January 03, 2024

Association Leaders: Ainsley Hart, Pipe Bands Australia President

When Ainsley Hart was elected president of Pipe Bands Australia in late 2020, he was presented with an organization fraught with several controversies and a global pandemic that felt like it would never end.

A few years later, he has helped to guide the Australian piping and drumming scene into a new era of teaching, youth and collaboration for the member-led collective of various state pipe band associations across the vast country.

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 in the Northern Territory.

“We’re not an elitist management team, we’re grass-roots players. We’ve come up through the ranks, so we understand what being in a pipe band or a solo player is all about.” – Ainsley Hart, President, Pipe Band Australia

Pipe Bands Australia is unique in that it is an association for associations. Bringing together six associations, each with slightly different interests and often vastly different geographies in a country 4,300 kilometres wide and 3,800 kilometres long.

One hundred Scotlands could fit into the land mass of Australia.

The closest comparison would be Canada, an even larger country geographically but with six disparate regional pipe band associations, not unified by a central organization like Pipe Band Australia.

In our conversation with Hart, the Sydney-based piper discusses Pipe Bands Australia’s commitment to transparency and collegiality, accentuating that PBA is now run by member musicians who understand the unique passion that motivates and guides the competitive art.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for more conversations with piping and drumming association leaders worldwide.






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