Bandies march to a different beat

This article has photo gallery Published on CPOIS Damian Pawlenko (author and photographer), ABMUSN Murray Jongeling (photographer)

Location(s): Karrakatta, Western Australia

Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia members, Trombone player, Petty Officer Musician Brian Horlock sits side by side with Drummer, Able Seaman Nathan Hicks in the Defence Music Centre at Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta, WA. Both Reserve Navy Musicians are Police Officers in their other jobs. (photo: ABMUSN Murray Jongeling)
Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia members, Trombone player, Petty Officer Musician Brian Horlock sits side by side with Drummer, Able Seaman Nathan Hicks in the Defence Music Centre at Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta, WA. Both Reserve Navy Musicians are Police Officers in their other jobs.

Two members of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve might look like relaxed musicians but you may not be so calm if you met them in their civilian roles with Western Australian Police.

Petty Officer Musician Brian Horlock and Able Seaman Musician Nathan Hicks are members of the Royal Australian Navy Band in Western Australia, a Reserve unit based at Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta. Petty Officer Horlock  is a Sergeant with the Forensic Division and Able Seaman Hicks is a Senior Constable with the Liquor Enforcement Unit.

Sergeant Horlock has served 30 years with the Police including overseas deployments to the Bali bombings and the Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand. He has also worked on victim identification operations following the sinking of two Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel (SIEV) boats off Christmas Island in 2009 and 2012. 

“Both operations were complex and sensitive investigations where Western Australian Police worked alongside Australian Defence Force personnel,” he said.

Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia members, Trombone player, Petty Officer Musician Brian Horlock stands side by side with Drummer, Able Seaman Nathan Hicks during a performance at the Forrest Place Mall in Perth City, for the Famer on Your Plate event. Both Reserve Musicians are Police Officers in their other jobs.

Royal Australian Navy Band Western Australia members, Trombone player, Petty Officer Musician Brian Horlock stands side by side with Drummer, Able Seaman Nathan Hicks during a performance at the Forrest Place Mall in Perth City, for the Famer on Your Plate event. Both Reserve Musicians are Police Officers in their other jobs.

His other duties include the forensic examination of major crime scenes throughout Western Australia. He has also conducted Disaster Victim Identification training with Australian Defence Force Investigation Service as the role takes on more significance within the Australian Defence Force. 

“The transfer of skills and the opportunity to explore Western Australian Police and Defence interoperability was a valuable and rewarding experience,” he said.

Able Seaman Hicks has served as a Police Officer for over 10 years. He has completed a general duties posting in Bunbury where he was awarded a Special Commendation from the Commissioner of Police. The award was for meritorious conduct under stressful conditions where he physically saved a young girl from jumping off a 40-meter tower.  
 
Following that posting, Senior Constable Hicks returned to the city and filled a position with the Regional Operations Group. Their primary role was dealing with noisy parties and out of control gatherings. While at that unit he was deployed on several occasions to deal with Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs on state and national runs.
 
At present he is stationed at the Liquor Enforcement Unit. His primary role there is to liaise with licensees from all licensed premises within the metropolitan area and enforce the conditions placed on the venue through its licence.  
 
He has had plenty of encouragement to follow a career as a musician as his father, Leading Seaman Musician David Hicks – retired, played a significant role in encouraging him to audition for the position of a drummer with the Band. Since then he has managed a career of over 13 years for Navy. He met his wife within the Band, Leading Seaman Musician Kristy Hicks, and they have two children.

Petty Officer Horlock and Able Seaman Hicks said that balancing their demanding Police roles with a busy band schedule was sometimes challenging.  

“We both value and enjoy performing with the band, and fortunately we have access to a generous military leave provision in Western Australian Police which allows us to maintain our Reserve commitments," Petty Officer Horlock said. 

“We are both very fortunate to be able to give back to the community through our careers that are both challenging and unique."