Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Winner of inaugral Billy Thorpe scholarship announced

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    Winner of inaugral Billy Thorpe scholarship announced

    A talented young musician is one step closer to becoming a professional artist after winning the inaugural Billy Thorpe Scholarship.

    Arts Minister Rod Welford congratulated Brisbane guitarist Michael Gavriel on winning the inaugural $10,000 scholarship at the Q Song Awards in Brisbane tonight (12 August).

    “This scholarship was named in honour of late, great Australian musician Billy Thorpe who passed away in February last year,” Mr Welford said.

    “Billy Thorpe spent his formative years in Brisbane and made an enormous contribution to the Australian and global music industry over five decades of performing, writing and producing.

    “Michael’s considerable skill in playing, programming and producing makes him a worthy recipient of the first Billy Thorpe Scholarship.

    “After playing in bands for some years, he plans to use the scholarship to further develop his technical skills by travelling to the United States to study guitar at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

    “Michael’s passion and commitment to music appealed to the selection panel, made up of Billy’s family members, including wife Lynne and daughters Lauren and Rusty, and Billy Thorpe’s long-term managers Amanda Pelman and Michael Chugg.”

    The annual Billy Thorpe Scholarship, administered by Arts Queensland, provides a structured range of support for an emerging musician to establish their professional career through career planning and the opportunity to record with a local producer.

    Members of the Thorpe family announced the winner at the Q Song Awards, an annual event which is run by Q Music to celebrate Queensland songwriting talent.

    Other songwriters recognised at the awards included the Gold Coast's James Grehan, winning Best Alternative, Best Regional song and The Courier-Mail People's Choice Award for Til You Come Home; Robert Forster's From Ghost Town was named Published Song of the Year; Ben Salter won Song of the Year for Ten Paces Away, and Michael Chapman took home the G. W McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award named in honour of the late Go-Betweens artist.

    Q Music receives annual funding of $220,000 through the Queensland Government’s s2m program.

    Media contact: Emma Clarey on 3237 1000 or 0417 791 336