A chance meeting between a country and western superstar and a top cop in the desert last year has led to a great night in the Isa on Thursday.
Troy Cassar-Daley was performing at the 2016 Big Red Bash in Birdsville when he bumped into Kev Guteridge, then Mount Isa superintendent of police, now super at Townsville.
The pair were having a great chat together when Kev suggested it would be a great idea if Troy could perform in Mount Isa to raise awareness of domestic violence, an issue the singer was all too aware of when growing up.
They agreed to make it happen and the excuse finally came this week when Troy Cassar-Daley was scheduled to perform in the Gulf on Friday for the Frontier Days festival and realised he could play in Mount Isa the day before.
Mount Isa Police quickly came to the party organising the event for Buchanan Park with the help of Mount Isa City Council and other stakeholders and importantly they kept it free, which coming just a few days after Isa Rodeo meant that the crowd was bigger than it might otherwise be.
The emergency services band The Hoax warmed up the crowd and then Troy took over with his sensational stage presence, aided later in the night by the Mount Isa Community Ensemble or MICE, the local choir, under the excellent leadership of Lenita Woodsbey.
Like the rest of Australia Mount Isa has a big problem with domestic violence, with a rate of DV six times the state average.
It's not just women – one in four children are affected by domestic violence.
That’s why Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman and chair of the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council Dame Quentin Bryce came to Mount Isa last year to announce the city would be the site of a three-year integrated service response trial to work out the best way to respond to a crisis of domestic violence and abuse.
At the time the Minister said it was about getting police, hospitals, support staff, corrections staff all working together to share information and intervene before harm occurs.
Let’s hope it works – Derek Barry