In between history-making award wins, incredible performances including from the one-night-only super group of Suze DeMarchi and Baby Animals, Adalita and Isabella Manfredi, and Ainslie Wills’ musical tribute to Brett Cottle, the APRA AMCOS CEO gave a momentous public address last night.

:: 2018 APRA Awards Winners List

Brett Cottle leaves the collecting society in June with more than 40 years’ service to APRA AMCOS, with 28 of those years as its Chief Executive.

In his speech, Cottle thanked APRA Chair Jenny Morris, who delivered a moving tribute at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, and praised incoming CEO Dean Ormston’s leadership.

“I feel that this precious, precious organisations, which is in so much of my DNA, is in incredibly safe hands,” he said.

Cottle used the opportunity to demonstrate the vital importance of music in his life.

“Every memory of significance in life seems to oscillate through a musical backdrop,” he said. “Every high elevated by a song or a musical period, every sadness magnified or softened by a musical association.

“When I was seven my parents bought me an electric guitar, completely inexplicably and after about six months of hopelessly trying to learn it and a large number of times looking in the mirror, I became aware with complete certainty and conviction that I would never be Elvis.”

Cottle spoke of the significance of writers and publishers in the local and international music industries and how his own advocacy had lead to an incredibly privileged career.

“This wonderful career that I’ve been blessed with has brought me to a situation where I’ve had dinner with Mike Stoller and I’ve hung out with Lamont Dozier… and this incredible trip has allowed me to represent and advocate on behalf of Courtney Barnett and Kasey Chambers and Archie Roach and Grant McLennan and Nigel Westlake – and an endless list of my heroes – some of whom have become dear friends of mine,” he said. “So you’ll understand what a surreal and extraordinary miracle it seems to me.”

Cottle received two standing ovations during his speech and it should come as no surprise. During his tenure, APRA AMCOS’ royalty collections and distributions have increased seven-fold and the organisation is now recognised as one of the world’s leading copyright collecting societies.

:: 2018 APRA AWARDS RED CARPET PICS