Composer Interviews


2018 Screen Music Award winners announced!

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

What's the Score Newsletter - Special Awards Edition

A hearty congratulations to all the winners and nominees at this year‘s APRA screen music awards! It was a real privilege to be in the room last night with so many talented composers, the high standard of their nominated scores a testament to the depth of talent we have in Australia.  Full marks to Jess Wells who once again killed it tonight.  I wish that all of you, our entire screen composition community, could have shared in this evening's celebrations. 

As elegantly articulated by Caitlin in her speech, our industry has undoubtedly entered a challenging period amid new funding models and a changing broadcast and streaming landscape. There are likely more hurdles to come. However, in support of what Caitlin said, if we continue to build our community, to openly discuss these challenges as many of us did tonight, then there is much we can look forward to and opportunities to be had. The full text of Caitlin’s speech is below.

We hope to meet many more of you in the coming months and into the new year. Please write to us, let us know what we are doing well and what we could be doing better, and as always please contact us if we can assist you.

Cheers - Brett (VP)


It is with great humility, pride, and joy that I stand here to kick off the 2018 APRA AGSC Screen Music Awards.

Here we are, all part of a new era, with Dean Ormston at the helm of APRA, and myself and Brett as President and Vice president of the Guild.

Tonight, I want to speak to you both as President of the AGSC and as a composer, a comrade, a compatriot and a colleague.

Firstly, I would like to say that the AGSC has a fantastic year finding ways to represent and look after our members.

Thanks to Jo for all your hard work this year.

I do believe our guild is built on its members, and what a remarkable bunch you all are.  Thanks to all members who came to our events this year. Looking forward to many more next year.

We now have a brand-new website that is filled with pages of information including insider negotiating tips, news and a whole lot more.

Our Gender Equity Committee has been very active this year. The committee has continued to tackle the huge under-representation of women in our industry, by hosting its second Gender Equity Round Table. It has also continued with representation in Screen Australia’s Gender Matters Taskforce, and at the International Council of Music Authors Conference.

The committee created two new mentorships in partnership with APRA and the South Australian Film Commission, expanded its members to Melbourne, and programmed the first She Scores Concert. A big thanks to Felicity Wilcox and the rest of the crew for your dedicated work here. I can see change already happening, and I know you are all a part of this.

This year, many of you have also given us so much positive feedback around the Guilds efforts surrounding mental health. Largely led by Craig Morgan, (kudos to you Craig) we have included seminars in Sydney and Melbourne, initiatives around RUOK Day and our recent release of the Mental Health Quick Reference Guide.

We have also begun implementing an education outreach program. More of this is planned for next year.

Also, if you are not already on our mailing list send Jo an email! Our Newsletter, What’s the Score? is a cracker of a publication, and filled with events, news, updates. Next one is due out first thing tomorrow morning.

Despite all this good news, it has become abundantly clear that we find our industry on the precipice of change.  It is now a globally digital world. New broadcast, funding and distribution models are emerging, and the traditional broadcast models are evolving. With the rise of the streaming giants, content is king. These changes affect us all and could either strengthen us, or disrupt the future of screen composition in this country.  

Many of us have found that composer’s fees have stagnated for the last 15 years.  And yet in this same period the national average wage has increased 30% and the cost of living has skyrocketed.

Alongside these challenges, we are experiencing unprecedented differences in the scope of rights and contracts being offered.

And, in addition to this, we are regularly being asked to deliver more music in shorter time-frames than ever before.

I can’t help but think that these challenges will impact the quality of scores we deliver and the sustainability of our craft. 


This isn't all doom and gloom.  Not by a long shot.

I believe our community has the power to combat these issues. In fact, with this tidal wave of global change can come new opportunity, and, with more content being created, increased opportunities for work for us all. 

So, how can we can create a stronger industry, which is ultimately financially viable and sustainable?

How can we support established and emerging Australian composers to thrive on the local and global stage? 

How can we continue to look after the craft of what we do?

Personally, I think this lies in being advocates for each other. Sharing both the good and bad decisions we've made and seeking and offering advice.

These all increase our chances of negotiating a better deal for ourselves and each other. 

So, I would like to urge you all to become friends. To work together, support each other, break down those barriers, and open up. It will not only have benefits for our craft, but our lives will be all the richer for it.


Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen Award Robert Connolly

Feature Film Score of the Year The Butterfly Tree    Composer: Caitlin Yeo

Best Television Theme Harrow    Composer: Matteo Zingales

Best Music for a Television Series or Serial Picnic at Hanging Rock    Composers: Cezary Skubiszewski and Jan Skubiszewski

Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie Mystery Road    Composers: Antony Partos and Matteo Zingales 

Best Music for a Documentary A Stargazer's Guide to the Cosmos    Composer: Sean Tinnion

Best Music for a Short Film Lost and Found    Composer: Adrian Sergovich

Best Soundtrack Album The Butterfly Tree    Composer: Caitlin Yeo

Best Original Song Composed for the Screen Now I Know from Pulse   Composer: Oscar Joe Gross

Best Music for Children’s Television The Deep: The Missing    Composer: Nerida Tyson-Chew

Best Music for an Advertisement Forty Winks    Composer: Jackson Milas

Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia Dinesh Wicks and Adam Gock

Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas Neil Sutherland

At the Awards....

Below: Clockwise:  Composer Alastair Ford & AGSC President, Caitlin Yeo; composers & father & son, Oscar Joe Gross & Guy Gross; composers Lionel Vincent Baldenweg, Nora Baldenweg and Diego Baldenweg; composer Adam Gock.

Below: Clockwise:  Art Phillips (former President AGSC) & Jessica Wells (Awards Music Director); Composer Dale Cornelius & AGSC Vice-President, Brett Aplin; Composers Neil Sutherland and Nick Perjanik; Composers Chad Gock & Antony Partos.

Christopher Gordon (composer, Ladies in Black); Jo Smith (AGSC Executive Director), Bruce Beresford (director, Ladies in Black), Virginia Duigan (screenwriter), Alannah Zisterman (producer, Ladies in Black)