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AWMAs Announce 2023 Beneficiaries Of QLD Regional & Remote Women’s Music Program

29 August 2023 | 11:36 pm | Ellie Robinson

Eight recipients, including Greta Stanley, were chosen by the Australian Women In Music Awards.

Greta Stanley

Greta Stanley (Supplied)

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The team behind the Australian Women In Music Awards (AWMAs) have detailed this year’s QLD Regional & Remote Women’s Music Program – its fourth official edition – announcing eight beneficiaries who will take part in the two-day experience.

As the program’s name makes clear, the eight recipients chosen come from all across the state of Queensland, and are purposely diverse in nature: the program aims to provide opportunities to women of varying ages and cultural backgrounds, in different stages of their musical careers, with unique skillsets and interests. According to a press release, the program’s aim is “to make the music industry more accessible for artists, musicians and music practitioners who are often disadvantaged by distance and gender”.

This year’s eight beneficiaries include Greta Stanley, Leanne Tennant, Sharmaine Drieberg, Talitha Power and Yirgjhilya Lawrie – all of whom are based in Cairns – as well as Mossman’s Kirsty Burchill, Mount Isa’s Megan Samardin, and Far North Queensland’s Tessa Devine. As part of the program, they’ll engage in a series of forums, “in conversation” discussions and networking sessions.

Running over September 26-27 in Brisbane, the program also includes the First Nations Women’s Music Showcase, and will culminate with a Black Carpet event, the primary AWMAs ceremony, a concert and an afterparty. As a whole, it’s noted, the QLD Regional & Remote Women’s Music Program “provides a safe and supportive environment for industry connections to develop and thrive, ensuring all participants are nurtured and supported to build authentic relationships to develop real career outcomes in the music industry”.

In a statement, juror Roz Pappalardo (the AWMAs’ Regional Liaison and Artistic Director of Cultural Services for the Cairns Regional Council) said of this year’s beneficiaries: “After careful review and consideration of the highest number of applicants since the program’s inception in 2018, we are excited to congratulate the eight delegates who were selected from across regional Queensland based on a combination of their impressive skill and talent, as well as the potential for the program to contribute significantly to their growth within the music industry.”

The sentiment was echoed by First Nations singer-songwriter and consultant Toni Janke, who said: “It was wonderful to see a high level of responses received from First Nations women, we have so much to contribute to the Australian music industry. Many First Nations women have powerful stories to share through music and culture and this program will provide a life-changing opportunity and experience for the chosen artists and all involved.”

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Also chiming in was MP Shannon Fentiman (Queensland’s Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women), who added: “So many of our unsung creatives and artists are spread right across the state in rural, remote, and regional parts of Queensland. This wonderful event sets the stage to empower and recognise the talented women in our regions and shines a light on those from under-represented backgrounds.”

Lastly, Leeanne Enoch (Queensland’s Minister for the Arts) said: “This program, supported through Arts Queensland’s Queensland Arts Showcase Program, will enable eight recipients from regional and remote Queensland to attend the 2023 AWMA First Nation’s showcase, forums and event.

“Importantly, this investment will foster greater cultural diversity and inclusivity, support First Nations women, together with culturally diverse and LGBTQIA+ female artists and musicians, no matter where in Queensland they live. Queensland has a rich and vibrant music heritage and our government is proud to continue support for the sector, including through new investment of almost $4 million over four years for QMusic’s BIGSOUND.”

This year’s AWMAs ceremony and concert will be streamed on ABC iview on Friday September 29, followed by a nationwide broadcast on ABC TV the following afternoon (September 30). See here for more details on the full program.