they also signal the strength of Australian music and how important it is to invest in this fast-growing cultural export.”