1936 – Born Ernest
on the 15th of December in Halls Creek.
He was a pastoralist and businessman prior to entering politics.
1962–1979 - He served on the Halls Creek council.
1972 - A founding member of the
Aboriginal Lands Trust.
1979 – Released “Sings
Kimberly Favourites” an EMI Custom recording.
1980 – Released "Helicopter Ringer" an EMI Custom recording.
1980 - 1996 - A member of the
Western Australian Legislative Assembly,
representing the electorate of
first as an
Australian Labor Party
1982 - Released “Live At The Concert Hall”
1983 – Released “Sings It Australian”
- appointed as Honorary Minister assisting the Ministers for
Water Resources, The North-West and Aboriginal Affairs. This
made him the first indigenous politician anywhere in
to serve in a ministerial portfolio. He was promoted in July of
that year to Minister for Water Resources, the North-West and
1988 - He was shifted to the portfolio of
Minister for Small Business after the accession of
1989 - Regained his old portfolios with
his appointment as Minister for Agriculture, Water Resources and
the North West, a role which he held until the
defeat of the Labor government at the
1993 state election.
1990 – Released “Great Australian Dream”.
1991 - South Australian Country Music Festival Awards- Inducted
into the Hall of Fame.
1993 - Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia
in recognition of service to the Western Australian parliament
and to Aboriginal affairs.
1993 to 1994 - Ernie continued as a member of the Shadow
Ministry after Labor's defeat in 1993, serving as Shadow
Minister for Trade.
1993 to 1996 - Shadow Minister for
Aboriginal Affairs and the North West.
Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
for his service to Parliament and Aboriginal Affairs.
1995 - President of the Watering
Foundation, a non-profit organisation established to champion
water supply needs. Inducted into the Hands of Fame/
1996 – 2001. An
independent MP until he retired at the 2001 election.
1997 - He established Unity of First People of Australia, a
non-profit organisation which assists Aboriginal people in Western Australia with employment within the
law and order, health and education industries.
2003 - Received the Centenary of Federation Medal for his
service to Parliament and Aboriginal Affairs.
2004 - Won the Western Australian Citizen of the Year Award in
the category of Governor’s Award for Regional Development.
Released “200 Years Ago” with Noel
Bridge is noted also for promoting the
concept of a
water pipeline from the Fitzroy River to Perth.
He later went on to promote a larger scale scheme including
piping water from northern
rivers to the south-eastern Australian cities.
2013 - Ernie passed away on April 1st.