Not a member yet? Join APRA AMCOS

Already started a Writer Member application? Continue

2022 Professional Development Awards finalists announced

Media Published Thursday 10 February 2022

The 50 finalists for the 2022 APRA Professional Development Awards have been announced.

There are 10 grants to be presented across 9 genres, with a prize pool of over $100,000.

Finalists include BRUX, Moreton, A.GIRL, Taka Perry, Melanie Dyer, Baker Boy and many more.

The finalists for the 2022 APRA AMCOS Professional Development Awards (PDAs) have been revealed today, showcasing a broad range of Australian songwriting and composing talent across the categories of Popular Contemporary, Hip Hop/Rap/Soul/R&B, Classical/Experimental, Jazz/Improvised Music, Film & Television/Gaming, Country/Americana, Dance/Electronic, Music Theatre, and the Smugglers of Light Foundation Music and Media Award.

With profiles steadily on the rise, this year’s shortlist includes producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Vetta Borne, singer-songwriter Beckah Amani, 2021 APRA Music Awards nominee Melanie Dyer, hip hop artist A.GIRL, bassist and jazz composer Nick Abbey, screen composer Luna Pan, classical composer Kate Milligan, breakthrough producer Taka Perry and more.

Held annually, the PDAs provide impactful support for emerging songwriters and composers - previous winners Briggs, Morgan Evans, Mo’Ju, Julia Jacklin, Gordi, Jess Hitchcock and many more have all benefited from this career-boosting initiative.

2022 sees the return of the Music Theatre category (established in 2021), offering funds for burgeoning composers to be used towards a workshop for their piece. The shortlist includes a full First Nations cast in Yellow Rock – A Gumbaynggirr Song Circle and The Lucky Country, which explores our national identity through a wide range of underrepresented Australian voices.

A panel of judges comprising Jenny Morris, Dave Ruby Howe, Brooke McClymont, Adalita, Pip Norman, Nina Las Vegas, Yve Blake, Joel Ma, John Ferris and more have determined this group of music creators who are in the running to each take home a career-changing cash prize of $10,000 as well as a prize from Australis Music. A complete list of this year’s PDAs judges can be found here.

The Smugglers of Light Foundation Music and Media Award provides a promising Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander music or media practitioner with a grant of $12,000. The foundation was set up in memory of Eli Westlake and finalists this year include producer Trials, singer-songwriter Jem Cassar-Daley and rapper Baker Boy.

The winners of the APRA AMCOS PDAs and the Smugglers of Light Foundation Music and Media Award will be announced on Thursday 3 March.

Without further ado, the finalists for the 2022 APRA AMCOS PDAs:

Popular Contemporary

(2 Awards will be given in this category including Pop, Rock, Alternative, Blues, Roots, Folk, Metal, Christian and Children’s)

  • Beckah Amani
  • Bri Clark
  • Gabriella Cohen
  • Gena Rose Bruce
  • Georgia Potter (Moreton)
  • Indigo Sparke
  • Jack Grace
  • Romy Vager (RVG)
  • Tim Tan
  • Vetta Borne


  • Carolyn Schofield
  • Elizabeth Jigalin
  • Kate Milligan
  • Kitty Xiao
  • Tilman Robinson


  • Brad Cox
  • Casey Barnes
  • Gretta Ziller
  • Melanie Dyer
  • Natasha Parker (Runaway Belles)

Dance / Electronic

  • Adam Bozzetto (For Life)
  • Alice Ivy
  • Jitwam
  • Liz Maniscalco (BRUX)
  • Taka Perry

Film & Television/Gaming

  • Luna Pan
  • Michael Drew
  • Rosie Baldwin
  • Sean Tinnion

Hip Hop/Rap/R&B/Soul

  • A.GIRL
  • Alliyah Fareo (Liyah Knight)
  • Chelsea Warner
  • Nardine Gharsa (Nardean)
  • Tiana Naug (Tiana Khasi)

Jazz/Improvised music

  • Claire Cross
  • Joseph Franklin
  • Nick Abbey
  • Rafael Karlen
  • Rochelle Scorgie

Music theatre

  • Brittanie Shipway – Yellow Rock - A Gumbaynggirr Song Circle
  • Jules Orcullo – Fraser Babies
  • Samuel Gaskin – RECKŌNING
  • Vidya Makan – The Lucky Country

Smugglers of Light Foundation music and media award

  • Angus Field (AYA J)
  • Daniel Rankine (Trials)
  • Danzal Baker (Baker Boy)
  • Jem Cassar-Daley
  • Mi-kaisha Masella