APRA Professional Development Award Winners For 2023 Revealed

17 June 2023 | 9:39 am | Mary Varvaris

This year’s winners are as diverse as ever.

L, R: Angeline Armstrong, Elizabeth M. Drummond, Georgia Delves, Luna Pan, Andrew Gurruwiwi. Front: Vidya Makan

L, R: Angeline Armstrong, Elizabeth M. Drummond, Georgia Delves, Luna Pan, Andrew Gurruwiwi. Front: Vidya Makan (Credit: Maria Boyadgis)

12 phenomenal Australian talents have taken home the 2023 APRA Professional Development Awards (PDAs), which means they’re all bringing some life-changing cash home to record new music.

The APRA PDAs are renowned as a game-changing program presented by APRA AMCOS and NATSIMO (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office).

The awards are an annual honour that provides impactful support for emerging songwriters and composers across all music genres, bestowing a $10,000 cash prize and equipment from Australis Music at a pivotal stage in their respective careers.

This year’s winners are as diverse as ever, from Telenova’s Angeline Armstrong for popular contemporary music, to pianist, composer and improviser Sophie Min, dance/electronic artist Alex Hosking, screen composer Luna Pan, country and Americana artist Georgia Delves (Georgia State Line), and music theatre honouree Vidya Makan.

In addition to the artists awarded based on the genres of music they’re in, NATSIMO has honoured three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songwriters for the first time. Those artists are Yirrmal, named NATSIMO General, Jem Cassar-Daley, a NATSIMO Youth Award-winner, and Andrew Gurruwiwi, NATSIMO Senior, who performed with his band for Thursday afternoon’s announcement.

Leah Flanagan, Director of NATSIMO, said in a statement, “We are very proud to support the next chapter for the three inaugural NATSIMO PDA category winners: Yirrmal, Jem Cassar-Daley and Andrew Gurruwiwi. While each winner is at a different career and life stage, they are all on the cusp of an exciting next step in their songwriting and artistry.

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“The NATSIMO created these categories to reflect the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music creator members and the professional strides they make in their own unique way. We are particularly proud to be able to recognise and award our senior songwriters who are admired and active contributors to the Australian musical and cultural landscape.”

The 2023 APRA PDA winners are:

Andrea Guterres – Classical/ Experimental
Georgia Delves (Georgia State Line) – Country/ Americana
Alex Hosking – Dance/ Electronic
Soli – Hip Hop/ Rap/ R&B/ Soul
Sophie Min – Jazz/ Improvised
Vidya Makan – LIGHT - Music Theatre
Angeline Armstrong (Telenova) – Popular Contemporary
Elizabeth M. Drummond – Popular Contemporary
Luna Pan – Screen Composition
Yirrmal – NATSIMO (General)
Jem Cassar-Daley – NATSIMO (Youth)
Andrew Gurruwiwi - NATSIMO (Senior)