After extraordinarily successful years in 2018 and 2019, Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA) will return this year on October 5 and 6, shining a light once more on the incredible accomplishments of women in the Australian music industry.

Online nominations for 17 AWMA categories opened yesterday and close on 6 July. World-renowned and cherished singer-songwriter Tina Arena will present a new Special Impact Award, to be named in her honour.

Tina Arena said: “I believe that by working together, alongside the leadership of AWMA, we have an unprecedented opportunity to improve the culture of the Australian Music Industry for the better, and pave the way for more women to be recognised across the sector.”

The Tina Arena Special Impact Award will honour an unsung champion of the Australian Music Industry. The recipient’s personal journey, contribution and service to industry has an extensive impact on the Australian music community as a whole, working diligently and tirelessly, with little recognition.

Also this year, the Live Production Award has been expanded to two separate awards; one for live creative production and another for live touring production. These awards acknowledge specialist disciplines such as the role of the ‘roadie’, a particularly challenging role for women, which is integral to delivering live music and entertainment.

Producers, Engineers, Film Makers and Photographers, Music Journalists, Songwriters, Image Makers, Industry Leaders, Artist Managers and more will be celebrated at AWMA.

AWMA Founding Executive Director Vicki Gordon said: “AWMA has enlisted an impressive panel of 30 jurors with representation from each Australian state music association, and a diverse range of music disciplines and culture. In particular, we welcome Dr Diana Tolmie as Chair of the 2021 AWMA Juror Council.”

Dr Tolmie is a Senior Lecturer of Professional Practice at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and a D’Addario International Artist. She is also a freelance woodwind specialist in a multitude of genres, performing both nationally and internationally.

Dr Tolmie said: “I am thrilled to be a contributor to this wonderful celebration of Australian women in music and to work with such fine industry artists and specialists. The AWMA Juror Council represents the broad reach of the music industry from every state and the strength of individuals passionately advocating for their various music professions and passions whilst contributing to the cultural change so greatly needed in the Australian Music Industry.”

With AWMA 2020 postponed due to the pandemic, this year’s event in Brisbane on October 5 and 6 is shaping up to be one of the best, with new program additions to be announced in the coming months.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland was delighted to host AWMA once again and welcome music women from the around the country to Brisbane for the 2021 event. Ms Palaszczuk said: “It is wonderful to see this fantastic showcase of female talent, proudly supported by the Queensland Government, back on Australia’s events calendar. “With two new categories, a groundswell of emerging young talent and Queensland’s strong health response to the pandemic, this year’s awards are set to be bigger and better than ever.”

Queensland’s Attorney-General and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman encouraged women from all aspects of the music industry to nominate for AWMA 2021.

Ms Fentiman said: “These awards are all about recognising the amazing work and achievements of talented female artists and industry professionals. Importantly, they are also aimed at highlighting issues of gender equity in the arts, and promoting equal opportunity for women in music, which is something we have strived to achieve across a range of industries through our Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-21.That is why we are supporting AWMA and calling on talented women from right across the music industry to come forward and nominate for the awards. More still needs to be done to address the gender imbalance in the music industry and I applaud the work of AWMA in addressing this.” Ms Fentiman said.

Australian Women in Music Awards are made possible with the proud support of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.


1. Lifetime Achievement Award – Presented to a female artist or musician who has made an outstanding artistic contribution to the field of recording and/or live performance during her lifetime.

2. Inaugural Tina Arena Special Impact Award – This award honours an unsung champion of the Australian music industry.

3. Humanitarian Award – Recognises an individual (female, male and GNC) who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education, and/or assisting female artists working in remote and/or regional communities.

4. Diversity in Music Award – Recognises individual artists or female-driven musical collaborations for their contribution to advancing a culturally diverse and inclusive music industry.

5. Studio Production Award – Recognises a female sound engineer or producer who has made contributions of outstanding significance in the studio recording environment.

6. Live Creative Production Award – Recognises a female working in a live production environment making significant impact in her field: includes but is not limited to roles such as Live Sound, Lighting & Visual Design, Set Design, Show Producer etc.

7. Live Production Touring Award – Recognises a female working in a live production or touring environment making significant impact in her field: Includes Tour/Operations/Promotions Management, Tour Assistant, Backstage, Roadcrew, and other related support roles.

8. Music Leadership Award – Recognises a female CEO, Managing Director, Label Manager, A&R Director, Artist Manager or Publisher making significant impact in music industry leadership.

9. Songwriter Award – Recognises an outstanding female songwriter or composer. 10. Emerging Artist Award – Acknowledges an outstanding emerging female artist.

11. Music Photographer Award – Recognises a female music photographer currently working in the field and to acknowledge her body of work.

12. Film-maker Award – Recognises a female music videographer, clip-maker, film-maker, or music animator currently working in the field and to acknowledge her body of work.

13. Artistic Excellence Award – Recognises exceptional creative achievement from a female artist/musician across any genre.

14. Excellence in Classical Music Award* – Recognises a mid-to-late career female classical music artist who has demonstrated musical excellence throughout her career. (*Includes conductors and artists working in the field of opera.)

15. Music Journalist Award – Recognises a female music journalist, blogger or editor who has made a creative contribution and courageous impact in truth telling and innovative reporting in the Australian Music Industry.

16. Excellence in Image Making Award – Recognises a female hair and/or makeup artist and/or stylist* working to change the face of music visually to break down gender, race and social cultural stereo types. (*Stylist to include those working within costume and/or wardrobe activity)

17. Creative Leadership Award – A curatorial award recognising excellence in creative programming from women working in broadcast media (radio, tv, online, streaming services), a music festival or live performance/venue to champion female artists.