Husky Gawenda (Husky) and Meg Mac have taken out the first two places in the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition last night in Perth.

Gawenda won for his song ‘Saint Joan’, and was awarded first place and $50,000 – the largest first place cash prize in the world thanks to APRA AMCOS and the music company Albert. 

I’m honored to win the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition. That the competition supports Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, a great cause, makes it particularly rewarding. It is a big thrill for me for ‘Saint Joan’ to have been chosen from among so many great songs” said Gawenda after his big win.

Although she missed out on the top prize, Melbourne based artist Meg Mac was the wildcard of the evening as she claimed second place for her single from earlier this year ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’. Mac has had quite the year as she recently took out the Triple J Unearthed artist of the year award.

“I am so proud to have ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’ a part of this competition and couldn’t be more excited to have it recognised along with some of my favourite songs. It’s also really special that songwriters can come together like this and money can be raised for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy” said Meg.

Runners up included David Le’aupepe of Gang Of Youths and Sydney ballad belter turned electro prince Andy Bull who won the newly added Encouragement Award founded and funded by the winners of last years award The Preatures.

Andy Bull said today, “Thank you to everybody who sat with all these songs and listened. There’s a good spirit around Vanda and Young and it’s humbling to be recognised within this forum. Thanks also to those talented Preatures for creating the award I received ”

Husky Gawenda joins previous winners of the competition, Isabella Manfredi (2013), Kimbra Johnson (2011) and Megan Washington (2009).