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2024 Professional Development Awards finalists announced

Media Published Tuesday 16 January 2024
2024 PDAs finalists in the Hip Hop / Rap / R&B / Soul category (L-R): Elsy Wameyo, Milan Ring, Nardine Gharsa (Nardean), Nkechinyere Anele (Nkechi Anele), Thom Crawford

The 56 finalists for the 2024 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 Elsy Wameyo, CYRUS, Emma Greenhill, Becca Hatch and many more

The finalists for the 2024 APRA Professional Development Awards (PDAs) have been revealed today, showcasing a broad range of 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, NATSIMO (General), NATSIMO (Youth) and NATSIMO (Senior).

With profiles steadily on the rise, this year’s shortlist includes Kamilaroi-Samoan singer-songwriter and 2023 APRA Music Awards performer Becca Hatch (NATSIMO Youth), alt-country artist Imogen Grist (Babitha), screen and MadeBy composer Emma Greenhill, comedy duo Mel & Sam, electronic producer and DJ Mike Katz (Harvey Sutherland), jazz/experimental saxophonist Andrew Saragossi, evolutionary biologist and 2023 Art Music Fund recipient Victoria Pham, 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, Jem-Cassar Daley, Angeline Armstrong and Yirrmal have all benefited from this career-boosting initiative.

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 are in the running to each take home a career-changing cash prize of $10,000. A complete list of this year’s PDAs judges can be found here.

Back again in 2024 are the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) categories: NATSIMO General, Youth and Senior, which support members’ creativity at different life stages. The NATSIMO PDAs provide three promising Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander music practitioners with a grant of $10,000 each.

Finalists include Brisbane’s Sachém (NATSIMO Youth); Yuwaalaraay musician and storyteller Warren Mason (NATSIMO Senior); and Yorta Yorta, Kalkadoon and Yirendali hip hop artist Kaninna Langford (Miss Kaninna) (NATSIMO General).

The winners of the APRA PDAs will be announced on Thursday 15 February 2024.

Without further ado, the finalists for the 2024 APRA PDAs:

Classical / Experimental

Fiona Hill
Grace Ferguson
Mark Holdsworth
Rebecca Bracewell
Victoria Pham

Country / Americana

Gretta Ziller
Imogen Grist (Babitha)
Raechel Whitchurch
Sara Berki
Taylor Moss

Dance / Electronic

Elle Shimada
Laura Lowther (KUČKA)
Mike Katz (Harvey Sutherland)
Nicole Michel-Millar
Nina Wilson (Ninajirachi)

Hip Hop / Rap / R&B / Soul

Elsy Wameyo
Milan Ring
Nardine Gharsa (Nardean)
Nkechinyere Anele (Nkechi Anele)
Thom Crawford

Jazz / Improvised

Andrew Saragossi
Cheryl Durongpisitkul
Sage Harlow (Sage Pbbbt)
Tom Avgenicos
Vanessa Perica

Music Theatre

Alec Steedman
Erin McKellar
Jennifer Trijo
Jude Perl
Mel & Sam

NATSIMO (General)

Jolene Lawrence (Ripple Effect Band)
Kaninna Langford (Miss Kaninna)
Kee’ahn Bindol
Nathan Bird (Birdz)
Nathan Lamont


Amelia Thompson (THOM)
Becca Hatch
Sachém Parkin-Owens (Sachém)

NATSIMO (Senior)

Lu Dulvarie (Suga Lu)
Russell Smith (BROLGA)
Warren Mason

Popular Contemporary

Aidan Hogg
Cyrus Villanueva (CYRUS)
Gena Rose Bruce
Georgia Hoareau
Hannah Cameron
Joe Mungovan
Nikkita Wright (Kita Alexander)
Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt (Merpire)
Romy Vager (RVG)
Samuel Gaskin

Screen Composition

Adrian Leung
Emma Greenhill
Harrison Wood
Michael Allen
Sean Tinnion

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