Held every two years, the APRA Professional Development Awards aims to create serious opportunities for emerging songwriters and composers in the following categories:

  1. Popular Contemporary (three awards are given in this category including Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Hip Hop, Dance and R&B)
  2. Country
  3. Jazz
  4. Classical
  5. Film and Television
  6. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI)

There’s a total prize pool of $180,000 that will be shared by the eight winners.

In 2015, APRA AMCOS has proudly announced The Smugglers of Light initiative which has formed part of the 2015 PDA’s. The newly created Indigenous Music and Media Award will provide a promising Australian Indigenous music or media practitioner a grant of $12,000. The Smugglers of Light foundation has been set up in memory of Eli Westlake aged 21, who was tragically killed in Sydney on 7th June 2008. 

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