Navy Community Engagement brings music to the Red Centre

Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), CPOML-SC Tony Thomas (photographer)

Location(s): Alice Springs, NT

Topic(s): Royal Australian Navy Band, Community Engagement

Navy Band members interact with students prior to conducting a performance for the entire school. (photo: Unknown)
Navy Band members interact with students prior to conducting a performance for the entire school.
Navy musicians have brought music to the Red Centre, visiting Yirara College in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. The College is an Indigenous Boarding School encompassing students from remote areas of Australia.
 
The engagement was conducted under the Northern Territory and Naval Headquarters South Australia Community Engagement Program.
 
For the regional Navy Community Engagement (NCE) coordinator Chief Petty Officer Tony Thomas, collaborating with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Band to engage with the college was an outstanding achievement and contributed greatly to building on the relationship established during previous NCE visits.
 

Able Seaman Musician Thomas Brooke runs through rhythm guitar sequences with an aspiring musician from Yirara College.

Able Seaman Musician Thomas Brooke runs through rhythm guitar sequences with an aspiring musician from Yirara College.

CPO Thomas spends more than six months of the year actively engaged with regional and outback communities and takes great pride in bringing the Navy to remote localities.
 
Musicians from the RAN Band Sydney, led by Chief Petty Officer Musician Mark Ham, played a vibrant and upbeat set of contemporary and Australian tunes for the students. Instruments and musical techniques were on display along with tips for any students who were aspiring musicians.
 
The RAN band members discussed their role in the Navy and engaged one-on-one with students about music and the instruments employed by the band.
 
“The visit was fun and friendly and regarded as a great success for all involved,” said CPO Thomas.
 
“The students loved the music, talking with the musicians and learning more about the Navy.”
 
The visit to the college was conducted as part of an ongoing relationship development with the school and students.