Women fan the flames in this year's ARIA Award nominations as Amy Shark and Jessica Mauboy ride high

Arias 2017 nominees music love

It's ARIA Awards time! Last year Music Love was there to cover all the women in music winners and nominees, and here we are, ready to go again. Fenella Henderson-Zuel was at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney for today's nomination announcements, as well as the winners for the Artisan and Fine Arts Awards. 

The ARIA Awards offer a chance to celebrate the achievements of some amazing women in music, but also a chance to wonder if their absence from certain categories indicates that women don’t make rock, adult contemporary or dance music – the categories where women received no nominations. Or perhaps the powers that be just aren’t recognising it. 

Whatever the case, of the more than 70 acts up for awards this year as announced at a ceremony at the NSW Art Gallery on Tuesday, 29 women were among the list of nominees for the mainstream awards – including mixed and all female groups as well as soloists. Aside from that there were 42 women – not including the members from the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras - who were nominated for the Fine Arts and Artisan Awards of which the winners were announced today.

One such was multiple ARIA Award winner Katie Noonan, who today took home the Best World Music Album Award for her collaboration with Karin Scahupp, Songs of the Latin Skies, took the opportunity during her speech to “fan the flame” of women in the industry.

She pointed out that it was the first time either she or Schaupp had won an ARIA with another woman and finished by commenting that it “would be nice to see a woman on the ARIA board”.  

Noonan, who has won previously for Best Jazz Album and been nominated for Best Classical album, had to learn Portugese for Songs of the Latin Skies and believes that learning and experimenting is the key to becoming a better musician. “Getting out of your comfort zone if really important to being a human being in general,” she tells Music Love, “but particularly as an artist. You need to challenge yourself and not rest on your laurels.” 

Riding high in the nomination leader board were Amy Shark and Jessica Mauboy, each boasting six nominations. Although Mauboy missed out on Best Original Soundtrack for her work on the TV show The Secret Daughter, she will go up against Shark for Best Female Artist and Best Pop Release. Shark is also in good company in the Breakthrough Artist category, where she is nominated alongside Tash Sultana and Tkay Maidza.

Sia is also making her presence felt with five nominations, including Best Female Artist, Best Independent Release and the publicly voted Best Video & Song Of The Year. Tash Sultana isn’t far behind, with four nominations including Best Blues & Roots Album and Best Australian Live Act. 

Climbing the awards ladder is Julia Jacklin, a newer ARIA face but already nominated for Best Female Artist and Best Cover Art. Having just finished a year of touring overseas and getting ready to head out again next month, Jacklin revealed that being unable to listen to Australian radio while travelling meant she was almost unaware of the success she was receiving locally.

Jacklin has been focusing on touring internationally, telling Music Love, “You can tour [in Australia] but you can’t play that many shows because it’s a pretty small country. You do have to leave for a long time.”

The fantastically named all-female band All Our Exes Live In Texas have received their first nomination for Best Blues & Roots Album and consider it an extra achievement to have done so with minimal support from local radio. Vocalist and guitarist Katie Wighton considers the nomination and the recognition that comes with it to be a bonus after spending the past few years on tour just to raise the funds for their debut album When We Fall, released earlier this year with crowd funding support.

“I genuinely never thought I’d be in this position,” says Wighton.  

Bandmate Hannah Crofts (vocals & ukulele) considers the time they spent on the road essential not just for finance but in helping to choose the songs for an album.

“When we write a song, we need to play it for six months before we go into the studio with it,” Crofts explains to Music Love. “We have to learn to love it and then record it.”

Former The Voice contestant Vera Blue is returning to the ARIA Awards after performing Papercuts, her #1 single with Melbourne rapper Illy, at last year’s ceremony. This year she is nominated for Best Pop Release and is looking forward to attending alongside performers she has long admired.

Working with artists like Illy and Empire of the Sun’s Nick Littlemore (on The 2 Leaves Project) has allowed Blue to explore what music has to offer and to find her groove in electronic folk. 

“I’m open to doing so many different things,” Blue tells Music Love. ‘[The collaborations] have opened my eyes to so many different musical genres and what we can do with music.”

The ARIA Awards will be held in Sydney on November 28. Details here

Keep scrolling for a full list of women who are winners and nominees.

Jessica Mauboy embraces Kasey Chambers earlier today. Image: Fenella Henderson-Zuel

Jessica Mauboy embraces Kasey Chambers earlier today. Image: Fenella Henderson-Zuel

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Amy Shark for “Night Thinker” 

BEST FEMALE ARTIST

Amy Shark for “Night Thinker”

Jessica Mauboy “The Secret Daughter (Songs from the Original TV Series)” 
Julia Jacklin “Don’t Let The Kids Win” 
Meg Mac “Low Blows” 
Sia "The Greatest" ft. Kendrick Lamar

BEST DANCE RELEASE

No women nominees

BEST GROUP

No women nominees  

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST

Amy Shark for “Night Thinker” 

Tash Sultana for “Notion”
Tkay Maidza for “TKAY” 

BEST POP RELEASE

Amy Shark for “Night Thinker” 

Jessica Mauboy for “Fallin’’ 
Sia for “The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar)”
Vera Blue for “Perennial”

BEST URBAN ALBUM

Tkay Maidza for “TKAY” 

BEST INDEPENDENT RELEASE

Sia for “The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” 

Tash Sultana for “Notion” 

BEST ROCK ALBUM

The Preatures for “Girlhood” ft. Isabella Manfredi

BEST ADULT CONTEMPORARY ALBUM

No women nominees  

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Kasey Chambers for “Dragonfly” 

O’Shea for “61-615” ft. Jay O'Shea
The McClymonts for “Endless” 

BEST HARD ROCK/HEAVY METAL ALBUM

No women nominees

BEST BLUES AND ROOTS ALBUM

All Our Exes Live In Texas for “When We Fall” (ft. Hannah Crofts, Georgia Mooney, Elana Stone and Katie Wighton)

Tash Sultana for “Notion” 

ARIA Awards 2017
Julia Jacklin stands next to Hannah Crofts and Katie Wighton from All Our Exes Live In Texas. Image: Fenella Henderson-Zuel

Julia Jacklin stands next to Hannah Crofts and Katie Wighton from All Our Exes Live In Texas. Image: Fenella Henderson-Zuel

BEST CHILDREN'S ALBUM

Lah-Lah ft Tina Harris for “Having Fun!”

The Idea of North (ft. Sally Cameron and Naomi Crellin), Lior & Elena Kats-Chernin for A Piece of Quiet [The Hush Collection, Vol 16]” 
The Wiggles for The Wiggles Duets  ft. Emma Watkins

BEST VIDEO

Amy Shark for "Drive You Mad"

Jessica Mauboy for 'Fallin’' 
Sia for 'The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

BEST AUSTRALIAN LIVE ACT

Jessica Mauboy 

Tash Sultana 

APPLE MUSIC SONG OF THE YEAR

Amy Shark for "Adore"

Jessica Mauboy for “Fallin” 
Sia for 'The Greatest" (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
Starley for "Call On Me" (Ryan Riback Remix)'

BEST INTERNATIONAL ARTIST

Adele for “25” 

Lorde for “Melodrama” 

MUSIC TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Julie Layt (Cresent Lagoon State School, Rockhampton QLD 4700)

Renee McCarthy (Woodcroft College, Morphett Vale SA 5162)
Alex Manton (Asquith Girls High School, Asquith NSW 2077)

Listed below are all the women nominees in the Fine Arts and Artisn Awards categories. Omitting the women in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, we have endeavoured to list the names of the women nominees including in groups and orchestras, and have counted 42 women. The winners have already been announced and are listed here.

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Tom Iansek for Big Scary “Animal”. Big Scary is a duo featuring Joanna Syme

WINNER ALREADY ANNOUNCED: GANG OF YOUTHS AND ADRIAN BREAKSPEAR FOR GANG OF YOUTHS “GO FARTHER IN LIGHTNESS” 

ENGINEER OF THE YEAR

Bob Scott for Kate Miller-Heidke & Sydney Symphony Orchestra “Live at the Sydney Opera House” 
WINNER ALREADY ANNOUNCED:  STEVEN SCHRAM FOR PAUL KELLY ”LIFE IS FINE” (EMI) 

BEST COVER ART

Nick McKinlay for Julia Jacklin “Don't Let The Kids Win” 

WINNER ALREADY ANNOUNCED: PETER SALMON-LOMAS FOR PAUL KELLY “LIFE IS FINE” (

BEST CLASSICAL ALBUM

Jayson Gillham, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & Benjamin Northey  “Medtner: Piano Concerto No. 1 | Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2” (ABC Classics/Universal Music)
Kate Miller-Heidke & Sydney Symphony Orchestra “Live at the Sydney Opera House” (ABC Music/Universal Music)
Tamara-Anna Cislowska “Elena Kats-Chernin: Unsent Love Letters - Meditations on Erik Satie” (ABC Classics/Universal Music)

WINNER ALREADY ANNOUNCED: SLAVA GRIGORYAN “BACH: CELLO SUITES VOLUME I” (ABC CLASSICS/UNIVERSAL MUSIC)

BEST JAZZ ALBUM

Australian Art Orchestra “Water Pushes Sand” Jazzhead (Head Records) ft. Vanessa Tomlison, Lizzy Welsch, Gian Slater, Sandy Evans, Andrea Keller

WINNER ALREADY ANNOUNCED: JAMES MORRISON, BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA, KEITH LOCKHART, HARRY MORRISON & WILLIAM MORRISON “THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK” (ABC JAZZ/UNIVERSAL MUSIC)

BEST ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK OR MUSICAL THEATRE CAST ALBUM

Australian Cast Recording feat. David Campbell “Dream Lover” ft. Hannah Fredericksen, Marina Prior, Marney McQueen
Jessica Mauboy “The Secret Daughter (Songs from the Original TV Series)” 
Nigel Westlake & Sydney Symphony Orchestra, with Joseph Tawadros, Slava Grigoryan & Lior “Ali's Wedding” 
Richard Tognetti & Australian Chamber Orchestra “Mountain” (ft. Helena Rathbone, Aiko Goto, Liisa Pallandi, Maja Savnik, Madeleine Boud, Nicole Divall, Melissa Barnard, Sally Walker, Ashley Sutherland, Jane Gower, Lisa Goldberg, Rachel Silver, and Leanne Sullivan)
WINNER ALREADY ANNOUNCED: NIGEL WESTLAKE & SYDNEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, WITH JOSEPH TAWADROS, SLAVA GRIGORYAN & LIOR “ALI'S WEDDING” 

BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM

Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp “Songs of the Latin Skies” (KIN Music/Universal Music)
Melbourne Ska Orchestra “Saturn Return” (ABC Music/Universal Music) ft. Rebecca Ari, Sarah Heffernan, Sally Ford
Slava Grigoryan & Australian String Quartet “Migration” (ABC Classics/Universal Music) ft Francesca Hiew and Sharon Grigoryan

WINNER ALREADY ANNOUNCED: KATIE NOONAN AND KARIN SCHAUPP “SONGS OF THE LATIN SKIES” 

BEST COMEDY RELEASE

Kitty Flanagan ”Seriously?”

WINNER ALREADY ANNOUNCED: JOHN CLARKE “CLARKE'S CLASSICS”