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Gus WILLIAMS OAM (2000)

Gus Williams

1937 - Kasper Gus Ntjalka Williams was born on the 20 June in Alice Springs. He lived in Hermannsburg in Central Australia and was an Arrernte man.. Born at Labrabuntja to Jack Elias Gus Williams and Ruby Foster, and one of 11 siblings, at the age of eight Gus and his family moved in to the Telegraph Station at Alice Springs where his mother was a house governess.

1954 - By the age of 17 he had been holding down various jobs in town, and also began his involvement in AFL with the Pioneer, Federal and the Rover clubs.
After losing both his parents at the age of 17, Gus and his brothers and sisters moved to Hermannsburg.

It was in this period from the 1950s to 1960s when Gus began his career as an accomplished singer and musician, singing with the Radke Choir. His first band PALM LEAVES was established.

1976 - Gus relocated to Ali-Curung and began working with the Ali-Curung or what was then known, Warrabri Council, and was subsequently elected as CEO of the council.

He played an integral role in changing the council to an Aboriginal Corporation, and changing the name from Warrabri to Ali Curung. This was one of the first transformations of this kind in Central Australia, earning him respect for his pioneering in Indigenous leadership.

1980s - In the early 80’sGus relocated back to Hermannsburg with his family with the determination to help his own people and traditional Ntjalka country.

1982 - The Land Rights Act was introduced and it was Gus’ strong leadership and passion for his land, along with many others, that led to the land being handed back from the Finke River Mission to the Ntaria Land Trust. Gus foresaw that the ownership and control of the land was to play a huge role in sense of identity for his people, something he fought for passionately.

1983 – Gus  was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to country music and Aboriginal people.

1993 – Visited the Tamworth Country Music Festival for the first time, busking on Peel Street with the COUNTRY EBONY band.

2000 -  He was inducted into the Country Music Hands Of Fame in Tamworth.

2001 - He was given a Deadly Award for Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal Music.

2004 - Gus Williams was presented with a Country Music Centenary Medal from the CMAA for service to Australian society through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music.

2005 - Gus was inducted into the hall of fame at Music NT's Indigenous Music Awards.

2010 – Passed away on the13 September.

Albums released-

I'm Not Trying To Forget – Ntjalka Music

My Kind Of Heaven (1993) – Ntjalka Music

Southern Cross (1993) – Ntjalka Music

Storm In My Heart – Ntjalka Music

Straight From The Heart (1992) – Ntjalka Music

Through The Years (1994) – Hadley Records