The band was formed in 1946 by Commissioner William John MacKay and consisted of a group of experienced pipers and drummers who were serving members of the NSW Police. To honour their founder and patron, the band adopted the ancient tartan and the crest of Clan MacKay. The clan motto "Manu Forti" translates to "with a strong hand."


The first official engagement of the band was the Newcastle Centenary Celebrations in September 1947 started a long and successful period with the band travelling extensively within New South Wales on official engagements as well as performances in Victoria and Queensland. An invitation to all Australian police pipe bands in 1975 saw the band tour the United Kingdom during which the band performed at the Royal Tournament, Earls Court; the Colchester Searchlight Tattoo and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The experience was no doubt a highlight in the band's proud history.

In the first 30 years of the band being formed, it was to take a prominent part in competitions playing in Grade 1 throughout 66 contests for 40 successful titles of 1st place (this included the first two Australian championships to be held in 1961 and 1962). Quite notable achievements.

A shortage of serving police able to play pipes and drums saw the introduction in 1973 of "special constables." These were civilians playing with the band on a full-time basis and, like serving members, they were equipped and recompensed. More were to join the band over the next 5 years and when the State Government of the day disbanded the unit in 1989 there were 22 members, 10 serving police and 12 special constables.


A group of the band's ex members reformed the band in unofficial capacity for Anzac Day march in 1990 and 1991. The band has continued on since that time achieving great results and attaining a well established reputation within the NSW Police Force and the community. The band provided a substantial contribution to both Edinburgh Military Tattoos held in Sydney in 2005 and 2010 and was widely recognised by many participants and spectators of those tattoos.


In 2017 the band spent the month of August in Scotland performing at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 'A Splash of Tartan' representing the NSW Police Force in the 1500 strong cast from around.  In October, 2019 the band features in "All Points of the Compass," the largest ever production of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Sydney at ANZ Stadium to to over 100,000 spectators. 


© NSW Police Pipe Band (2016)

First photo 1947

Earliest photo of the Band