2018 Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition finalists announced as all-time funds raised for Nordoff-Robbins surpasses $1 million

Thursday, 19 Apr 2018

The Top 40 bursts with songwriting excellence as entries from Amy Shark, Mallrat, G Flip, Dean Lewis and more contribute to our biggest result yet.

Finalist Alice Ivy

A huge thanks goes out to the 3,296 songwriters worldwide who entered 4,056 songs in this year’s Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition, collectively contributing nearly $203,000 to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA) via their entry fees. This year marks the most successful result yet since the competition’s start in 2009, pushing all-time funds raised past $1 million dollars.

“Our organisation is beyond grateful to all the songwriters who have entered the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition over the years. Their entry fees have made a profound impact on the lives of the children and adults we work with daily. Thank you to Alberts and APRA AMCOS for their ongoing support and to the great Harry Vanda and George Young for a musical legacy that has made reaching $1 million possible,” says Belinda Leonard, CEO of NRMTA.

Artists with multiple songs shortlisted are Alice Ivy, Amy Shark, Gang of Youths, Georgi Kay and Gordi. Of the top forty’s 33 unique songwriters, 25 are making their first time appearance and 22 of them are female or female-fronted. The competition received songs from all corners – US, Canada, Hungary, Japan and beyond.

The new guard of songwriters on the list of finalists include up-and-comers Mallrat, G Flip, Angie McMahon, Dean Lewis and Bri Clark to name a few.

Without further ado, here is the 2018 Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition shortlist in alphabetical order:



Abbey Gardner 

Weight Of Feeling 

Adam Eckersley & Brooke McClymont

Train Wreck 

Ainslie Wills 

Running Second 

Alex Lahey 

I Love You Like A Brother 

Alfie Arcuri 


Alice Ivy 

Get Me A Drink 

Alice Ivy 

Chasing Stars 

Amy Shark


Amy Shark 


Angie McMahon 

Slow Mover 

Asha Jefferies 


Bri Clark 

Giving Up 

Cookin' On 3 Burners 

Real Life Baby 



Dean Lewis 

Be Alright 


Star Crossed Lover 

G Flip 

About You 

Gang of Youths 

Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane 

Gang of Youths 

Let Me Down Easy 

Gang of Youths 

The Heart Is A Muscle 

Gang of Youths 

What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out? 

Georgi Kay 

Guilty Pleasures 

Georgi Kay 



Heaven I Know 


On My Side 



Holly Arrowsmith 

Love Together 

Holy Holy

True Lovers

Dennis Dowlut and Maxwell Bidstrup

Paper Planes 

Jack Carty 

Hospital Hill 

King IV 




Maya Jupiter 


Middle Kids 


Oh Pep! 


Ruby Fields 

I Want 


Don't Tell Me 

Tia Gostelow 

That's What You Get 

Tim Hansen 

Don't Be A Dick 

Timothy Bowen 


Four top winners will be announced in May. At stake is a first-place cash prize of A$50,000, courtesy of APRA AMCOSAlbertsand BMG, as well as an additional A$5,000 Show Grouptravel package.

Two runners-up cash prizes are also on offer with second place receiving A$10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association)and third place taking home A$5,000 courtesy of media sponsor, Seventh Street Media. An exciting addition to the prize slate this year is A$5,000 for the best ‘Unpublished’ work. 

The winning songs will be judged by a range of music industry professionals including three-time APRA Songwriter of the Year Daniel Johns, electronic artist and triple j host KLP, ARIA-winner Montaigne, and representatives from Billboard,Universal Musictriple j Unearthedand more.

Melbourne singer-songwriter Gretta Rayearned top honours and the $50,000 cash prize in 2016 for her captivating song Drive, joining an impressive roll-call of past winners including Megan Washington (2009), Kimbra(2011), The Preatures (2013), Husky Gawenda(2014).

Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The EasybeatsHarry Vandaand the late George Young, thecompetition raises funds for NRMTAand its work with children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties. 

Listen and share the Top 40 playlist streaming on Spotify.

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