Features July 12, 2018

Strong sponsorship support for Australian Women’s Music Awards

Christie Eliezer
Contributing Editor
Strong sponsorship support for Australian Women’s Music Awards

Most of the 14 categories in the inaugural Australian Women’s Music Awards in October have attained sponsorships.

It reflects the strong support the Awards have generated since they were announced earlier this year, says AWMAs founder Vicki Gordon.

“The response to the Awards have been overwhelmingly positive since we announced them,” Gordon told TMN.

“We opened our nominations on June 7 and they’ve been pouring in.

“The desire to acknowledge women in the music industry is very strong.

“Both women and men are saying the Awards are something we need, and I’m proud to be part of this change.”

The naming rights sponsors can’t be announced for a few more months until the deals are finalised.

But Gordon explains that they hail not only from the music world, but from broader Australian industries.

“They are sectors who are really committed to diversity and inclusivity and really want to be at the table to share the celebrations we’re holding in October and to hold up these extraordinary women.

“They’re best described as humanitarian-based organisations who share a similar vision, creating a more inclusive industry, and organisations with deep cultural roots whether they be First Australians or culturally diverse ones.

“The mission behind the Awards is a humanitarian one.

“The timing is perfect and a lot of people are very excited to  be part of this.

“They want to engage with the music industry and now they have the chance to engage with women in the industry, which has not happened before.”

One of the sponsors, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has already announced it has the naming rights for the Educator Award.

It stated: “With amazing female #QUTMusic alumni like Kate Miller-Heidke, Gabriella Cohen (and Kate Dillon with Full Flower Moon Band), Zoe Davis from Cub Sport, Jen Boyce from Ball Park Music and many others, let’s spread the word and celebrate these Awards.”

Nominations close at womeninmusicawards.com.au today (July 12). The short list for each category will be announced on September 3.

To be announced later today on the website is a juror council of 20 women and men.

Events around the Awards will include three small forums, a photographic exhibition and the screening of a film, with details to be announced.

The Awards themselves will also include six performances – which will include the reunion of a high profile act – and the induction of “an extraordinary woman” into the AWMA Honour Roll.

An important component of the Awards are to engage First Australian artists from remote communities and women from multi-cultural backgrounds who have a strong sense of their creative purpose through their cultural backgrounds through empowering artforms including dance, story telling and singing.

Gordon says how these sectors are impacted by the awards will only come after October.

“It’s our inaugural year, we’re pioneering, we’re breaking ground, and we’ll only have a better sense of what we’ve achieved [through the categories] then,” she says.

2018 Award Categories:

Lifetime Achievement: outstanding contribution through recording and/or liver performance.

Educator: lasting contribution to indigenous female artists in remote and regional communities through music education and/or empowering.

Diversity in Music: advancing a culturally diverse and inclusive music industry.

Auriel Andrew Memorial: recognising a true pioneer of Aboriginal women in music.

Studio Production: engineer or producer.

Live Production: female working in the live music industry and includes tour management,  live sound, lighting and road crew

Music Leadership: a female CEO, managing director, label manager, A&R director, artist manager or publisher.

Creative Leadership: excellence in creative programming and /or content creation from a woman working in a music festival, live performance/venue or media who champion female artists. They include content directors, artistic directors, festival directors, band bookers, broadcasters, writers and publicists.

The other categories are self-explanatory:  songwriters, breakthrough artist, film maker, artistic excellence and musical excellence.

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