History was made last night at what was aptly dubbed by co-host Christine Anu, “an unprecedented moment for music and for women.”

Anu was co-hosting the inaugural Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA) alongside Katie Noonan last night, where in an Australian music history first, an Awards ceremony was held to recognise the outstanding contributions of women across all areas of the Australian music industry. 

“Tonight for the first time in Australian music history women are going home with all of the awards,” said Katie Noonan.

The awards were held at Brisbane Powerhouse in Queensland, where it was pointed out the State has a female Premier, a female Deputy Premier, and that 50% of its Cabinet Members and 50% of its Parliament Members are female.

Across 14 categories the AWMAs saw Ngaiire take out the Twitter Australia Artistic Excellence Award; Anna Laverty take home the AWMA Studio Production Award, and Gordi take out the APRA AMCOS Songwriter Award.

The latter was presented by APRA AMCOS Chair Jenny Morris who made use of the platform so say how great it was that in January 2019 the 10% tax will be removed from tampons.

gordi-awmas 2018
Gordi and Jenny Morris

She also said of songwriters: “If you can write a song that becomes a touchstone to a time, a place, or an experience then you’ve created a valuable gift that can effect the listener for life.”

A shouted comment from the audience to say, “You did it Jenny Morris!” was met with wild applause.

The Awards also offered a few tied winners from the judging council. Camp Cope and Amy Shark both took out the CICADA International Breakthrough Artist Award; Lydia Davies and Nerida Tyson-Chew won The Calile Hotel Musical Excellence Award; and of course Renée Geyer, Patricia ‘Little Patty’ Amphlett, Margret RoadKnight all received an Industry Observer Lifetime Achievement Award.

The live performances on the night were all equal highlights, from Kate Ceberano, Katie Noonan, Kween G, Merenia Marin, Adalita, Lou Bennett (Tiddas), Sophie Koh, Zoe Hauptmann, Gordi, Ancestress, Emily Wurramara and a rousing reunion performance by Do Re Mi featuring icons Deborah Conway and Helen Carter.

AWMA founder and director, Vicki Gordon said:

“Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and finalists and a huge heart felt thank you to everyone who has believed in AWMA and the possibility for change. This evening we have celebrated and acknowledged the value of women across all areas of the Australian Music Industry. I am proud that AWMA has created a powerful platform to build a meaningful conversation about inclusivity, diversity and equality”.

INAUGURAL AUSTRALIAN WOMEN IN MUSIC AWARDS WINNERS

APRA AMCOS Songwriter Award

Recognises a female songwriter or composer who has made extraordinary impact nationally and/or internationally in the past 12 months.

WINNER – Gordi (Sophie Payten)

SHEBAH Music Leadership Award

Recognises a female CEO, Managing Director, Label Manager, A&R Director, Artist Manager or Publisher making significant impact in music industry leadership.

WINNER – Jen Cloher

SSI Diversity in Music Award

Recognises individual artists or female-driven musical collaborations for their contribution to advancing a culturally diverse and inclusive music industry.

WINNER – Mission Songs Project

AWMA Studio Production Award

Recognises a female sound engineer or producer who has made contributions of outstanding significance in the studio recording environment.

WINNER – Anna Laverty

Canon Australia Music Photographer Award

Recognises a female music photographer currently working in the field and to acknowledge her body of work.

WINNER – Wendy McDougall

Spotify Creative Leadership Award

A curatorial award recognising excellence in creative programming and/or content creation from a woman working in a music festival, live performance/venue or media setting to champion female artists.

WINNER – Zoe Hauptmann

CICADA International Breakthrough Artist Award

Recognises a female artist who has had a significant breakthrough impact nationally in the past 12 months.

TIED WINNERS – Camp Cope and Amy Shark

Twitter Australia Artistic Excellence Award

Recognises exceptional creative achievement from a female artist/musician across any genre.

WINNER – Ngaiire

Canon Australia Film-maker Award

Recognises a female music videographer, clip-maker or film-maker currently working in the field and to acknowledge her body of work.

WINNER – Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore

AWMA Live Production Award

Recognises a female working in a live production or touring environment making significant impact in her field: Includes Tour Management, Live Sound, Lighting, Backstage and Roadcrew

WINNER – Robyn Jelleff

The Calile Hotel Musical Excellence Award

Recognises exceptional musicianship from a female musician across any genre.

TIED WINNERS – Lydia Davies and Nerida Tyson-Chew

QUT Creative Industries Faculty Educator Award

Recognises an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and/or to empowering Indigenous female artists in remote and regional communities.

WINNER – Dr Anita Collins

CAAMA Auriel Andrew Memorial Award

Recognises a true pioneer of Aboriginal women in music.

WINNER – Deborah Cheetham AO

Industry Observer Lifetime Achievement Award

Presented to a female artist or musician who has made outstanding artistic contribution to the field of recording and/or live performance during her lifetime.

WINNERS – Renée Geyer, Patricia ‘Little Patty’ Amphlett, Margret RoadKnight