Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010
Parliamentary Record 15
Debates for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 2010 together with other local music legends, had a regular gig at the youth centre with a talent quest. His sons often joined him on stage, and one of them, Warren H Williams, reckons he was about six when his dad first put a guitar in his hands - that has paid off. Mr Williams often said music could lead to a better life for kids and keep them away from trouble. He was a mentor for many, especially his sons, and Warren H is probably the best known, still making great music. He also inspired people like Isaac Yamma and his son, Frank, and paved the way for many of the talented Indigenous musicians making their mark today. His band, Country Ebony, was a huge hit in Tamworth and Alice Springs, where there were many events held at Witchettys. Slim Dusty penned quite a few songs from one of their albums. Mr Williams was no slouch when it came to getting his message across to the media. He was an articulate advocate, often appearing on national programs to highlight Indigenous issues, or to publicise his beloved country music and Hermannsburg. Mr Williams also knew how to spin a yarn, whether it was passing on stories about Country or telling tales about his days on the road with the band. His other love and passion was football. This grew from when he was about 17 and had moved back to Alice Springs and began his involvement with clubs such as Pioneers, Federals and Rovers. Over many decades, he continued his love and passion for football by being involved in the administrative side of it, particularly when community football began to kick off in the mid-1990s, and through his involvement with the Ngurratjuta Association. He became a major sponsor for the AFLCA through the Ngurratjuta Cup. Every grand final you would see the old man proudly watching the teams, and even more proudly when it was Western Arrernte playing on Traeger Park. We have heard various speakers say this morning the state funeral was a most fitting celebration of the old mans life. There were people from all walks of life - many people from my electorate, many of my family from Warlpiri and Anmatjere country. It was held in both the Western Arrernte language and English, which is most fitting. I acknowledge Pastor Wheeler and Pastor Basil who conducted the service, his family and his granddaughters, Cassandra and Genise, who sang some beautiful songs during the funeral service, and also the Hermannsburg Choir. As the Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader said, the songs they sang were amazing and the voices seemed to go straight through your body. On behalf of my constituents of Stuart, the Hampton family, my in-laws, the Stokes, Trindle and Foster families, particularly around Tennant Creek, and the Warlpiri and Anmatjere people, I sincerely pass on my condolences to the Williams family and friends here today Serena, Genise, Heidi and Cameron my sympathies to you. Madam Speaker, there are not too many men left like him in Central Australia. We know we have huge challenges ahead. He is going to be sorely missed as we work through these issues, but his legacy will live on through his music and his many achievements, no more than through his five children, his 18 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Mr ELFERINK (Port Darwin): Madam Speaker, I say goodbye to a person I knew over a period of 25 years. It was about 1985 when I first met Njtalka. I had been transferred to the Alice Springs Police Station as a constable and, about 20 minutes after arriving, Sergeant Harry Arnold waltzed into the muster room and, as was done in those days, I was told: You are going out to Hermannsburg relieving for a few months. So I packed my meagre possessions into the back of a police car and drove to Hermannsburg. When I arrived, the trackers wife, Alison Hunt, had left for a meeting somewhere and a conspiracy had been hatched in her absence to shoot her pet bull, Barney, because he was looking too tasty. He had been grain fed and it was determined by the police officers, including the tracker they were known as trackers at that time that Barney was going to be despatched into the next world and we were all going to have a piece of Barney. The problem was one of the police officers, who will remain nameless forever, did not shoot Barney properly. Barney, rather than passing from this world into the next, was somewhat enlivened because the round passed through his snout rather than between his eyes. Barney went through the side of the shed wall, corrugated iron going everywhere, with police officers in pursuit trying to despatch Barney with a volley of gunfire somewhat reminiscent of Beirut. Barney was finally despatched, thank the Lord, and we quartered him. A short time later an Aboriginal man arrived at the police station and gave us what for, and too right! It was a dangerous thing to have been involved in - I was 20 years old, young and stupid - it was a dangerous thing to do. Fortunately no one was hurt, and with the passage of 25 years I have learnt much. However, what struck me was this Aboriginal man who was not scared of challenging authority, and too right he was not scared of challenging authority. He was a man who was supremely confident about knowing what was wrong and right for himself and had learnt 6494
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