Official nominations are now open to award female sound engineers or producers, leaders, music photographers, educators and more at the inaugural Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA).

Having long recognised the need for a shift, industry veteran Vicki Gordon announced the inaugural (AWMA) in March, to shine a light on empowering and recognising the value, achievements and contributions of women.

Gordon understands the need to rectify the significant gender imbalance in the Australian music industry. As detailed in the nominations announcement, women represent only one-fifth of songwriters and composers registered with APRA, despite making up 45% of qualified musicians.

What’s more, of the 100 most played songs on commercial radio in 2016, only 31 were by a female act or act with a female lead. And since the inaugural ARIA Awards in 2006, only 22 of the total 103 awards presented have been won by acts with a female lead, or equal numbers of women and men.

Set to be staged in Brisbane on October 9 and 10, the AWMAs will feature 14 award categories acknowledging and celebrating first nations and multicultural performers, excellence in artistry, technical and production skills, cross-cultural development, song-writing, music education, music photography, management, humanitarian work and more.

The Australian Women in Music Awards categories are:

Lifetime Achievement Award