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2024 APRA Professional Development Awards winners announced

Media Published Thursday 15 February 2024
Back row L-R: Vanessa Perica, Michael Allen, Mel O'Brien (Mel & Sam), Sara Berki, Warren Mason Front row L-R: Elsy Wameyo, Hannah Cameron, Sam Andrew (Mel & Sam), Amelia Thompson (THOM), Kaninna Langford (Miss Kaninna). Photo by Adam Davis-Powell

The winners of the 2024 Professional Development Awards (PDAs) have been announced, including Elsy Wameyo, Miss Kaninna, Mel & Sam and more.

The PDAs provide $10,000 to developing songwriters & composers across multiple genres.

Whittled down from a pool of close to 1,000 talented music artists, APRA AMCOS and NATSIMO (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office) are excited to announce the dynamic group of creators of the 2024 APRA Professional Development Awards (PDAs), a career-changing initiative presented annually by APRA AMCOS, offering emerging songwriters and composers $10,000 cash and recognition across multiple genres.

The 2024 PDAs showcase music creators in the early stage of their career, working across multiple disciples and backgrounds: from hard-of-hearing composer and sound artist Rebecca Bracewell, Nairobi-born and Kenyan-rasied singer, rapper and producer Elsy Wameyo, rising songwriter and producer Aidan Hogg (G Flip, Jaguar Jonze, Holy Holy) and queer award-winning musical comedy duo Mel & Sam.

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

For the second year, the NATSIMO honours three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songwriters across three categories: Proud Yorta Yorta, Djadja Wurrung, Kalkadoon and Yirendali woman Kaninna Langford (Miss Kaninna) for NATSIMO General, Amelia Thompson (THOM) for NATSIMO Youth, and Tin Camp Studio’s Warren Mason received the NATSIMO Senior PDA and performed at today’s announcement.

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

Congratulations to the 2024 PDA recipients:

Rebecca Bracewell - Classical/Experimental
Sara Berki - Country/Americana
Nina Wilson (Ninajirachi) - Dance/Electronic
Elsy Wameyo - Hip Hop/Rap/R&B/Soul
Vanessa Perica - Jazz/Improvised
Mel & Sam - Music Theatre
Kaninna Langford (Miss Kaninna) - NATSIMO General
Amelia Thompson (THOM) - NATSIMO Youth
Warren Mason - NATSIMO Senior
Aidan Hogg - Popular Contemporary
Hannah Cameron - Popular Contemporary
Michael Allen - Screen Composition

A panel of judges including Imogen Clark, Hau Latukefu, Kristy Gostelow, Sosefina Fuamoli, Ngaiire, Nina Las Vegas, Tim Levinson and more have determined this group of music creators who will each take home a career-changing cash prize of $10,000.

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