A Royal Australian Navy musician has ventured in the opposite direction to the ocean to represent Navy in rural Australia.
Able Seaman Musician Katia Labozzetta, a pianist and vocalist with the Royal Australian Navy Band - South Australia, was honoured to travel with the Australian Army Band Adelaide to Yalata in central South Australia.
The task was to provide musical support to an Army Engineer Squadron deployed for five months as part of the annual Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (AACAP), also known as Exercise SAUNDERS 2018. Each year the AACAP works with a remote community to build infrastructure like community centres, roads, sewerage treatment plants and health clinics.
Army medical staff also provide health checks for locals. This improves health and living standards in the community as well as creating jobs and training opportunities within the community.
“It was an eye opening experience,” said AB Labozzetta.
“I was able to see first-hand the work the Army personnel are doing for the community in Yalata, building infrastructure and providing health care and education.
“We were also fortunate enough to go out into the community and provide entertainment for NAIDOC Week, getting the chance to share the stage with locals and bringing some children up to join in the fun and play on the instruments.”
AB Labozzetta completed seven performances for the Engineers during their four days in Camp Birt, where night temperatures dropped to minus six degrees celsius and accommodation was under canvas.
“It was a truly rewarding experience and I am definitely keen to participate again next year,” said AB Labozzetta.