Songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of Brisbane rock band Full Flower Moon Band, Kate Herrington (aka Babyshakes Dillon), has been awarded the prestigious $15,000 Grant McLennan Fellowship for 2023 at a ceremony held in Brisbane last night.

Presented by QMusic and proudly supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, now in its 15th year, the Grant McLennan Fellowship honours the musical legacy of the late Grant McLennan, singer-songwriter and co-frontman of The Go-Betweens.

The Fellowship offers the recipient an opportunity to follow in Grant’s footsteps and travel to New York, London or Berlin to immerse themselves in a different culture as a source of creative inspiration and career development.

As a fiercely independent artist, Kate’s potential and quality of work has been demonstrated across a 10-year history of sustainability, success and the uncompromising authentic 'rock and roll' energy that her group Full Flower Moon Band is now known for.

In congratulating winner Kate Herrington, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Grant McLennan Fellowship provided the opportunity to develop the next generation of Queensland’s contemporary music artists and grow their songwriting careers.

“Queensland has a wealth of homegrown talent and this year’s winner, Kate Herrington alongside her fellow shortlisted finalists Gabriella Cohen, Jesswar, and Tia Gostelow, are a testament to this.” Minister Enoch said.

“Grant McLennan's legacy as one of Australia’s leading songwriters endures. The Queensland Government provides $15,000 for this prize, which pays tribute to the inspiration he gave to many musicians throughout his career by offering a songwriter, or songwriting duo, support to develop their artistic skills on the international stage.

“The Queensland Government recognises QMusic’s important role as an incubator of new and emerging Queensland music talent, growing sector capacity, creating employment and platform opportunities as we prepare to showcase our artists and unique stories on the global stage of Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Minister Enoch said.

Of the selection process, 2023 Fellowship judges Adele Pickvance, Ian Haug, Seja Vogel and Sean Sennett said in a joint statement, “This year’s applications were of an extremely high standard and while it was difficult to choose a winner, Kate’s personification of the spirit of the Fellowship along with her planning and the current momentum of her band made it undeniable that this is her year.”

QMusic CEO Kris Stewart echoed the 2023 judges’ sentiments saying, “This is a career defining opportunity for an artist and Kate’s dedication to her development as an artist, collaborator, engineer and producer over the course of her career is immensely impressive.

“We have no doubt Kate is going to return from her chosen city New York, with a truckload of rich experiences that will have longstanding influence on her artistic output. We look forward to hearing from her after her travels.”

Originally from the small town of Gympie, with her sights set on becoming a household name, Herrington is excited to bunker down in New York for a month in early 2024 to soak up the city’s rich artistic history.

Previous winners of the Grant McLennan Fellowship are:

2022: Sahara Beck

2019: Jack Bratt

2018: Danny Harley (The Kite String Tangle)

2017: Jeremy Neale (Velociraptor)

2016: Hannah Macklin (MKO Sun)

2015: Tim Steward (WE ALL WANT TO, Screamfeeder)

2014: Thomas Calder (The Trouble With Templeton)

2013: Seja Vogel

2012: Louise O’Reilly and Paul Hannan (Laneway)

2011: Scott Spark

2010: Danny Widdicombe & Andrew Morris (The Wilson Pickers)

2009: Helen Franzmann (McKisko)

2008: John Busby and Chris Dale (Halfway)

2007: Greg Charles

QMUSIC acknowledges the many Traditional Custodian groups all across what is now referred to as Queensland. We pay our respect to all elders: past and present. As a peak body we also acknowledge the important role that music has played and continues to play on these lands since the very first sunrise.