Day in the Dust sees massive turnout

Let's rock: members of the Australian Army Band Adelaide performing at Saturday's Day in the Dust concert. Photo: Supplied.
Let's rock: members of the Australian Army Band Adelaide performing at Saturday's Day in the Dust concert. Photo: Supplied.

The Robertstown community were reminded on Saturday night that they are not alone in their battle with drought.

More than 400 people, both young and old, descended on Robertstown Oval on Saturday night for the Day in the Dust benefit concert.

It proved to be aptly titled as dust stirred throughout the region last Thursday in the lead-up to the concert.

Strong winds sent top soil from the dry farming land into the air, creating a red haze across the sky.

Spectators came from far and wide to enjoy the night and support the community throughout their continued hardship.

Entertainment on the night was provided by the excellent Australian Army Band Adelaide and talented local musicians Caitlin Drew, Mike Roberts and students from the St John's Lutheran School Choir.

Regional Council of Goyder mayor Peter Mattey and Stuart MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan were also in attendance for the concert.

Community Engagement Officer Barb Button was over the moon with how the event turned out.

"The evening itself went brilliantly," she said.

"One of the quotes from the evening that came from Captain Mitch de Jonge who was saying that just by going out for the week he knows more people living up this way by first name than he does his own neighbours.

"Our outcome was for the community to come along and just have fun and put aside the daily stresses of the impact of the drought and on the farms and I think we succeeded on that."

Ms Button said this was just the first event in support of farmers battling drought in the region, with an aim to hold more over the coming months.

Warrant Officer Class Two Andreas Pretterhofer, musician Jaime Grech, Lance Corporal Paul Jankovic and musicians Stephen Taylor and Aaron Austin.

Warrant Officer Class Two Andreas Pretterhofer, musician Jaime Grech, Lance Corporal Paul Jankovic and musicians Stephen Taylor and Aaron Austin.

The Band had spent all of last week in the region, touring towns in Goyder and holding small performances for schools and the community.

On Thursday the band assisted with work at Robertstown Oval as refurbishments of the netball courts were underway.

A fresh coat of paint was given to the toilet block and inside the change rooms, new outdoor seating was installed and they cleaned around the courts ahead of the upcoming season.

Army Band Adelaide music director Captain Mitch de Jonge said the tour had been rewarding.

"I think it has been an incredibly positive experience," he said.

"We have had certainly positive reactions from the community. We have been to schools and public venues for performances, it has been great just to talk to people and find out how they are getting on.

"I think us coming out here and providing some musical entertainment is a way to bring people together and has hopefully helped."

Cpt de Jonge said the tour had opened the Band's eyes to the drought conditions in the area.

The concert and the week long stay was made possible through a collaborative effort between Regional Council of Goyder, Australian Army Band and Eastern Drought Group.