Nat Russell awarded Order of Australia
As part of the country’s Australia Day celebrations on January 26, Nat Russell was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for “service to pipe band music as a Pipe-Major, teacher and adjudicator.” The OAM is regarded as the Australian equivalent of the United Kingdom’s Member of the British Empire (MBE) medal.
An inspector with the Victoria Police force, Russell led the Victoria Police Pipe Band to a World Championship in 1998, and he is in charge of the police force’s pipe bands.
“I am delighted to receive the award, which of course is a signal honour for me personally,” Russell said. “But more importantly I believe [it is] a wonderful recognition of our music and culture, from the community in my adopted country.”
Shortly after the Victoria Police won the World Championship, the police force discontinued its support of the band travelling to compete in Scotland. The band never was able to defend its title.
Before immigrating to Australia in the early 1990s, Russell led the highly successful Royal Ulster Constabulary Pipe Band. He is a native of Northern Ireland, and serves on the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s panel of adjudicators.
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