Christine Anu, Mojo Juju and Judith Durham Among Winners at 2019 Australian Women in Music Awards

Christine Anu
Rocket Weijers/WireImage

Christine Anu attends the 19th Annual Helpmann Awards Act I at Arts Centre Melbourne on July 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. 

Christine Anu was a double winner at the second annual Australian Women In Music Awards on Wednesday night (Oct. 9), while Joy Mckean, Mojo Juju, Alice Skye, Caroline Almonte, Ange McCormack and Katie Noonan also took home prizes.

Anu, the “My Island Home” singer, collected AWMAs for artistic excellence and diversity in music award, while Fremantle, Western Australia photographer and music video pro Tashi Hall was the night’s other multiple-winner, earning the photographer and film maker awards. 

In a video tribute shot backstage at a recent concert, a teary Anu said she “I’m humbled to be recognized” with the diversity award. “This very thing is about opening doors for the next generation.”

The hotly-contested songwriter category was taken out by Mojo Juju for her critically-lauded third album Native Tongue. The politically-charged artist paid homage to her fellow-finalists. “I would not have had the courage to write an album like Native Tongue without Ngaiire and Thelma (Plum) in our industry,” she said.

Now in its second year, the AMWAs shines a light on women across all facets and intersects of the music industry. Trailblazing music executive and AWMAs founding executive director & executive producer Vicki Gordon addressed the audience at Brisbane’s Powerhouse: “Tonight you are in the right are with your people, welcome.”   

The event’s mission and the two-days of information-rich content programming built around it, Gordon added, was to “lead with generosity."

The Seekers’ singer Judith Durham was inducted into the AWMAs Honour Roll, joining Helen Reddy in the special circle, while Joy Mckean received the lifetime achievement award and delivered one of the night’s most entertaining speeches, during which she paid tribute to her late husband Slim Dusty. “I never thought it would happen. An awards night for us,” she laughed. “I never thought I’d see the day.”

The so-called “grand lady of Australian country music,” Mckean is a great Australian songwriter and bush balladeers, writing many of Dusty’s best-known hits. She’s also one of the founders of the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA).

“I’m so pleased with the progress of country music in Australia and the fact women are playing such a big part in it,” she enthused. ”Women now are writing what they want to write and they’re singing it loud and clear.”

Also on the night, Alice Skye took out the AWMA emerging artist award; legendary singer Katie Noonan, who recently completed a stint as artistic director for Queensland Music Festival, nabbed the creative leadership award; and one-time X Factor Australia champ, Eurovision rep and philanthropist Dami Im took home the humanitarian award.

All told, 15 AWMAs were handed out on the night, including three new award categories for excellence in classical music, music journalism and image making, with winners selected by a panel of industry professionals. 

Performers included Renée Geyer, Katie Noonan, Clare Bowditch and Ngaiire.


The Calile Hotel Artistic Excellence Award
Christine Anu
Scenestr Creative Leadership Award
Katie Noonan
Ssi Diversity In Music Award
Christine Anu
Awma Emerging Artist Award
Alice Skye
Awma Excellence In Classical Music Award
Caroline Almonte
Sun Studios Excellence In Image Making Award
Melaine Knight
Canon Australia Film Maker Award
Tashi Hall
Cicada International Humanitarian Award
Dami Im
AWMA Lifetime Achievement Award
Joy Mckean, OAM
Frontier Touring & Chugg Entertainment Live Production Award
Laurie May
Twitter Australia Music Journalist Award
Ange McCormack
AWMA Music Leadership Award
Sue Telfer

Canon Australia Music Photographer Award
Tashi Hall
APRA AMCOS Songwriter Award
Mojo Juju

Goa Studio Production Award
Virginia Read

AWMA Honour Roll
Judith Durham