APRA Awards (Australia)

APRA Music Awards
APRA Music Awards of 2020
Apra awards.png
Presented byAustralasian Performing Right Association (APRA)
First awarded1982
Websiteapraamcos.com.au/awards/ Edit this at Wikidata

The APRA Music Awards in Australia are annual awards to celebrate excellence in contemporary music, which honour the skills of member composers, songwriters, and publishers who have achieved outstanding success in sales and airplay performance.

Several award ceremonies are run in Australia by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). In addition to the APRA Music Awards, APRA AMCOS, in association with the Australian Music Centre, presents awards for classical music, jazz and improvised music, experimental music and sound art, known as the Art Music Awards. It also runs, in association with the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC), the Screen Music Awards, to acknowledge excellence in the field of screen composition.

APRA Music Awards (Australia)[]

The APRA Music Awards were established in 1982 to honour songwriters and music composers for their efforts. The award categories are:

Gold Awards[]

From 1982 to 1990, the best songs were given the Gold Award, which was also called the Special Award. In the mid-1980s Platinum Awards were given to significant works from previous years.[1]

Year Songwriter(s) Artist Winning work Award
1982 Graeham Goble Little River Band "Reminiscing" Gold Award
Graham Russell Air Supply "Lost in Love"
Glenn Shorrock Little River Band "Cool Change"
Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Bon Scott AC/DC "Highway To Hell"
1983 No awards No awards No awards No awards
1984 Graham Russell Air Supply "The One That You Love" Special Award
Colin Hay Men at Work "Who Can It Be Now?"
Brian May N/A Mad Max film score
1985 Colin Hay, Ron Strykert Men at Work "Down Under"
John Antill N/A "Corroboree"
Graeham Goble Little River Band "The Other Guy"
Reece Kirk Crystal Gayle "Our Love Is on the Faultline"
1986 Eric Bogle Eric Bogle "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" Gold Award
1987 Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson AC/DC "Back In Black"
Mark Knopfler Dire Straits Brothers in Arms Gold Award (album)
1988 Jack O'Hagan N/A "Along the Road to Gundagai" Platinum Award
Gordon Parsons Slim Dusty "Pub With No Beer"
Rolf Harris Rolf Harris "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport"
Dorothy Dodd N/A "Granada"
Marie Cowan, Banjo Paterson N/A "Waltzing Matilda"
Andrew Farriss, Michael Hutchence INXS "What You Need" Gold Award
Peter Best N/A Crocodile Dundee film score
1989 John Antill N/A "Corroboree" Platinum Award
Harry Vanda & George Young N/A In recognition of the outstanding popularity of their collective works throughout the world
Neil Finn Crowded House "Don't Dream It's Over" Gold Award
Andrew Farriss, Michael Hutchence INXS "Need You Tonight"
Hal David N/A In recognition of the outstanding popularity of his many works in Australia and New Zealand
1989–1990 (held in 1991) Peter Garrett, Rob Hirst, James Moginie Midnight Oil "Beds Are Burning"
1990 Andrew Farriss, Michael Hutchence INXS "Devil Inside"
"New Sensation"

Song of the Year[]

Song of the Year is decided by the votes of APRA members. All eligible songs must be written by an APRA member and released in the preceding calendar year for consideration. The Song of the Year award is considered one of the most prestigious of the APRA Music Awards.

Year Songwriter(s) Artist Song
1991 Bakamana Yunipingu, Stuart Kellaway, Gurrumul Yunipingu, Milkayggu Mununggurr, Cal Williams, Paul Kelly Yothu Yindi "Treaty"
1992 Rick Price, Heather Field Rick Price "Heaven Knows"
1993 Neil Finn and Tim Finn Crowded House "Four Seasons in One Day"
1994 Neil Finn "Distant Sun"
1995 Neil Murray Christine Anu "My Island Home"
1996 Tina Arena, Robert Parde, Heather Field Tina Arena "Wasn’t It Good"
1997 No awards No awards No awards
1998 Dean Manning Leonardo's Bride "Even When I’m Sleeping"
1999 James Roche Bachelor Girl "Buses and Trains"
2000 Jonathan Coghill, John Collins, Ian Haug, Darren Middleton, Bernard Fanning Powderfinger "Passenger"
2001 Bernard Fanning "My Happiness"
2002 Alex Lloyd Alex Lloyd "Amazing"
2003 Kasey Chambers Kasey Chambers "Not Pretty Enough"
2004 John Butler John Butler Trio "Zebra"
2005 Missy Higgins and Kevin Griffin Missy Higgins "Scar"
2006 Ben Lee and McGowan Southworth Ben Lee "Catch My Disease"
2007 Glenn Richards Augie March "One Crowded Hour"
2008 Daniel Johns and Julian Hamilton Silverchair "Straight Lines"
2009 Chris Cheney The Living End "White Noise"
2010 Dougy Mandagi and Lorenzo Sillitto The Temper Trap "Sweet Disposition"
2011 Angus Stone, Julia Stone Angus & Julia Stone "Big Jet Plane"
2012 Wally de Backer, Luiz Bonfa Gotye feat Kimbra "Somebody That I Used To Know"
2013 Kevin Parker Tame Impala "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"
2014 James Keogh Vance Joy "Riptide"
2015 Sia Furler, Jesse Shatkin Sia "Chandelier"
2016 Kevin Parker Tame Impala "Let It Happen"
2017 D.D Dumbo a.k.a. Oliver Perry D.D Dumbo "Satan"
2018 Paul Kelly, Billy Miller Paul Kelly "Firewood and Candles"
2019 Amy Billings Amy Shark "I Said Hi"

Songwriter of the Year[]

Songwriter of the Year is voted by APRA's Board of Writer and Publisher Directors rewarding the songwriter who has recorded the most impressive body of work in the previous year.

Year Songwriter
1991 Phil Buckle
1992 Neil Finn and Tim Finn
1993 Greg Arnold
1994 Neil Finn
1995 Daniel Johns and Benjamin Gillies
1996 Nick Cave
1997 No awards
1998 Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones
1999 Paul Kelly
2000 Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones
2001 Ella Hooper and Jesse Hooper
2002 Kasey Chambers
2003 Daniel Johns
2004 Powderfinger
2005 Jet
2006 Bernard Fanning
2007 Andrew Stockdale, Myles Heskett and Chris Ross
2008 Daniel Johns
2009 Kim Moyes and Julian Hamilton
2010 Angus Young and Malcolm Young
2011 Angus Stone and Julia Stone
2012 Gotye
2013 Sia
2016 Courtney Barnett
2017 Harley Streten p.k.a. Flume
2018 Adam Briggs p.k.a. Briggs and Daniel Rankine p.k.a. Trials
2019 Sarah Aarons

The Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music[]

The Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music' is decided by APRA's Board of Writer and Publisher Directors for a lifetime contribution. The Award is named after Ted Albert whose company Albert Productions put out records by The Easybeats, AC/DC and John Paul Young.

Year Winner
1991 Allan Hely
1992 John Sturman
1993 Peter Sculthorpe
1994 Ian Meldrum
1995 Harry Vanda and George Young
1996 Ron Tudor
1997 No awards
1998 Michael Gudinski
1999 Slim Dusty
2000 Triple J
2001 Charles Fischer
2002 Barry Chapman
2003 Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott
2004 Don Burrows
2005 Michael Chugg
2006 Bill Armstrong
2007 Michael McMartin
2008 Roger Davies
2009 Denis Handlin
2010 Jimmy Little
2011 Paul Kelly
2012 Mary Lopez
2013 The Seekers
2014 Lindy Morrison
2015 Fifa Riccobono
2016 Cold Chisel
2017 Archie Roach
2018 Midnight Oil
2019 Rob Potts

Breakthrough Songwriter Award[]

Breakthrough Songwriter Award is decided by APRA's Board of Writer and Publisher Directors for an emerging songwriter or groups of writers. The award category was first introduced by APRA in 2002.

Year Winner
2002 Jennifer Waite and Grant Wallis (Aneiki)
2003 Craig Nicholls (The Vines)
2004 Delta Goodrem
2005 Missy Higgins
2006 Myles Heskett, Christopher Ross and Andrew Stockdale (Wolfmother)
2007 Glenn Richards (Augie March)
2008 Sally Seltmann (New Buffalo)
2009 Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
2010 Nick Littlemore, Jonathan Sloan, Luke Steele (Empire of the Sun)
2011 Megan Washington
2012 Killian Gavin, Jonathon Hart, Timothy Hart, David Hosking, Jacob Tarasenko (Boy & Bear)
2013 Matthew Colwell (p.k.a. 360), Kaelyn Behr (p.k.a. Styalz)
2014 Louis Schoorl
2015 Michael Clifford, Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood, Ashton Irwin (5 Seconds of Summer)
2016 Alex Hope
2017 Troye Sivan a.k.a. Troye Sivan Mellet
2018 Sarah Aarons
2019 Dean Lewis

Awards for Most Performed Works[]

There are a number of awards given for most performed work based on a statistical analysis of APRA's database. These awards include "Most Performed Australian Work of the Year", "Most Performed Australian Work Overseas", "Most Performed Foreign Work", "Most Performed Jazz Work", "Most Performed Country Work" and "Most Performed Dance Work".

Art Music Awards (with AMC)[]

In 2001, APRA joined forces with the Australian Music Centre (AMC) to present awards for Australian classical music, known as Classic Awards. The AMC had been presenting annual awards for classical music since 1988, apart from a 1993–1995 hiatus due to funding cuts. The participation of APRA helped to secure the future of the awards, which are the only Australian awards for contemporary Australian classical music. This award has been won by well-known composers including Brenton Broadstock, Brett Dean, Ross Edwards, Georges Lentz, Liza Lim, Richard Mills, and Peter Sculthorpe. After another hiatus in 2010, the event returned as the Art Music Awards the following year, restructured and with two new categories.[citation needed]

The awards now cover classical, jazz and improvised music, experimental music and sound art, recognising achievement in composition, performance, education and presentation. As of 2019. eleven national awards as well as awards for each state and territory are available. There is also a discretionary award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music.[3]

The winners of the 2019 Art Music Awards were announced at the Great Hall of the University of Sydney on Monday 19 August.[2]

Screen Music Awards (with AGSC)[]

The annual Screen Music Awards were first presented in 2002 by APRA and AMCOS in conjunction with the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC). The ceremony, held in November, acknowledges excellence and innovation in the field of screen composition, and as of 2019 covers 13 categories.[4]

International Achievement Award – David Hirschfelder
Best Feature Film Score – Alan John for The Bank
Best Soundtrack Album – Paul Kelly, Mairead Hannan, Kev Carmody, John Romeril, Deirdre Hannan and Alice Garner for One Night the Moon
International Achievement Award – Bruce Smeaton
Best Feature Film Score – Nigel Westlake for The Nugget
Best Soundtrack Album – Cezary Skubiszewski for After the Deluge
International Achievement Award – Lisa Gerrard
Best Feature Film Score – Elizabeth Drake for Japanese Story
Best Soundtrack Album – Iva Davies, Christopher Gordon and Richard Tognetti for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
International Achievement Award – Bruce Rowland
Best Feature Film Score – Ben Ely, Matthew Fitzgerald, Tom Schutzinger and Peter Kelly (Decoder Ring) for Somersault
Best Soundtrack Album – Roger Mason for The Extra
International Achievement Award – Peter Best
Best Feature Film Score – Francois Tetaz for Wolf Creek
Best Soundtrack Album – David Bridie, Albert David and Kadu for RAN: Remote Area Nurse
International Achievement Award – The Wiggles
Best Feature Film Score – Nigel Westlake for Miss Potter
Best Soundtrack Album – Nigel Westlake for Miss Potter
International Achievement Award – Garry McDonald and Laurie Stone
Best Feature Film Score – David Hirschfelder for Children of the Silk Road
Best Soundtrack Album – Michael Yezerski for The Black Balloon
Best Music for a Short Film - Geoffrey Russell for Noir Drive[5]
International Achievement Award – Guy Gross
Best Feature Film Score – Lisa Gerrard for Balibo
Best Soundtrack Album – Cezary Skubiszewski for Death Defying Acts
Best Feature Film Score – Christopher Gordon for Mao's Last Dancer
Best Soundtrack Album – Christopher Gordon for Mao's Last Dancer
Best Feature Film Score – Jed Kurzel for Snowtown
Best Soundtrack Album – Rafael May for Road Train
Best Feature Film Score – Lisa Gerrard for Burning Man
Best Soundtrack Album – Michael Lira / Jono Ma / Antony Partos / Irine Vela for The Slap

Other awards[]

Emily Burrows Award[]

The Emily Burrows Award was instituted in 2001 in memory of Emily Burrows, a former APRA AMCOS membership representative and compliance officer. It is awarded to a South Australian artist or band annually with a $5,000 prize, to further their development and career. Electric Fields won it in 2016, with previous winners including Hilltop Hoods and The Beards.[6]

In 2019 the prize was awarded at the South Australian Music Awards for the first time, with Dead Roo winning the Award.[7]

Top 30 Australian Songs (2001 only)[]

As part of its 75th anniversary celebrations in 2001, APRA created a list of the top 30 Australian songs.[8] A panel of 100 music personalities were asked to list the ten best Australian songs, the data was compiled and the Top Ten in numerical order, was announced at the 2001 APRA Music Awards ceremony.[8] At the ceremony You Am I performed the #1 listed song "Friday on My Mind" with Ross Wilson performing the #2 listed song "Eagle Rock".[8] The next 20 songs in the Top 30 had been announced four weeks earlier.[9]

See also[]


  1. ^ "History". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b "2019 Art Music Awards winners announced". APRA AMCOS. 19 August 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  3. ^ "2019 Art Music Awards: About". APRA AMCOS. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Categories". APRA AMCOS. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  5. ^ "APRA / AGSC AWARDS" (PDF). Australian Film Television and Radio School Annual Report 2008–09. Australian Film Television and Radio School, Commonwealth of Australia. 31 July 2009. p. 11. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Emily Burrows Award recipients hit WOMADelaide". APRA AMCOS. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  7. ^ Von Einem, Johnny (25 November 2019). "Who won what at the 2019 SAM Awards?". Citymag. Pictures: Dave Court. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Culnane, Paul (28 May 2001). "The final list: APRA'S Ten best Australian Songs". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  9. ^ Kruger, Debbie (2 May 2001). "The songs that resonate through the years". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 2007-11-02.

External links[]