Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010

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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





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 2010 knew the power participation in the broader economy could bring to an individual, families, and the community in general. As Minister for Tourism, I pay special tribute to his important and pioneering work in Indigenous tourism in establishing and conducting tours to Palm Valley. Many people would remember his involvement with the Sundowner Safari Tour Company, and the campfire concerts which were a signature element of his tourism work. He saw an opportunity to bring together the loves of his life: his music; his love of Country; his love of family, and sharing that world with visitors not only across the Northern Territory but visitors from around Australia and overseas who went away with an image of the Northern Territory seen through Gus Williams eyes - an image of hope and love for Indigenous culture in the Northern Territory and knowing the way to move forward was about working with each other in mutual respect. There are many Indigenous landowners across the Territory with this interest and people like Gus Williams demonstrated the possible pioneering of the development of tourism. Gus Williams is another great Territorian who has joined the list of Indigenous Territorians recognised for their lifes work through a state funeral and a condolence motion in this parliament. We should all look to his example and respect the man for having a go and working on the front line, aiming to carve out a better life not only for his family, but his community not just one day a week or one month a year - every single day he was there for his people and his family. We should all join to encourage and support future generations of local leaders, people willing to explore uncharted Territory and do their best just as Gus did. There is also a testament to the man in his children. I have come to know his son, Warren H. Williams, over time through his work in CAAMA, and as a musician. The achievement through Guss descendants, in being able to bring about that harmony and better understanding between black and white Australians and, as mentioned in the House in the condolence motion, the ability to reconcile the differences of so many people in understanding Aboriginal people. I reflect on the wonderful thing Gus captured, the power of song and music as a medium to celebrate life and offer hope, to empathise with people struggling through difficult times, to celebrate the power of love and to always, no matter how despairing, offer that hope. I am thinking of his well known cousin, Albert Namatjira, who explored and celebrated his world through art, and how Gus did much the same through music. Both men are wonderful examples of Indigenous Territorians who were always exploring new ways of bringing people together in often incredibly difficult times through an artistic medium. Madam Speaker, on behalf of the people of Arnhem, and on behalf of my own families and the Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Mara and Gudanji peoples of the Gulf region, I pay my sincere respects to the family of Gus Williams and the community of Hermannsburg. Mr GILES (Braitling): Madam Speaker, I support the motion brought on by the Chief Minister. One of the toughest parts of this job is speaking on a condolence motion. I find it very tough, and I recognise the family and friends here today. On you, Gus! I have known Gus for quite some time and so has my wife. We were both saddened to hear of Guss passing. My thoughts are with Serena, Debbie, Warren and Baydon. I am in frequent contact with Baydon and Warren on a number of things. I have always been taught that you have two ears and one mouth so you have to listen twice as hard. I have learnt that over a long period of time. With Gus I would have active involvement but not always learn immediately. I do not like talking about peoples lives in condolence motions; I would rather sit, listen and reflect on what is being said. I will continue to reflect on what I have known of Gus and the Williams family, and continue to learn. I want to reiterate some of the things mentioned today. The things Gus stood for, his family, some of the achievements in his life, are not forgotten and will stay with me in my personal life and my parliamentary role - those things are important. People who go down in history are always remembered. Thank you; I pass on my condolences. Madam SPEAKER: Honourable members, I also extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Williams. I only met Mr Williams a few times. The first time was when I became the new Health minister and had to go to Ntaria and meet with a group of people. In fact, the member for Port Darwin attended the community meeting, and I remember Mr Williams telling me in no uncertain terms exactly what had to happen at the clinic. It was quite a strong message and I remember thinking that this was a particularly important man. It was a great honour to attend the state funeral, and it will be a lasting memory for me of waiting outside the church with the Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the member for Braitling, the member for Port Darwin, the member for Macdonnell and the Minister for Central 6497