Ronald Mallett was born in Casino, New South Wales, in 1918. He came from a musical family. His mother was a capable organist and singer. His father was an accomplished brass player and singer who had conducted a band in his younger days. Ron’s early musical instruction was from his father.
Upon retirement Ron and his wife, Jen, moved to Glenbrook, NSW, in June 1980. Ron began an association with Glenbrook Public School in 1980, with Blaxland High School in about 1982 and with Lapstone Public School in about 1983. He continued to work with students in these schools until 1992 when his own declining health and his wife’s illness forced him to stop.
His main work was with the two primary schools where he provided individual and group tuition across a range of instruments. He conducted the bands, organised and sorted music and attended to the administration of the performance music program. He spent countless hours in the schools. He raised funds for the purchase of instruments and paid registration fees with the New South Wales Band Association to enable the students to enter solo and ensemble competitions.
About mid-1982, Ron realised the students, who had been introduced to bands in primary school, had no band to look forward to when they progressed to high school. In response to this perceived need, Ron discussed the issue with school teaching staff and parents. He formed a steering committee late in 1982.
The result was the formation in March 1983 of the Lower Blue Mountains Community Band (LBMCB). Original members were players in the primary school bands where Ron taught. Several high school students, who had previously played with the primary bands, some parents and other adults also joined the band at the time of its foundation.
Despite ill health and heart bypass operation, Ron continued to perform with the band and conduct it until 1992. It is estimated that in these twelve years he introduced well over 500 children to band music. In 1995 Ron Mallett was awarded the Order Of Australia (OAM) for his services to youth over a period of 40 years, twelve of those in the Blue Mountains.