to our winners!

1st prize $50,000

  • The Preatures
  • Isabella Manfredi (The Preatures)

  • (Unpublished)
  • Co-writers: Luke Davison, Thomas Champion and Jack Moffitt (The Preatures)
  • Is This How You Feel?
  • “Astounding! Torrential! I cannot believe it. The boys & I are totally thrilled & very grateful!”

Donated by founding members APRA|AMCOS and Alberts

APRA|AMCOS logo Alberts logo

2nd prize $10,000

  • Robert Conley
  • Robert Conley

  • (Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing)
  • Co-writers: Alex Hope, Robby De Sa
  • Paper Thin
    Due for release soon
  • “What an honour. It's a great feeling when a song you've put so much love & energy into gets recognised.”

Donated by AMPAL

ampal logo

3rd prize $5,000

  • Thelma Plum
  • Thelma Plum

    (Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing)

    Breathe In Breathe Out

  • “I feel so humbled & grateful for this opportunity. It's a very important & special song to me.”
  • Jasmine Nelson
  • Jasmine Nelson


    Keep Her Close

  • “It means so much to me to be part of a competition that celebrates creativity for a worthy cause.”

Donated by Ubisoft & APRA|AMCOS

Ubisoft logo APRA|AMCOS logo

APRA AMCOS and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia are proud to announce the winner of the 2013 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition is Sydney singer/songwriter Isabella Manfredi with the song Is This How You Feel? by The Preatures.

The Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious songwriting competitions with a first prize of A$50,000.00 provided courtesy of APRA AMCOS and music company, Alberts.

Sydney based songwriter/ producer, Robert Conley, has taken out second prize with the song Paper Thin and will receive A$10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association).

The judging panel of 25 industry professionals was so overwhelmed by the calibre of this year’s entries they found themselves with a tie for third place between Thelma Plum for Breathe In Breathe Out and Jasmine Nelson for Keep Her Close. Video game publisher, UBISOFT, have provided the A$5,000 prize money for this category and rather than split the prize, APRA AMCOS have graciously announced they will kick in a further A$5,000 so both winners receive the full prize money.

2013 marks the third iteration of the biennial Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition and Isabella Manfredi joins a select group of recipients that includes Megan Washington (2009) and Kimbra Johnson (2011).

Thank you to everyone who submitted a song for this year’s competition. Your entry fee of $50.00 has collectively raised an astounding $166,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia, an organisation that uses the power of music to help people with developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Rett Syndrome and Angelman Syndrome and disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Dyspraxia and Spina Bifida.



Research shows that listening to and playing music can dramatically improve the lives of children and adults affected by a range of physical, psychological, cognitive, emotional and social difficulties. Music can change moods, refocus attention, elicit emotions, express feelings, improve speech and motor skills, as well as promote social interaction.

Here’s just one example illustrating the power of music.

All proceeds raised by the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition go to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. In 2011, songwriters like you raised $200,000 dollars. The 2011 winner Kimbra went on to win a Grammy Award this year with Gotye!

This year's judging panel includes Adalita, Kevin Mitchell, Kav Temperley and many more plus international judges such as Gary Go, Stuart Crichton and Arnthor Birgisson.

2013 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition is your opportunity to be heard, to invest in your career and to make a difference.

Founded in 1885, Alberts is an independent music company which has been managed by the Albert family for 5 generations. Their history has intertwined with the evolution of Australia’s Media and Popular culture from its early days of sheet music and music publishing through to the birth of commercial radio and television and helping establish and build Australia’s music industry.

Today the music company continues to focus on career development and music rights management, supporting its writers and artists through its studios, publishing, record label, creative services and people. Since the late 1990’s, Alberts have been longstanding supporters of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Australia (Nordoff Robbins) and its mission to transform lives through the provision of music therapy.

It was in 2009, Alberts collaborated with APRA|AMCOS to establish an international songwriters competition, acknowledging great songwriting whilst supporting and raising money for the not-for-profit organisation Nordoff Robbins.

The competition was fittingly named after iconic writers Harry Vanda and George Young who have written a string of hits since the 60’s performed by both local and international artists. Worldwide their songs have been replicated by the likes of Grace Jones to Tom Jones, David Bowie and Meatloaf.

The international appeal of their song writing has been recognised by APRA who at their 75th Anniversary names the Easybeats “Friday On My Mind” as the Most Significant Australian Song of the past 75 years. They were also inducted into ARIA’s Hall Of Fame both as members of The Easybeats and in their own right.

It’s easy to enter and you can submit as many songs as you want!

  1. Enter your personal details
  2. Upload a photo of yourself/band, Proof of ID and submit your bio
  3. Upload your mp3 - as many as you like!
  4. Pay by credit card, cheque or money order
  5. Be heard and reviewed by an industry judging panel
  6. Go in the running to win cash prizes totalling $65,000

Entries have closed for 2013 – the Competition will run again in 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many songs can I enter?

You can enter as many songs as you wish – the online entry form can accept up to ten songs per application. If you wish to enter more songs you simply need to start a new application.

Can I enter by post?

Yes - you can post your entry to us by downloading our entry form here. You will need to complete an entry form for each song you wish to enter. A completed paper entry consists of:

  • Paper application form per Entry
  • Personal Cheque or Money Order made out to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy
  • Bio - limited to 300 words
  • Photo of yourself or band
  • Proof of ID
  • CD of your Entry Songs - please ensure that your CD consists of only songs for entry.

Applicants are encouraged to provide their bio and photos on CD. Entries should be posted via Express Post or similar to ensure tracking by mail.

What kind of song are you looking for? Any particular genre?

All songs in all genres are accepted. No particular style or genre is being sought; we're just looking for a great song.

What if my song is in a language other than English, will it be disqualified?

Songs in any language will be accepted and judged. However, we suggest you provide an English translation so that our judges can better connect with the themes and message of your song.

I only have lyrics for the song I want to enter, can I just send through lyrics?

For the purposes of the competition, we are only accepting musical compositions that contain a melody. Lyrics only pieces will not be accepted or judged.

Is the entry fee tax deductable?

The Australian Tax Office defines a tax deductable donation to be that of a 'gift’. As you are entering your song into a competition, the entry fee cannot be defined as a true gift and therefore is not tax-deductable.

Where does my entry fee go?

All proceeds from entry fees will be donated to Nordoff-Robbins. APRA|AMCOS is purely administering this competition and are taking no percentage of the entry fees as administration costs.

Will there be feedback provided?

As this competition is run at no cost to Nordoff-Robbins, APRA|AMCOS cannot provide feedback for applicants.

Is there an age limit on applicants?

There is no upper or lower age limit for applicants. However, songwriters who are under 18 before the competition is stated to end will need to provide parental/guardian authority when applying. You can download the form here. Please read the Terms and Conditions for further details pertaining to minors.

Will APRA|AMCOS or Nordoff-Robbins own my song if I enter?

You will retain all rights to your song. APRA|AMCOS and Nordoff-Robbins may use your song for promotional purposes only, including the website and social media.

What if I only have a demo? Will my song be judged on recording quality?

All judges have been briefed to judge a song on its songwriting merits and not how it was recorded. However, you should ensure the song is recorded in good quality so that the melody and lyrics can be heard clearly.

If I enter more than one song, will only one song be listened to?

All songs, irrespective of who submitted them, will be listened to and judged individually.

Will bias be given to established songwriters or APRA members?

All songs are given a unique code when submitted and the judges can only view this code and the song title. This means that all entries are anonymous until the final winners are revealed. At no stage will the identity of the applicants involved be revealed to the Judges. As such, no predicted bias can occur.

Do I have to be a member of APRA or another Performing Right Organisation (PRO) to enter?

Songwriters who have no current PRO affiliation may apply. However we do suggest that if your original songs are being broadcast on TV/Radio, downloaded for sale online or performed live in a public venue, you should join a PRO to ensure that you collect your songwriting royalties.

What if my song is co-written, do we both apply?

Applications must come from an individual who has contributed to the songwriting of the entered song. This applicant would be deemed the sole winner and any eventuating prizes would be divided amongst co-writers at the winner's discretion. Please ensure your co-writers have agreed and authorised the submission of your song into this competition.

Why do you need my Proof of ID?

All applicants need to provide photographic Proof of ID so we can ensure the songs submitted are from eligible applicants – i.e. a participating party in the songwriting. It is also to ensure that ineligible applicants, as per our Terms and Conditions, are not processed or judged.

I'm not confident providing financial or personal details online, how can I know my details will be kept safe?

APRA|AMCOS operate under extremely secure conditions and any entry into this competition will have the same level of security. Your payment and personal details will be kept on a secure server with limited access to it. Your Proof of ID and payment details will not be disclosed to any third parties.



The following information describing how to enter and prizes forms part of the Terms and Conditions of entry to the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition (Competition). By entering the Competition each Entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.


The Organiser of the Competition is Australasian Performing Right Association Ltd (ABN 42 000 016 099) of 16 Mountain Street, Ultimo, NSW, 2007, AUSTRALIA (Organiser). All proceeds will be donated by the Organiser to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia Limited.


Entry into the Competition is open to all amateur and professional songwriters, regardless of nationality or origin, whether published or unpublished. Entry must be in the name of an individual writer (Entrant). The Entrant must be the writer or co-writer of each song entered under his or her name. If an Entrant is under 18 years of age, he or she must provide written authority signed by a parent or guardian. Employees (and their immediate families) of the Organiser are ineligible to enter.


Songs written by multiple co-writers are eligible for entry, however each song must be entered under the name of the individual Entrant only, with the other co-writers acknowledged on the entry form where indicated. It is the responsibility of the Entrant to divide any prizes with co-writers as appropriate.


Subject to the following conditions, Entrants may enter as many songs as they choose. To enter online, Entrants must follow the directions on the Competition online entry form and properly complete and submit an online entry form for each song entered together with a recording of the song in MP3 format and payment of the $50 AUD per song entry fee. A currency equivalent may be provided. Subject to clause 14(d), all entry fees are non-refundable. For the avoidance of doubt, entry fees do not constitute tax deductable donations for the purposes of Australian individual income tax returns.


Subject to the following conditions, Entrants may enter as many songs as they choose. To enter by physical mail, Entrants must follow the directions on the Competition entry form and properly complete and submit a physical entry form for each song entered together with a recording of the song in CD format (clearly labelled with Entrant's name and title of song) and payment of the $50 AUD per song entry fee. A currency equivalent may be provided. Subject to clause 14(d), all entry fees are non-refundable. For the avoidance of doubt, entry fees do not constitute tax deductable donations for the purposes of Australian individual income tax returns.


All entries must be received online or postmarked no later than 11.59pm on 21st June 2013. The Organiser accepts no responsibility for any changes in the Competition starting and closing dates.


It is the Entrant's responsibility to ensure that the recording submitted in respect of each entered song is complete and playable. The Organiser is not responsible for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, postage due, stolen, or misappropriated entries. All entry materials (entry forms, MP3 recordings, CD recordings) submitted will not be returned to the Entrant. Copies of entry materials may be retained by the Organiser strictly for promotional purposes in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. Otherwise, all entry materials will be destroyed after the Winner is announced.


All Entrants, and their publisher if applicable, will retain all copyrights and all other rights controlled by them in any song entered in the Competition. For the avoidance of doubt, no copyrights in any song entered will be assigned to the Organiser by virtue of entering this Competition.


All entries submitted must be original songs and shall not infringe any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. In particular, the Entrant warrants that he or she has obtained the written permission from any co-writer or publisher controlling any rights in the entered song. The Entrant shall, by entering, indemnify and hold the Organiser harmless from and against any claims inconsistent with the foregoing. The Entrant acknowledges that all songs entered may be distributed to the judging committee who will be selecting the Winner, and the Entrant agrees to release, indemnify, and hold the Organiser and judges harmless for any liability, damages, or claims for injury or loss to any person or property relating to, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, participation in the Competition.


All entries will initially be judged by the Organiser prior to the referral of a short list of songs to an external judging committee that will select one Winner. The judging committee will comprise a selection of high-profile music industry professionals. All entries will be rendered anonymous and numbered prior to judging. Entries will be judged equally on melody, composition, originality, and lyrics, when applicable. Lyrics may be in any language. Production value and quality of performance will not be considered. The judging committee will not be in a position to provide Entrants with feedback or a critique in relation to entered songs. The judging committee's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


The Organiser will use its best endeavours to announce the Winner by no later than 16 August 2013, but will not be held liable for any unforeseen delays in the judging process. The Winner will be notified by email, post or telephone. The Winner will also be posted on the website The Winner will be required to sign a statutory declaration confirming that Winner's song is original, that the song does not infringe any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties, and that all necessary permissions to enter the song have been obtained. Failure to sign and return the statutory declaration within the required time period or provision of false information may result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected.


Subject to the following paragraph, the First Place Winner will receive the following Prize:

The Second Place Winner will receive the following Prize:

The Third Place Winner will receive the following Prize:


The Winner’s entitlement to the Prize described above is subject to the following:

  1. The Prize will be awarded to the individual Entrant who submitted the winning song and the division of the Prizes among co-writers (if any) is the responsibility of the Winner.
  2. The Prize is not transferable or exchangeable. The Organiser is not liable in any way if the Winner cannot receive, accept or use any element of the Prize for any reason. The Prize (or any part thereof) may be cancelled in the Organiser's discretion if the Winner attempts to transfer it.
  3. The Organiser will not cover any associated costs in connection with the Winner's enjoyment of the Prize other than those expressly stipulated above or on the Competition entry form. Without limiting anything else in these Terms and Conditions, the Winner is not entitled to any reimbursement of any kind as a result of entering the Competition or enjoying or participating in the Prize or part of the Prize. Any taxes payable in relation to the Prize are the sole responsibility of the Winner.
  4. The Organiser reserves the right, in its absolute discretion, at any time during the Competition period, to vary, withdraw, postpone or cancel the Competition or Prize including without limitation, in circumstances where it cannot conduct the Competition or grant any part of the Prize for any reason beyond its control. In the event the Competition is cancelled in its entirety, Entrants will be refunded their entry fee in full.
  5. Subject to clause 14(d) above, in the event that the Organiser postpones or varies the Competition or any elements of the Prize, the Organiser (and any party associated with the Competition) shall not be liable to any person for any loss or damage of any kind (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss or loss or damage caused by the Organiser's or other party's negligence) arising out of, or in connection with, the postponement or variation of the Competition or the Prize (or part thereof). Nor will the Organiser or other party be liable for any loss, damage, payment or expense of any kind (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss or loss or damage caused by the Organiser's or other party's negligence) or personal injury or other damage suffered or sustained as a result of the entering, judging, running, cancellation or acceptance, enjoyment or use of the Competition or the Prize (or part thereof).
  6. The Organiser has the right to refuse to allow the Winner to take part in all or part of the Prizes, if the Organiser deems, at its discretion, that the Winner is not in any appropriate physical or mental condition to ensure the safety of the Winner or the other parties involved, or the Organiser otherwise deems that it is not appropriate for the Winner to take part in all or part of the Prizes for any reason.


The Entrant agrees that should his or her song be selected as the Winner, the Organiser shall have permission to use the song, as well as the Entrant's name, likeness, and voice solely for future advertising and publicity purposes in connection with the Competition, as well as on the APRA|AMCOS website and through our social media channels without additional compensation.


The Competition and these Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of New South Wales, Australia and all Entrants irrevocably and unconditionally consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts of New South Wales, Australia.


2011 Winner - Kimbra, First Runner Up - Catherine Britt, Second Runner Up - Wally De Backer (Gotye)

2011 Winner - Kimbra “Cameo Lover”

First Runner-up - Catherine Britt “Sweet Emmylou”

Second Runner-up - Gotye “Somebody That I Used To Know”

2009 Winner - Megan Washington, Runner-Up - Eskimo Joe and Caitlin Harnett

2009 Winner: Megan Washington "How to Tame Lions”.

Runner-up - Eskimo Joe (Kav Temperley, Joel Quartermain and Stu Macleod) "Foreign Land"

Runner-up - Caitlin Harnett "Tying Hands and Holding Shoelaces"


International Judges

Local Judges