"I enjoy interviewing the songwriters. Each offers something unique; all have been very generous, insightful and uplifting."

Dr Leigh Carriage

Music lecturer and host of APRA AMCOS Songwriting Workshops, with The Cat Empire’s Harry James Angus

Learn from Australia’s best at Songwriting Workshops

  • Get exclusive access to some of Australia’s top musicians
  • Ask questions about performing, songwriting, creativity, touring, collaborating and more
  • Get inspired! Demystify the music industry
  • And sometimes get to jam alongside your music idols!

The Songwriting Workshop series is a unique and invaluable part of Southern Cross University’s contemporary music program since 2006, thanks to our partnership with APRA AMCOS.

Artists like Hiatus Kaiyote, Iva Davies (Icehouse), Rai Thistlethwayte (Thirsty Merc) Jim Moginie and Rob Hirst (both Midnight Oil), Katie Noonan, BUOY, Blue King Brown, Husky, Lior, Harry James Angus (The Cat Empire), Tex Perkins and Vince Jones have shared their skills and insights with Southern Cross students.

“These inspiring workshops really enhance the way our students develop their songwriting, composition, arrangement and production skills. The artists are always very generous with their time and willing to engage and interact with the students,” says Dr Matt Hill, Contemporary Music course coordinator.

“We are very pleased to be able to have this enduring connection with APRA AMCOS, the country’s key music industry organisation that handles royalty distribution for over 87,000 Australian songwriters, composers and publishers.” 

What the artists say about the Songwriters’ Workshops

The artists themselves are full of praise for the Songwriters’ Workshops. Here’s a selection.

For cards and page objects

“I had a great time coming to SCU and connecting with the fantastic and friendly students there. I was really impressed with their original music and could feel their respect for Leigh and the (music) faculty. It is a wonderful facility and I look forward to being a guest there again.”

Katie Noonan, singer songwriter

“The students were good readers and enthusiastic when trying out some of my pieces for the electric guitar orchestra, even to the point of rehearsing the music well before I arrived. SCU students are blessed with curiosity, energy, great teachers and support people.” 

Jim Moginie, guitarist songwriter, Midnight Oil

“The aim of my songwriting workshop at SCU was to give music students an insight into mapping out a song and inspire them to succinctly express a strong creative idea with clarity and follow through. I found the students to work very well in collaborative small groups. They were highly motivated, focused and completely embraced the concepts. I felt a genuine sense of engagement and a willingness on their part to integrate what they had learned into their own development as artists and performers.” 

Lior, singer songwriter

"Being able to reengage with my university community and share some of my experience whilst also selfishly reconnecting with my regional identity for me was precious. Strengthening the cultural fabric between the long stretches of road in this country is so important. We need to hear the stories and experiences of our regional centres loud and through these workshops APRA and Leigh are enabling that conversation and connection.”

Jack Britten, music producer (Ngaiire); graduate of Bachelor of Contemporary Music at Southern Cross University

“It was a pleasure to discuss songwriting with the students at SCU. Their keen interest and enquiring attitude gives credence to the discipline of songwriting as a legitimate contemporary art form, worthy of academic study.”

Neil Murray, singer songwriter

Who’s who of the Australian music-making industry

Some of the artists who’ve come to the Lismore campus to take part in the APRA AMCOS Songwriting Workshop series:

Vince Jones

Mia Dyson

Rob Hirst


Blue King Brown

Tex Perkins

Iva Davies

Nerida Tyson-Chew

Kerrianne Cox

Joseph Tawadros

Katie Noonan

Hiatus Kaiyote

Jim Moginie

Inga Liljestrom

Rai Thistlethwayte

Charles Jenkins

Lisa Gerrard

Felicity Urquhart

Murray Burns

Kirstin Beradi

Vince Jones

Marialy Pacheco

Neil Murray

Gian Slater

Invenio Choir


Sandy Evans

Lucie Thorne

Jack Britten

Brendan Clarke

Elana Stone


Sara Tindley

The Stiff Gins

Lisa Parrott

Scott Aplin

Caitlin Yeo



Contact Arts and Social Sciences

Dean and Head

T: +61 7 5589 3169

E: sasshos@scu.edu.au

Assistant to Head of School

T: +61 2 6620 3136

E: sassadmin@scu.edu.au

Deputy Dean and Director (Research)

T: +61 2 6620 3839

E: grayson.cooke@scu.edu.au

Contact the Faculty of Business, Law and Arts - Southern Cross

Executive Dean of Faculty

T: +61 7 5589 3054

E: fbla.ea@scu.edu.au

Associate Dean (Education)

T: +61 2 6620 3848

E: helen.walsh@scu.edu.au

Associate Dean (Research)

T: +61 7 5589 3036

E: darshana.sedera@scu.edu.au