CDU celebrates Aussie Heroes at Bangtail Muster parade 

CDU's float

Lisa McGrath and her twins, Ashlyn and Josh, enjoy the day

A nurse, horticulturalist, baker, automotive tradeswoman, construction worker, university graduate and musicians were among the Aussie Heroes featured on the inaugural Charles Darwin University (CDU) float in the 45th Bangtail Muster yesterday (1 May).

An estimated 4000 people turned out to witness the street parade through the Alice Springs town centre under warm clear skies.

The muster is a highlight of the community calendar, held every May Day.

CDU was among 45 organisations to enter a float, with staff, students and family members embracing the Aussie Heroes theme by dressing up to reflect some of the professions for which the University offers training.

Among the volunteers were CDU music student and Australian Idol hopeful Kenny Glynn-Braun, who is attending auditions for the television series in Alice Springs tomorrow, and fellow music student Jake Hoey.

CDU’s entry was popular with onlookers, who couldn’t resist tapping their feet to Australian rock anthems such as What’s my scene? and You’re the voice pouring from the stereo as the float rolled through the Todd Mall.

The Bangtail Muster began in 1959 as a celebration of the ties between the Alice Springs community and the pastoral industry.

The name refers to the old practise of cutting off the hairy tail ends of the cattle as a means of counting them following a muster.

This year’s community celebration raised $2300 for the Rotary Club, which will spend the money on local projects including the Alice Springs Youth Centre.

Gianna Melky from Golden Home Real Estate, which sponsored the Bangtail Muster, said this year’s parade was bigger than last year’s and involved many new entries, including CDU.

“We thought people might represent famous heroes but instead they went for local heroes or everyday heroes,” she said.

Cash prizes of $100 were awarded to the best floats in four categories: best in parade, best school, best community organisation and best sporting organisation.