The career-boosting initiative which helped artists including Gotye, Abbe May, Ngaiire (pictured) and Morgan Evans is back in 2017.

APRA AMCOS’ biennial APRA Professional Development Awards returns with a new, ninth category for dance/electronic music.

Covering jazz, popular contemporary, country, classical, film and television, electronic and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, each recipient will receive a $15,000 cash prize to support their development.

Applications are now open to emerging songwriters and composers and close on Thursday 27 April, 2017.

Entrants will be judged by a panel including Lior, Johannes Luebbers, James Blundell, Catherine Britt, Cat Hope, Caitlin Yeo, Kevin Bennett, Leah Flanagan, John Ferris (INXS) and more.

For more information and to apply, visit http://apraamcos.com.au

Also returned in 2017 is the Smugglers of Light initiative with the Music and Media Award. APRA AMCOS will provide a promising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music or media practitioner with a grant of $12,000.

The Smugglers of Light Foundation was set up in memory of Eli Westlake aged 21, who was tragically killed in Sydney in 2008.