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2019 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition is now open!

The 2019 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition is now open

First place $50,000 cash prize the biggest of any songwriting competition worldwide

Previous winners include Amy Shark, Kimbra and Gretta Ray

For release - Thursday, 14 February 2019:  Songwriters from around the world are invited to enter the 2019 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition to go in the running for a career-changing first-place cash prize of A$50,000, courtesy of APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG

Gold Coast singer-songwriter Amy Shark won the 2018 first-place prize with her song Adore, the breakthrough hit single that propelled her to a debut #1 ARIA album with Love Monster, sold-out arena shows, and international TV performances.

“Adore connected with fans in a magical way and opened so many doors for me. Winning the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition was an incredible honour and helped me fund the next phase of my career,” said Shark. 

While first place receives the world’s largest cash prize awarded in a songwriting competition, the runners-up also receive cash awards, with a 2nd place amount of $A10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association) and 3rd place receives A$5,000.

And, back again is the ‘Unpublished’ category, which comes with $A5,000 cash for the winner. Brisbane’s Grace Shaw – you probably know her as Mallrat – took home the inaugural honour in 2018 for her song Better.

Last year’s competition brought in an all-time high 4,056 entries from 3,296 songwriters in 30 countries. And, in the decade since the first Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition was won by Megan Washington, songwriters have helped raise over $A1million to help fund the important work of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA)

One-hundred percent of the $50 per song entry fee goes to supporting NRMTA’s programs, which use music therapy to help children and adults cope with the struggles of living with a wide range of needs due to physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties. 

A judging panel of 64 influential artists, producers, media and music industry professionals has been confirmed, including award-winning songwriter Lior, previous Vanda & Young first-place winner Isabella Manfredi of The Preatures, triple j Unearthed’s Dave Ruby Howe, producer Franc Tetaz and more. 

Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and the late George Young, the prestigious competition has served as a career springboard to the aforementioned Washington and Shark, as well as previous winners Gretta Ray (2016), Husky Gawenda (2014), Isabella Manfredi (2013), and Kimbra (2011) and top finishers including Gotye, Meg Mac and Gang of Youths’ frontman David Le’aupepe.

David Albert, Chief Executive of Alberts said:  “Alberts is proud to be once again presenting the 2019 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition in conjunction with partners APRA AMCOS and BMG. Now in its 10th year, this wonderful initiative continues to support the vital services provided by Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia while recognising the legacy of Harry Vanda and the late George Young.”

Heath Johns, Managing Director of BMG Australia said: “BMG is once again very proud to partner with our friends at Alberts and APRA AMCOS for the Vanda & Young Songwriting Award. As the original pioneers of Australian music export it is fitting to have Harry and George’s names attached to this prestigious prize as we look to expand the competition  across the globe.”

Dean Ormston, Chief Executive of APRA AMCOS said: “The Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition does two things brilliantly – supporting the critically important work of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia, and championing the craft of songwriting. APRA AMCOS is honoured to once again partner with Alberts and BMG in support of this special initiative.”

Matthew O'Sullivan, General Manager of AMPAL said: “AMPAL is extremely proud to again support the 2019 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition to recognise great songwriting, while also contributing to the vital work of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia."

Entries close 11.59pm (AEDT) 12 April 2019.

Please visit for more information and terms and conditions. The Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition logo and previous winner images can be downloaded here.

Facebook: @vandayoungcomp Twitter: @VandaYoungComp Instagram: @vandayoungcomp


For more information, imagery or interviews please contact:

Rina Ferris – Ferris Davies PRM Ph: (+61) (02) 9555 5807 |

APRA AMCOS Communications - Karen Tinman Ph: (+61) (02) 9935 7623 | |

2019 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition Judging Panel

MEDIA Adam Lewis (Amazon Music) Andrew Mast (The Music) Andrew Stafford (Freelance) Angela Bishop (Network Ten) Bernard Zuel (Freelance) Cameron Adams (News Ltd) Christie Eliezer (The Music Network/Pollstar) Dan Condon (triple j/Double J) Dan Cribb (The Music) Dan Hill (Fox FM Melbourne) Danielle McGrane (ABC/Freelance) Dave Ruby Howe (triple j Unearthed) Dorothy Markek (Double J) Irene Hulme (SCA) Jake Challenor (The Music Network/Jaden Digital) Kath Devaney (ABC Country) Kathy McCabe (News Corp) Larry Heath (The AU Review) Lars Brandle (Billboard) Lindsay McDougall (ABC Illawarra) Lisa Rockman (Newcastle Herald) Martin Boulton (The Age) Mickey Maher (Triple M) Nathan Davies (The Advertiser) Noel Mengel (Freelance) Paul Cashmere (Noise 11) Poppy Reid (Brag Media) Rod Yates (Freelance) Shannon Fong (Foxtel Music) Simon Collins (The West Australian) Sosefina Fuamoli (Freelance) Wendy Saunders (ABC Local Radio)

MUSIC INDUSTRY Cathy Oates (Original Matters) Craig Hawker (Sony/ATV Music Publishing) Daniel Nall (Milk & Honey) Elizabeth Reid (Music SA) Greg Carey (Grow Yourself Up) Greg Haver (Producer) Gregg Donovan (Wonderlick) Hannah Babitt (Noise Management) Marcus Thaine (Spotify) Michael Taylor (Universal Music Australia) Peter Karpin (A & R) Rowan Brand (TRIBE)

APRA AMCOS AMBASSADORS Amanda Brown Amba Shepherd Anna Laverty Brendan Gallagher Cath Haridy Dallas Frasca Eric Chapus Franc Tetaz Grant Windsor Isabella Manfredi Jenny Morris Jonathan Zwartz Kav Temperley KLP Leah Flanagan Les Gock Lior Louis Schoorl Robert Conley Simon Lewicki


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