AMCOS Board election 2020: Director Nominees

Thursday, 15 Oct 2020

AMCOS received 6 nominations for the 3 vacant Director positions on its Board.

All AMCOS members eligible to vote are strongly encouraged to take the time to consider the nominees and cast a vote. It's vitally important that members have a say in who is representing them on the board and making decisions about music creators' rights and royalties.

Get involved and vote. 


  1. Philip Burn (Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd) (incumbent) 
  2. Matt Donlevy (Cooking Vinyl Publishing Australia Pty Ltd) 
  3. Jane English (Wise Music Pty Ltd) 
  4. Heath Johns (BMG Rights Management Australia Pty Ltd) (incumbent) 
  5. Rachel Kelly (Downtown Music ANZ Pty Ltd) 
  6. Damian Trotter (Sony / ATV Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd) (incumbent) 

Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd


Philip is Chairman and CEO of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd. He founded the Australian arm of Hal Leonard in 1995 and, from small beginnings, the business has developed into the major publisher and distributor of sheet music in Australia, in both physical and digital products. The firm represents, in print, major catalogues such as Universal Music, Sony/ATV, Kobalt, Disney and BMG. Local catalogues include Mushroom Music, Native Tongue, Origin and Perfect Pitch. Over the years, the company has diversified into the licensing of grand rights and the importation and distribution of hi-tech products for the music creator and performer. Prior to establishing Hal Leonard’s operations in Australia, he spent 19 years in the music products industry as a senior executive with Rose Music and Yamaha Music Australia. Philip is also a director of All Music Publishing and Distribution Pty Ltd and the Australasian Music Publishers Association Ltd.

Cooking Vinyl Publishing Australia Pty Ltd


My time in publishing started with working at Castle Music in the sheet music department. I moved to Creative manager of ATV Northern Songs for a few years then got the job as Managing Director of peermusic.  I became Regional Director for South East Asia for peermusic and set up a number of offices in the region. I was there for over 25 years when I moved on to start Cooking Vinyl Publishing Australia, the publishing arm of Cooking Vinyl Australia.


The AMCOS board is the coalface of the music publishing business and I want to be part of it again having been on the board for over 22 years. I work fulltime as a publisher signing writers and running the company and AMCOS should have directors doing the business every day.

  • Having been I on the AMCOS board for 22 years I know what it takes and have the experience to represent music publishers.
  • I work fulltime for a music publishing company dealing with the issues faced by a publisher everyday so I know what’s going on with the business.
  • S.E Asian regional experience is an important addition for me for an international perspective.
  • Being in a different part of the business from the “majors” I have a different perspective for how APRA AMCOS performs and can make a contribution for the smaller publisher’s views.

Wise Music Pty Ltd


Jane is Managing Director of Wise Music Pty Ltd, the local affiliate of global independent Wise Music Group.

Jane is a non-executive director of the Australasian Music Publishers Association Ltd. She has previously sat on the Boards of Asian Music Publishers and the Hong Kong Music Publishers Association. She has been an invited regular observer on the AMCOS Print Music and Education Committee.

Jane holds an Honours Degree in Laws, an Arts Degree, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and NSW & Federal Solicitors practising certificates.

Relevant to AMCOS's business, prior to her position at Wise Music, Jane worked for EMI MP Asia (Regional Director), BMG MP Asia Pacific (Vice President), EMI MP Hong Kong (General Manager), Warner Bros MP Australia (General Manager), Warner Bros MP Asia (General Manager) and Rondor Music Australia (General Manager).

Jane assisted in the establishment of Support Act and provided frequent pro bono legal advice to musicians and songwriters for the Arts Law Centre.


My principal reason for seeking election to the AMCOS Board is to play an active role in enhancing all members' remuneration and to defend their rights.

If elected to the AMCOS Board, I would contribute diversity and add to the mix of skills of the Directors. I have extensive appropriate industry expertise in AMCOS's business activities, having dedicated the majority of my working life to music publishing. I hold a current Solicitors' practising certificate from both the NSW Supreme Court and the Federal Court of Australia. As a female, my election would increase the proportion of women on the AMCOS Board.

In my time at Wise Music, until April 2018, I managed its print (physical and digital) business as well as its rights business. The repertoire of the Wise Music Group is skewed towards contemporary classical music, followed by popular music and tv & film scores.

Wise Music had a Director representative on the AMCOS Board continuously for 25 years, from 1989 - 2014. I replaced Mark Callaghan as the Managing Director of Wise Music in 2014 and have subsequently nominated every year for the AMCOS Board.

BMG Rights Management Australia Pty Ltd


Since launching BMG Australia in March 2016 as the company's inaugural Managing Director, Heath Johns has signed global publishing deals with Neil Finn/Crowded House, Alison Wonderland, Peking Duk, Golden Features, What So Not, JET, Wolfmother, Didirri, Kwame, Illy, Winston Surfshirt, SAFIA and more. Heath also heads up BMG Auatralia’s recorded operation and has signed record deals with Chet Faker, Dope Lemon, Dune Rats, Hockey Dad, Julia Stone, CHAII, Tim Minchin and more. Heath led the Australian BMG operation through the acquisition of iconic Australian music company Alberts as well as one of Asia Pacific’s leading PM operations Big Bang & Fuzz.

Heath holds MBA and Master of Marketing degrees from the University of Newcastle and was previously Director of A&R at UMPG for over 13 years where he signed Gang of Youths, Passenger, The Veronicas, Daniel Merriweather, Guy Sebastian, M-Phazes and Jessica Mauboy as well as signing JET, Wolfmother and Peking Duk and others to their first publishing deals before they also moved to BMG. He is also a current board member of AMPAL and AMCOS.


I believe I bring a unique mix of skills and experience to both the AMCOS and APRA Boards. Serving as a new Director on the AMPAL and AMCOS Boards has given me a sense of what is required to help continue improving the conditions of Australian and New Zealand songwriters and I’d dearly love the opportunity to further involve myself at APRA level.

As the Managing Director of BMG Australia- the fastest growing music company in Australia, I feel I bring a unique point of view to the table as I also head up a relevant, frontline record label with a stream of hit records from artists including Chet Faker, Dope Lemon, Julia Stone, Time Minchin, Dune Rats and Hockey Dad. I feel this gives me a sense of balance and objectivity as we seek to achieve a fair environment for both artists and songwriters and as a result of that, labels and publishers.

Downtown Music ANZ pty Ltd


Rachel Kelly is Creative Director & Head of Sync at Downtown Music Publishing, an independent music publisher with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo & Sydney.

Rachel has 23 years’ experience at both major and independent publishers including Warner/Chappell, J. Albert & Son and BMG Rights Management. Since 2018, Rachel has been responsible for Downtown’s domestic signings and operations in Australia & New Zealand.

Rachel is an interim Director of the Australasian Music Publishers’ Association Limited (AMPAL).


As Downtown enters its 14th year in business and 3rd year in Australia, our mission remains the same; to build a service-oriented business that empowers songwriters and values their creative work.

Downtown proudly represents Australian songwriters, Stella Donnelly, John Butler Trio, The Teskey Brothers (world ex. ANZ), Taka Perry and Charlotte Gemmill (Eliott), alongside Ryan Tedder, The 1975, Wu-Tang Clan, Miles Davis, Tori Amos and many others. 

With experience at Warner/Chappell, J Albert & Son, BMG and Downtown, I’ve spent equal time working across major and independent music publishers for the past 23 years. Specifically, I have frontline experience in synchronisation licensing, contract negotiation, A&R and creative services.

As a modern music publisher, we believe technology, new digital platforms and new distribution channels should be embraced. If given the opportunity, I will bring a balanced view and different perspective to complement long-standing members of the AMCOS board. Thank you for considering my nomination.

Sony / ATV Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd


Damian is the Managing Director of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and a former Chairman of the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited (AMCOS). Damian is also a Director of the Australasian Music Publishers’ Association Limited (AMPAL) and the Australasian Performing Right Association Limited (APRA).

After joining CBS Records in 1981, he held various positions including Local Artist A&R/Marketing Manager and National Promotions Manager. After a brief stint at Warner Music in 1990 as General Manager of East West Records, he returned to Sony to head up the re-started publishing company in 1992.

Following the merger of Sony/ATV Music Publishing with EMI Music Publishing in 2012, Damian was appointed Managing Director of both companies.


I feel I bring a wealth of experience and key attributes that can only enhance the effectiveness of the board.

As Managing Director of the largest music publishing company in Australia, I bring valuable insights and a level of advocacy on behalf of the music publishing industry generally, as well as the many established and developing songwriters I represent.

In spite of the size of SonyATV, I understand and am empathetic to the concerns of all stakeholders large or small, writer or publisher which contributes to the finely balanced, highly collegiate nature of the AMCOS board. This level of cooperation and harmony is not necessarily typical within all boards and nor should it be taken for granted as it requires constant work to ensure this.

The role of an effective board member is to remain well informed, work closely with the Chair and the CEO, question and challenge all decisions and proposals to ensure the proper management and governance of the organisation to reflect the best interests of the company, the writer and publisher members. I am acutely aware of these responsibilities and approach my role as a board member of longstanding with the gravity it requires and deserves.

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