Top 10 musicians one step closer to their big break

Media Release, 03 December 2012

Ten aspiring Australian singer-songwriters have made the top 10 of the Telstra Road to Discovery national talent development program.

The announcement, made at the Queenscliff Music Festival in Victoria on Saturday, marks another step towards a successful career in music for the 10 artists who will all compete at the Telstra Road to Discovery Final, at the 2013 Tamworth Country Music Festival in January.

The final will reward one winning performer and songwriter, with each receiving a 12-month music mentorship package, which includes the chance to meet with some of the biggest names in Australian music and a return trip to Nashville, USA.

Presenting the top 10 finalists was Local Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager, Geelong and Surf Coast, Duane Dalton who congratulated the contestants on a spectacular performance.

“Today we have witnessed an extraordinary display of talent by newcomers to the Australian music scene. Providing a launch platform for independent artists to share their music is so important for the future of our local music industry.

“And what better place to do that, than at the Queenscliff Music Festival in celebration of our ten year milestone,” Mr Dalton said.

The Top 10 finalists were chosen from a pool of 18 independent, unsigned artists who battled it out on stage at the Telstra Road to Discovery Semi-Final event, in front of a huge festival crowd hosted by local Melbourne singer-songwriter Ella Hooper.

“I feel so lucky to be a part of a program with such integrity, and on Saturday we saw what Telstra Road is really all about. 

“Each of the contestants wowed us with one song, backed by an incredible band. The benefits of the intensive Boot Camp which they've just been through as part of their Semi-Final prize was evident and I'm excited to see who comes out on top at our Finals,” Ella said.

The Top 10 Finalists are:



Heat Won / Songwriter

James Sidebottom

Geelong West, Vic


Melody Pool

Kurri Kurri, NSW


Morgan Bain

Scarborough, WA


Karin Page

North Beach, WA

Dowerin, WA

Gretta Ziller

Seaford, Vic

Henty, NSW

Genevieve Chadwick

Dolphin Point, NSW

Canberra, ACT

Gabrielle Wright

Darwin, NT

Darwin, NT

Sarah Raine Dyson

Carlton, Melbourne Vic


Gena Rose Bruce

Mitcham, Vic

Hobart, Tas

John Lingard

Bendigo, Vic

Elmore, Vic

In its tenth year, the Telstra Road to Discovery national music development program has been touring around the nation since June unearthing independent talent from every state and territory.

A total of 18 unsigned artists were selected from 12 live music performance heats, one digital online heat for performers in remote and regional areas, four songwriters and one wildcard entry, with only 10 artists making it through to the next stage of the program in Tamworth.

The 2013 Telstra Road to Discovery Final featuring the 10 year celebrations will be held at Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC) on Tuesday 22 January during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. 
Renowned as the best value ticket of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, this live music extravaganza includes a huge line up of stars, plus very special guests THE HILLBILLY KILLERS featuring Bill Chambers, Tim Rogers, Catherine Britt, Shane O’Mara, James Gillard and Michael Muchow, in their debut appearance.

Tickets are available to purchase via: TRTD finals tickets
For more details of the Telstra Road to Discovery visit