The career-boosting initiative which helped artists including Gotye, Abbe May, Ngaiire (pictured) and Morgan Evans is back in 2017.

APRA AMCOS’ biennial APRA Professional Development Awards returns with a new, ninth category for dance/electronic music.

Covering jazz, popular contemporary, country, classical, film and television, electronic and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, each recipient will receive a $15,000 cash prize to support their development.

Applications are now open to emerging songwriters and composers and close on Thursday 27 April, 2017.

Entrants will be judged by a panel including Lior, Johannes Luebbers, James Blundell, Catherine Britt, Cat Hope, Caitlin Yeo, Kevin Bennett, Leah Flanagan, John Ferris (INXS) and more.

For more information and to apply, visit

Also returned in 2017 is the Smugglers of Light initiative with the Music and Media Award. APRA AMCOS will provide a promising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music or media practitioner with a grant of $12,000.

The Smugglers of Light Foundation was set up in memory of Eli Westlake aged 21, who was tragically killed in Sydney in 2008.