January 31, 2007

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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  1. Congratulations to Nat and long overdue. Sam Young CITATION Australia Day Honours List 26th January 2007 Medal of the Order of Australia ( OAM ) Inspector Nathaniel Sproule RUSSELL Victoria Police For service to Pipe Band Music as a Pipe Major, teacher and Adjudicator Inspector / Pipe Major, Victoria Police Band since 1987. Led the Pipe Band to become World Grade One Champions at the World Pipe Band Championships in 1998. The Victoria Police Pipe Band was named the Premier Police Pipe Band in the World for 9 years in succession. Vice – Principal, Piping in Victoria, 1989 – 2006. Has tutored various Pipe Bands at all levels, Interstate, Intrastate, Nationally and Internationally. Adjudicates each year at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow and Internationally. Until 2005, was the only Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association accredited Piping Adjudicator in Australia. As Officer in Charge, Victoria Police Bands has produced several highly acclaimed CDs’ by the various combined Victoria Police Bands, which have been distributed and sold Internationally. Instrumental in the establishment of Certificated Courses in Piping and Drumming, 1988.



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