Sydney-based singer songwriter Mark Callaghan has been appointed GM of the Australian Music Publishers Assn. Limited (AMPAL). He takes over from Nick Hampton, who retired this year.

Callaghan was previously GM at Shock Music Publishing. Prior to that, he served as professional manager at Sony/ATV Publishing from 1997, A&R manager for Festival Records for four years, and with Australian music company Shock from 2002. He still fronts the band GangGajang, whose hits in the 1990s included "Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia)" and "Gimme Some Loving," through Truetone/PolyGram.

Callaghan tells Billboard.biz that a priority for AMPAL is to collate data to provide members with more information on digital sales, new income streams and sync opportunities. Digital formats now account for 20% to 25% of publishers business, according to the Australian Mechanical Copyrights Owners Society.

Callaghan says, "Music publishers play a major role in the Australian music industry, but are also a separate entity with our own agenda." First results of the survey should be released this year, he adds.

Other AMPAL activities include expanding the profile of the work that publishers, educating college students on the value of copyright, pressing to include music in the curriculum of junior and high schools, and acting as a lobby group for legislative changes regarding copyright.

Callaghan reports to AMPAL chair Norm Lurie, who says, "As a unified voice for Australian music publishers, AMPAL has an important role to play in the continued growth of our music industry. We are pleased to welcome Mark on board as general manager and look forward to working with him."

Callaghan's replacement at Shock Publishing is Clive Hodson, previously head Of ABC Music, a label distributed through Warner Music Australia.

Shock Publishing has a catalog of 200,000 songs and a roster of 100 local writers.