Mark “Cal” Callaghan

One of Australia’s best loved songwriters, Mark’s music career began in 1977 when he and fellow University of Queensland architecture students formed The Riptides. The band released two very successful independent singles (‘Sunset Strip’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Tears’) and quickly gained a reputation as one of the country’s best live acts before being signed to Regular Records. The Riptides released several critically acclaimed records through Regular but never managed the transition from Indi heroes to mainstream success, disbanding as a full-time unit in 1983.

Following The Riptides, Mark wrote songs for the theatre productions (‘American Days’ and ‘King Of Country’) and the hugely successful ABC TV show ‘Sweet And Sour’, before co-founding GANGgajang in 1984 and co-producing the group’s debut album.

Alongside his almost 40-year career with the GANG, Mark has released solo material (‘Sailors And Mermaids’), Riptides albums (‘Resurface’, Wave Rock’, ‘Tombs Of Gold’) and written music for over a dozen television programs. His most recent solo release is ‘Sydney Nights’.

In addition to his creative endeavors, Mark has worked on the business side of music since 1998 when he was appointed Professional Manager at Song/ATV Music Publishing. Following his time at Sony, Mark became Head of A&R at Festival Records overseeing projects by a number of iconic Australian artists including Mental As Anything and Jimmy Little. Further music industry appointments have included General Manager of Shock Music Publishing, General Manager of AMPAL and Managing Director of Music Sales (now Wise Music).

In 2014 Mark joined the board of music industry charity Support Act and in 2018 created the interactive 3000 member EveryOneBand project to raise money for the organisation. Mark was elected as a writer director of APRA in 2020 and re-elected to a second term in 2023.

As a singer, songwriter, musician, and industry professional, Mark has a unique perspective - and a passion for Australian music that remains undiminished since he first grabbed a guitar and strummed a few tentative chords in sleepy 1970’s Brisbane.