A Week In The Life Of… An APRA Writer Services Team Leader, Chris O’Neill

Chris O’Neill

Chris O’Neill is an incredible session drummer who has performed on countless albums and tours across the country. He is also the National Team Leader for the Writer Services Department at APRA AMCOS. He has offered us a glimpse into what a typical week looks like as an APRA AMCOS Writer Services Representative. His role is pretty diverse, as you can see below.

Over to you Chris:

I have a few different roles at APRA AMCOS. One is as a Queensland Writer Services Representative, where I take care of the Queensland songwriters and ensure they are getting everything they need from APRA AMCOS. This includes royalties (obviously!) and often providing them with general industry information, or at least pointing them in the right direction to get more information.

The other is as a National Team Leader for all of the other state representatives, where my manager and I work together to make sure that the national team is functioning well and that we’re all working together to make sure our members are being taken care of. Lastly I am also the Queensland office manager, where I organise and co-ordinate general office procedures and operations.


Monday mornings are normally spent catching up on member e-mails from the weekend. I also take five minutes to look at my week, and make sure I’ve got everything in my calendar and to check everything is in order for the week ahead.
Staff meeting at 10am to check in with the rest of the office, hear any updates on other departments and other general matters. Afterwards, I work on a presentation that will be used for an event around the country in a few weeks.
A quick catch up with my boss about the testing program we have developed for the new technologies/portal/app that will be available for our members shortly.
I leave work early to head off to the Gold Coast to attend an event about funding opportunities on a local/state and national level.


Coffee, e-mails and a few phone messages to return in the morning, and then off to a meeting to chat with a business about the APRA AMCOS funding opportunities.
We have an event coming up in a few weeks, so planning is required. We’ve locked in the speakers, but now it’s time to arrange a bunch of things including catering, comms to create the invite, creating extracts for the invite list, head office to send out the invites on our behalf, run sheet for the event, the content that will be presented at the event and more. A colleague and I take some time to work on the event.
The afternoon is spent testing the new membership portal and discussing any improvements with senior management and developers.
After work, I head to a rehearsal for a gig in a few weeks.


Coffee and e-mails in the morning, next is our monthly Teleconference with the National team. Here we discuss projects that we are working on, upcoming events and royalty distributions. Afterwards, I continue to work on the presentation for the event in a few weeks, slowly getting closer!
I head off early to get down to the Gold Coast to speak at an event hosted by the Gold Coast City Council. The event was for local songwriters, learning more about copyright/royalties, publicity, recording and digital labels.


Part of my role is outreach to songwriters, a good source is at Universities TAFEs and Schools. I start my day at a University doing a presentation to the Music students, providing them with information on how APRA AMCOS works. Afterwards I have meetings with some of the national team reps, to check in to see how their workload is going, what they’ve got coming up and if I can help in any way.
The afternoon is spent testing the membership portal, and arranging changes to be made. I finish my day catching up on e-mails and phone calls to members.


I spend the morning completing the presentation for the event in a few weeks, and send it off to the some colleagues to get feedback. Afterwards, I attend a teleconference about the new database that is being built, and how it will benefit us as reps.
After lunch I have a meeting with a member who wants to learn more about the role of APRA AMCOS and how it can benefit him. Our February Royalty distribution to our members is next week, so I finish the week doing some pre-distribution tasks that need to be completed prior to the money hitting their accounts.

Highlights of the job

I deal with songwriters all day every day, talking about their passion and offering assistance and guidance when needed. Also, we are responsible for distributing millions of dollars into songwriter’s bank accounts. Nothing beats calling a member and telling them that they are about to be paid a large chunk of money!!


Thanks Chris!



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