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2023 Professional Development Awards finalists announced

Media Published Tuesday 16 May 2023
Congrats to all 56 of our finalists! Find the full list below.

The 56 finalists for the 2023 APRA Professional Development Awards have been announced.

There are 12 grants to be presented across 11 categories, with a prize pool of over $120,000.

Finalists include Yirrmal, A.GIRL, Ninajirachi, Budjerah, Samuel Weiss and many more.

The finalists for the 2023 APRA 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, Screen Composition, Country/Americana, Dance/Electronic, Music Theatre and NATSIMO (General), NATSIMO (Youth) and NATSIMO (Senior).

With profiles steadily on the rise, this year’s shortlist includes Rirratjingu storyteller, songwriter and performer Yirrmal, rising electronic producer and artist Ninajirachi, hip hop artist and A.GIRL, Korean-Australian pianist, composer and improviser Sophie Min, Melbourne multi-disciplinary artist Hannah Crofts, screen composer Samuel Weiss, Perth-based experimental artist Josten Myburgh, Telenova’s Angeline Armstrong and more.

Held annually, the PDAs provide impactful support for emerging songwriters and composers - previous winners Gotye, Mo’Ju, Ecca Vandal, Melanie Dyer, Ngaiire, Gordi, Baker Boy, Amanda Cole, Beckah Amani and many more have all benefited from this career-boosting initiative.

A panel of judges comprising Jenny Morris, Ngaiire, Lance Ferguson, John Ferris, Neil Gooding, Mindy Meng Wang, Joel Ma, Sosefina Fuamoli, Fanny Lumsden, Dave Ruby Howe, Nina Las Vegas 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.

New in 2023 are the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office categories: NATSIMO General, Youth and Senior, which support members doing exciting work at different life stages. The NATSIMO PDAs provide three promising Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander music practitioners with a grant of $10,000 each. Finalists include Dharawal songwriter and producer AODHAN (NATSIMO Youth), Yanyuwa and Wardaman singer-songwriter Shellie Morris (NATSIMO Senior) and 2023 APRA Music Awards performer, Rirratjingu artist Yirrmal (NATSIMO General).

The winners of the APRA PDAs will be announced on Thursday 15 June 2023.

Without further ado, the finalists for the 2023 APRA PDAs:

Classical / Experimental

Country / Americana

Dance / Electronic

Jazz / Improvised

Hip Hop / Rap / R&B / Soul

Music Theatre

NATSIMO (General)


NATSIMO (Senior)

Popular Contemporary

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

Screen Composition

A playlist featuring the work of PDAs finalists is available on Spotify and Apple Music.