New England and Central North Committee - Jan 2017

Defence thanks country artists at festival

Country music, military personnel and employers have come together to highlight the importance of defence reserves and entertainers during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. The Defence Reserves Support Council (DRSC) New England North West committee has used the festival as an occasion to thank musicians for their support of the Australian Defence Force.

 Luke O'Shea, Amber Lawrence, Simply Bushed, Paul Costa, Roger Corbett and James Blundell performed for employers of military reservists

In a function at CH on Peel on Tuesday night, January 24, Luke O'Shea, Amber Lawrence, Simply Bushed, Paul Costa, Roger Corbett and James Blundell performed for employers of military reservists and serving and ex-service ADF personnel. The DRSC committee thanked the country music artists with certificates of appreciation as all artists had performed and support the ADF through their music.

“This was an opportunity to thank country music stars for their support for military and, in particular, reservists in the region,” DRSC NSW state chair Mark Todd said. “Tamworth is a shining light for their support of reservists and how they contribute to their broader Australian community and this couldn't be achieved without the support of employers in the region.”

Mr Todd said the musicians who played at the event demonstrated the depth of their dedication to keeping Australia's military history alive, through their original songs. “It was really moving and a pleasure to witness,” he said. “(The artists playing for troops overseas) is vital because it is a link with home. When you're away for six months at a time, doing sometimes really difficult and stressful work without the immediate support of family and friends, any link with home is really appreciated.”

Golden Guitar winner and RSL Defence Care ambassador Luke O'Shea said he wrote songs that commemorated Australia's military service because of the high respect he had for those who served.

“I believe it took (World War I) for us to realise how exceptionally different we were as a nation,” he said. “We are different because of our humour, our hardworking nature, our ingenuity and our can-do attitude.”

O'Shea said, as a Defence Care ambassador, he wanted to recognise military service and encourage people to talk to others and share their stories, rather than bottling it up. He and Amber Lawrence aim to raise awareness of PTSD through their collaboration, Catch You, which they performed at the function.

DRSC regional chair Glenn Jones said the function was about honouring the service of fulltime and part-time defence personnel.

“It was not a celebration of war,” he said. “It is about recognising the time reservists and fulltime personnel spend away from their families and employers for service to the nation.”

Photos from the function are available.

Produced by and Media contact: Rebecca Belt 0427 232591 | rebecca@countryjourno.com.au

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Last update: Monday, 10 April 2017

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