Admiral’s Own tours the top end

Published on ABMUSN Ellen Zyla (author and photographer)

Location(s): Arnhem Land, NT

The Admirals Own Rock Band: Leading Seaman Musician Haylen Newman, Able Seaman Musician James Roach, Leading Seaman Musician Tracy Kennedy, Able Seaman Musician Christopher Thompson, Chief Petty Officer Musician Andrew Stapleton and Leading Seaman Musician Lachlan McFie. (photo: ABMUSN Ellen Zyla)
The Admirals Own Rock Band: Leading Seaman Musician Haylen Newman, Able Seaman Musician James Roach, Leading Seaman Musician Tracy Kennedy, Able Seaman Musician Christopher Thompson, Chief Petty Officer Musician Andrew Stapleton and Leading Seaman Musician Lachlan McFie.

Recently, six members of the Sydney Detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band, who make up a smaller group known as the ‘Admirals Own Rock Band’, travelled to Arnhem Land in far northern Australia to perform in some of the most remote Indigenous Communities in the country, alongside members from the Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP).

Able Seaman Musician Leigh Robke with a local student from the Homeland Learning Centre at Arnhem Land.

Able Seaman Musician Leigh Robke with a local student from the Homeland Learning Centre at Arnhem Land.


 
While in these far reaching communities, the ‘Admirals Own’ performed at Homeland Learning Centres in Laynhupuy and Wandawuy, giving demonstrations of each of the instruments used in the rock band, and, by all accounts, put on some great shows.
 
The band also supported a local fundraising event in Nhulunbuy, performed at the Gove Boat Club, were a major attraction at the Gove Festival and workshopped with local musicians.
 
This tour was used to fulfil part of the Royal Australian Navy Band’s mission of ‘Promote the Royal Australian Navy.’
 
Able Seaman Musician Leigh Robke said it was a memorable experience.
 
“We’ve had such an incredible experience over the last nine days in Nhulunbuy. We had an amazing tour and met some beautiful souls,” he said.
 
The group also did a spot on the local Yolnu Radio Station.

The Admirals Own Rock Band with local musicians at Yolnu Radio Station.

The Admirals Own Rock Band with local musicians at Yolnu Radio Station.


One member of the Royal Australian Navy Band, Leading Seaman Musician Haylen Newman, is currently posted to an outpost in Nhulunbuy, where he is working in conjunction with the Defence Indigenous Development Program and the Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF).
 
The ACMF gives children in remote areas access to music education that is on par with that received by children in larger cities and metropolitan areas. This is a project that the Royal Australian Navy Band has been working very closely with ACMF on, over the past couple of years.