Scene News: Entries now open for the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition!

Songwriters worldwide are invited to enter the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition to go into the running for a first place cash prize of A$50,000, courtesy of APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG.

Melbourne singer-songwriter Gretta Ray earned top honours in last year’s competition for her beguiling song Drive. “The Vanda & Young prize made a huge impact on what I have achieved in the last year. It assisted me in being able to travel overseas to America, write and work on new music there with amazing people, and provided me with the time to wholly focus on my music. That in itself is a gift,” said Ray.

Two runners-up cash prizes are also on offer with second place receiving A$10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association) and third place taking home A$5,000 courtesy of media sponsor, Seventh Street Media. An exciting addition to the prize slate this year is A$5,000 for the best ‘Unpublished’ work.

Since the prestigious competition began, it has not only boosted the careers of winners Megan Washington (2009), Kimbra (2011), The Preatures (2013), Husky Gawenda (2014) and Gretta Ray (2016), but to date has raised over A$800,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA).

The 2018 competition is set to take total funds raised past A$1million, with the full A$50 entry fee per song going directly towards the work of NRMTA, which uses music therapy to help people cope with the struggles of living with a wide range of needs. These include children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties.

This year’s judging panel features some of the best ears in the business with over 40 songwriters, producers, media and industry professionals confirmed to take part. They include three-time APRA Songwriter of the Year Daniel Johns, electronic artist and triple j host KLP, ARIA-winner Montaigne, and The Bamboos’ Lance Ferguson, co-writer on the Kungs vs Cookin’ On 3 Burners global smash, This Girl.

Daniel Johns said, “Vanda & Young took Australian songwriting to the world and blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow. I’m pleased to be involved as a judge for the first time and I am looking forward to hearing some new music.”

Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and the late George Young, the competition launch coincides with a month of celebrating one of Australia’s most loved bands with a vinyl reissue, a two part mini-series Friday On My Mind on the ABC, and a tribute EP, Rebeat.

David Albert, Managing Director of Alberts said: “Alberts is thrilled to continue its long-term association with APRA AMCOS and also partner for the first time with BMG for the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition. This competition recognises the significance Harry Vanda and the late George Young have to the music community through their legendary songwriting partnership, and provides a great opportunity to support Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia.”

Heath Johns, Managing Director of BMG Australia said: “BMG is very proud to partner with our friends at Alberts and APRA AMCOS for the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition. The competition provides a unique platform for songwriters to have their music heard by some of the country’s finest songwriters and also contribute to an important cause. The prize money on offer should also make a meaningful difference to the eventual winner’s career and we are very happy to get behind that.”

Matthew O’Sullivan, General Manager of AMPAL said: “AMPAL is very proud to support the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition. It is a fantastic competition that provides a great opportunity for songwriters, while at the same time contributing to the life-changing work of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia.”

Entries close 11.59pm (AEDT) 17 January 2018. ( (


2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition Judging Panel
Andrew Mast –
Bernard Zuel
Bryget Chrisfield – The Music
Cameron Adams – News Corp
Chit Chat
Christie Eliezer – Pollstar
Dan Hill – SCA
Danielle McGrane – AAP
Jake Challenor – Jaden Social
Kathy McCabe – News Corp
Irene Hulme – SCA
Larry Heath –
Lars Brandle – Billboard
Lindsay McDougall
Lisa Rockman – Newcastle Herald
Mickey Maher – SCA
Nathan Davies – News Corp
Noel Mengel
Poppy Reid – The Industry Observer
Richard Wilkins – Nine Network
Rod Yates – Rolling Stone
Shannon Fong – Foxtel Music

Andrew Stone – Chugg Entertainment
Becc Bates – Arts SA
Cathy Oates – Original Matters
Daniel Johns – Singer, Songwriter
Daniel Nall – Rabble Records
Dave MacGregor – Macsta Management
Greg Carey – Grow Yourself Up
Jenny Morris – APRA Chair, Songwriter
Lance Ferguson – Musician, Songwriter, Producer
Michael Taylor – Universal Music Group
Nicole Millar – Singer, Songwriter
Peter Karpin – Sony Music
Rowan Brand – RedGreenBlueCo

Andrew Mackay – Composer
David Ryan Harris – Songwriter
Greg Haver – Producer

Amanda Brown
Brendan Gallagher
Eric Chapus
Grant Windsor
James Blundell
Les Gock

Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia use creative music therapy to deliver significant and quantifiable benefits to children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, trauma, mental health problems, depression and medical illnesses, as well as learning, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Using improvised live music to build a relationship between the music therapist and the participant where they interact and communicate in a participatory form of therapy, the power of music acts as the agent for change and healing. Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia receives no government funding yet assist some of the most disadvantaged in our community so fundraisers like Art of Music play an essential and vital role in assisting to continue the great work. For more information:

Founded in 1885, Alberts is an independent Australian company which has been managed by the Albert family for five generations. Its history has intertwined with the evolution of Australia’s media and popular culture from its early days of sheet music and music publishing through to commercial radio and television and helping establish and develop Australia’s music industry.
Alberts has been a longstanding supporter of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia through its mission to transform lives through the provision of music therapy. Alberts collaborated with APRA AMCOS in 2009 to establish the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition, named after the iconic songwriters Harry Vanda and the late George Young, to support and raise the profile of the non-profit organisation, Nordoff-Robbins Australia, and the work it does to change the lives of many. (

BMG is a new kind of media company. Our mission is clear; to help artists and songwriters make the very most of their songs and recordings in the digital age. BMG. The New Music Company. (

APRA AMCOS is a key business partner to Australasian music creators. We represent 95,000 members who are songwriters, composers and music publishers. We license organisations to play, perform, copy or record our members’ music, and we distribute the royalties to our members.
As a world-leading organisation invested in the future of music, APRA AMCOS enables music creators and customers to maximise the value music brings to business and life. We achieve this through a simple and effective licensing framework, and providing holistic industry support – from education, to live music, export, creators’ rights advocacy and recognition through our high profile awards and events program. (

AMPAL The Australasian Music Publishers Association Limited (AMPAL) works on behalf of its members to promote a better understanding of the value of music, both culturally and economically. AMPAL has more than 50 music publisher members in Australia and New Zealand who invest in songwriters across all genres of music. They nurture talent, promote the works of their writers and find avenues for their work to be heard. They are a vital part of an industry that contributes to the cultural and economic future of Australia and New Zealand. AMPAL members represent over 90% of the economic value of the music publishing sector.

SEVENTH STREET MEDIA is Australia’s largest music publisher overseeing brands and platforms that are a catalyst for conversation and a vehicle to capture the hearts and minds of music fans.
Its titles include The Industry Observer, Tone Deaf, The Brag, Don’t Bore Us and J Play. (


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.