Former soldier completes 3 Brigade Mess masterpiece

Almost 1000 officers and SNCOs gathered at 3 Brigade’s Chauvel Sergeants’ Mess to witness the official unveiling of a new mural depicting brigade history and personnel.

CAPTION: Artists Rob Douma and Kelly Bianchi pose beneath their mural with Chauvel Sergeants’ Mess PMC WO1 Brent Doyle and other members of the Mess Committee.

A 3 Brigade Facebook post said the brigade believed in the ‘Whole of Soldier, Whole of Life’ approach where all the skills, interests and talents of members are recognised and encouraged, during and after service.

“This is demonstrated by former 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, section commander Rob Douma, and his colleague Kelly Bianchi, completing a 7m mural depicting senior NCOs and warrant officers in various conflicts and theatres of war from Gallipoli to Afghanistan, which now dominates the dining room of the Chauvel Sergeants’ Mess.”

Mr Douma said it was quite something to catch up with and be thanked by so many soldiers he had once served with who are now senior NCOs.

“Understanding what sacrifices the men and women of 3 Brigade make by staying in the army so long to reach their high rank was motivation to present their history in the best way possible – to make this painting on object they will both admire and be proud of for years,” Mr Douma said.

“By that, I don’t mean in the romanticised way, of sacrificing life and limb for the good of the country, but more the personal sacrifice of lifestyle – the impact it has on relationships with family, friends and loved ones with time spent away not only on operational service, but the endless days, weeks and months of training that soldiers undertake.

“I am quite proud of the result and it was humbling to receive genuine thanks and appreciation for the mural.

“We are looking forward to the next one already!

“I would love to do more of these all over the country!

“There are so many stories to be told.”

Measuring 7m wide by 2m high (at the tallest point), the mural (in the photo above) is angled to accommodate the ceiling pitch of the mess.

It shows the history of the 3rd Brigade in a timeline from WW1 to their most recent involvement in Afghanistan.

Images were selected from the various military historical collections on Lavarack.

Where possible the artists used photos of known soldiers.

One such soldier was Ian D’Arcy who commented on Facebook, “Once again Rob and Kelly, congratulations on what is a true masterpiece. The work, and your inspiration behind it, is thoroughly appreciated by all. A quiet nod to you also for knocking a few years off my age in your representation of me”  

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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