Finalists Announced For 2024 APRA Professional Development Awards

16 January 2024 | 5:43 pm | Ellie Robinson

This year’s stellar suite of nominees includes up-and-comers like Sara Berki, Ninajirachi, Elsy Wameyo, Miss Kaninna and so, so many more.

Elsy Wameyo / Milan Ring / Nardean / Nkechi Anele / Thom Crawford

Elsy Wameyo / Milan Ring / Nardean / Nkechi Anele / Thom Crawford (Supplied)

More Sara Berki More Sara Berki

APRA AMCOS have today (January 16) announced the finalists for this year’s APRA Professional Development Awards, honouring some of Australia’s most promising up-and-comers.

Each award carries a cash prize of $10,000, with categories separated by genres (ie. Popular Contemporary, Dance/Electronic and Country/Americana) or form (ie. Music Theatre and Screen Composition). There are also three awards tied in to the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO), with an all-encompassing General title accompanied by specialised awards for Youth and Senior classes.

Finalists for the General NATSIMO award include Jolene Lawrence of the Ripple Effect Band, Miss Kaninna, Kee’ahn, Birdz and Nathan Lamont, while this year’s three Youth finalists are THOM, Becca Hatch and Sachém, and the Senior finalists are Suga Lu, BROLGA and Warren Mason.

Meanwhile, Elsy Wameyo is up for the wide-ranging Hip-Hop / Rap / R&B / Soul award, alongside Milan Ring, Nardean, Nkechi Anele and Thom Crawford. And for Dance / Electronic, we have Elle Shimada, KUČKA, Harvey Sutherland, Nicole Michel-Millar and Ninajirachi vying for the grand prize. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Country/Americana finalists include Gretta Ziller, Babitha, Raechel Whitchurch, Sara Berki and Taylor Moss.

The annual PDAs are invaluable to up-and-coming artists, with previous winners including Gotye, Mo’Ju, Ecca Vandal, Melanie Dyer, Ngaiire, Gordi and Yirrmal – per APRA AMCOS themselves, the awards “provide impactful support for emerging songwriters and composers”.

Winners will be announced on Thursday February 15, as judged by a panel including some of the country’s brightest and most renowned industry figures: Imogen Clark, Hau Latukefu, Kristy Gostelow, Sosefina Fuamoli, Ngaiire, Nina Las Vegas, Tim Levinson and more.

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You can see the full list of finalists for the 2024 APRA Professional Development Awards below.

2024 APRA Professional Development Awards – Finalists


Fiona Hill
Grace Ferguson
Mark Holdsworth
Rebecca Bracewell
Victoria Pham


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


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


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


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


Alec Steedman
Erin McKellar
Jennifer Trijo
Jude Perl
Mel & Sam


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)


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


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


Adrian Leung
Emma Greenhill
Harrison Wood
Michael Allen
Sean Tinnon