A conversation with Ainsley Hart, president of Pipe Bands Australia – Part 1
When Ainsley Hart was made president of Pipe Bands Australia in November 2020, he took on an organization that had seen its share of controversy over a tumultuous several years.
A financial scandal, a defamation lawsuit, severe suspensions, the demise of the country’s leading Grade 1 band, and a world in flux due to the pandemic, were just a few of the crises that were in the spotlight.
But Australia is a resilient country, and its mature piping and drumming scene is a case in point. It’s competitive landscape has an accent on musical quality, creativity and fun, and can feel a long way, both geographically and philosophically, from the ultra-competitive environment that can exist elsewhere.
The former pipe-major of the Grade 1 City of Blacktown, Sydney-based Hart had already been involved for many years with New South Wales Pipe Band Association. He had been following the various ups and downs of Pipe Bands Australia, the collective organization for all associations across the vast and diverse country.
Indeed, while Canada and the United States have similarly giant land masses and a multitude of regional associations, Australia is the only country that has an association of associations. Among many other tasks, Pipe Bands Australia manages a pipe band college and organizes the biannual Australian Championships.
The National Management Council of Pipe Bands Australia comprises a president, a secretary, and a treasurer, plus representatives from each of the six state organizations. As a collective association, Pipe Bands Australia comprises representatives from associations – or branches – in the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Each state association provides two delegates to elect Pipe Bands Australia officials. (There is no association for the Northern Territory.)
Ainsley Hart has also been a competing solo piper, has dabbled in drumming and drum-majoring, and is a certified piping judge. He teaches piping at Knox Grammar School in Sydney. He previously ran for the Pipe Bands Australia presidency in 2019 election before his predecessor, Chris Earl, left the role before the end of his term.
After a little more than a half a year as president, we thought we’d check in with Hart on how things are going, as well as tap him for his thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of Australia being so removed geographically from UK and North American activities, the importance of flawless and modern communication, and the need to serve the needs of members.
Here’s the first of two 12-minute parts of our video conversation with Pipe Bands Australia President Ainsley Hart.
Pipe Bands Australia selects Hart as new president
November 8, 2020
Pipe Bands Australia looking for applicants for President role|
October 13, 2020
Pipe Bands Australia president resigns
August 30, 2020
Earl re-elected to third Pipe Bands Australia term
September 13, 2019
Pipe Bands Australia preparing for controversial election
September 11, 2019