Australian Women in Music Awards recognize industry trailblazers at ceremony in Brisbane

Dame Olivia Newton-John has joined other Australian music legends inducted into the Australian Women in Music Awards honor roll, with icon Tina Arena paying a touching tribute to the singer-songwriter.

Arena sang Newton-John’s world hit I Honestly Love You to a standing ovation from the crowd as they celebrated the two musical powerhouses at the Australian Women in Music Awards at the Tivoli in Brisbane last night.

Newton-John, who accepted the award via video from her home in California, said she was thrilled and grateful to accept the award after some of her favorite singers – Helen Reddy and Judith Durham.

“I want to encourage everyone to support the work of the Australian Women in Music Awards because diversity is paramount,” she said.

Tina Arena performed at the Australian Women in Music Awards and presented the first Special Impact Award in her name(Provided: Embellysh)

“There are so many talented women who have never thought of entering a certain area of ​​the music industry, not just to sing, as well as producers, engineers, technicians, and there is a whole world awaits them.

“Once one person does, others will follow – lead by example, thank you very much.”

Arena Presents Inaugural Award

After her tribute to Newton-John, Arena opened up about the challenges she faced throughout her career, saying she learned a lot about discrimination in the industry.

An image of Tina Turner singing
Tina Arena paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John as she was inducted into the Australian Women in Music Awards Honor Roll.(Provided: Embellysh)

“Tackling the vulnerability of artists is something that is really quite pathetic in the times we live in, so it is our duty to speak about it.

She presented the first Tina Arena Special Impact Award to Dina Bassile for her work creating access for people with disabilities at live music and arts events.

An image of a woman in a wheelchair wearing a red dress, smiling, holding an award
Dina Bassile thanked everyone who answered the call to improve access to music and the arts for people with disabilities.(Provided by: Elouise van Riet-Gray)

Bassile thanked her friends, family and “every conversation” with artists with disabilities who listened to her.

“And people who listened to me and heard my voice and wanted to make the change to be more inclusive and more accessible to the disability community,” she said.

For championing new opportunities for those who are often underrepresented in music, and for her own talent, disability activist and musician Eliza Hull received the Diversity in Music Award.

an image of Eliza Hull holding an award with the AWMA logo wall
Eliza Hull won the musical diversity award.(Provided by: Elouise van Riet-Gray)

Wife Yorta Yorta Deborah Cheetham AO has received the Queensland Government Lifetime Achievement Award, for her dedication to the industry as a soprano, composer, educator and leader in the arts for more than 25, accepted on his behalf by Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The event, the first held in two years due to the pandemic, also included artists and music professionals talking about the heavy toll the years of COVID-19 had taken on the industry.

Recognized agents of change

The room fell silent as “Little Pattie” Amphlett spoke about the power imbalance women face in the industry.

Vicki Gordon, Founding Executive Producer and Program Director of AWMA, created the Change Maker Award, presented by Little Pattie, to recognize courageous women who have stood up against bullying, sexual harassment and bad behavior in the workplace. industry.

The award went to Tamara Georgopoulos, who spoke out against sexual harassment at Sony Music, and indie artist Deena Lynch, who plays Jaguar Jonze, who spoke out about sexual assault, for sharing their stories publicly .

The crowd was entertained by musical performances from Sahara Beck, Dizzy Doolan and Barkaa, Emma Donovan & Kee’ahn, Montaigne, and Sandy Evans and Satsuki Odamura.

An image of Dizzy Doolan and Barkaa waving an Aboriginal flag on stage at the Australian Women Music Awards
Dizzy Doolan and Barkaa entertain the crowd at the 2022 Australian Women in Music Awards in Brisbane.(Provided: Embellysh)

Newcomer Martha Marlow received the emerging artist award, while the songwriter gong went to Tania Doko.

an image of Tania Doko in front of an AWMA media wall holding an award
Tania Doko, won the songwriter award at the 2022 Australian Women in Music Awards.(Provided by: Elouise van Riet-Gray)

The ceremony at the Tivoli also honored the many talented women working behind the scenes to make the best Australian music a reality.

This year, Frontier Touring’s Sahara Herald received the Music Leadership Award, celebrating their contribution to the industry.

The Creative Leadership Award went to musician and festival director and programmer Emily Ulman.

Call for more women in off-stage roles

The Creative Live Production award, presented by Brisbane singer-songwriter Katie Noonan, went to Kait Hall, who said it was her first time in front of the lights at the Tivoli .

“It’s really quite exceptional to be creatively recognized in the industry, we often get overlooked for this kind of stuff, so to make someone understand the importance of what we do to bring your vision as as songwriters on stage is truly an honour,” says Hall.

“I would also like to ask all the women in this room who can make choices about how they will be creatively represented on stage, whether it’s the sound of the vision or the writing, please consider creating a diverse environment in your team.

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