PBA: creating pathways for advancement

Inaccurate posts this week on social media regarding the role and activities of Pipe Bands Australia, examination pathways through its Australian Pipe Band College and recognition of qualifications have been drawn to the attention of national management committee and national council.

We are disappointed that these posts have contained selective, misleading and, in part, untruthful information that does not contribute to informed discussion nor positively assist bands and branches in responding to historic, new or emerging opportunities to enhance the Australian pipe band movement.

Pipe Bands Australia is comprised bands from all six states and the Australian Capital Territory providing a forum for unity in the promotion of our players, their music and their performances both within Australia and internationally where we cherish affiliations and agreements with associations in Scotland, New Zealand and North America.

Two integral aspects of Pipe Bands Australia are:

  • To provide a uniform set of contest regulations that allow for fairness in performance and accountability of bands and adjudicators through those regulations that have evolved over the past 55 years by consultation and contribution of all member bands; and

  • To provide pathways in the development of skills through examinations and accreditation for players and administrators and contribute to the education and training of members and their bands.

Qualifications held through the Australian Pipe Band College are recognised by the RSPBA and assists Australians desirous of joining international music panels administered by the RSPBA. Our adjudicators are available to officiate at PBA-approved competitions and those with which we have an affiliation. Further, qualifications gained in overseas jurisdictions are recognised within the Australian Pipe Band College on request through a structured Recognition of Prior Learning assessment. Accredited and experienced members of College also provide ongoing mentoring to bands and players as well as conducting seminars and training.

Pipe Bands Australia is additionally investing to improve connection and community with all members and bands through greater access to learning resources on the new website, sharing performances of bands at Australian championships through world-wide live streaming and recognising the contribution of members with new long-service awards. Pipe Bands Australia has a strategic relationship with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, assisting in providing performance opportunities both at home and in Scotland for bands and individual players with the new format Pipers Trail project.

National management committee also takes a responsive approach to granting interim approval of proposals to strengthen engagement, examples include the recent trial rule for a separate Grade 4 selection of marches event and release of a discussion paper to branches on membership fees for bands with a smaller membership base.

The strength of the national association can in part be determined by the contributions of individual bands and state branches who are always encouraged to prepare well-considered proposals that meet local dynamics, proposals that other branches may also see merit in adopting for use in their states, while also welcoming suggestions to advance the standing of all bands.

Pipe Bands Australia values the collective movement and its aspirations while also respecting the individual opportunities and challenges in member branches.

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