Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse

Kalyakoorl and Boorda | Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse

TEDxPerth 2015
November 2015

Talk length:


Kalyakoorl and Boorda | Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse | TEDxPerth

"We all have a responsibility to this place because we all call this home. It is important that we are all connected to it... through language, through storytelling... because when we connect to where we come from, we connect to each other. When we connect to each other, we become powerful and we defend - and we protect."

Music connects people through emotion and imagination. When the lyrics are in a rare language, it is even more special. Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse perform in Noongar language - the language of the traditional owners of the South-Western region of Australia. 

Today, it is spoken by fewer than 400 people.

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Three-time winner of the WAMI Indigenous Act of the Year Award, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse bring a modern take on ancient Aboriginal traditions, merging acoustic guitar with vocals, and capturing the natural rhythms of the Noongar language.

"...this music... this is where the ancient meets the contemporary... it's beautiful... I love it..." - Archie Roach, singer-songwriter, national treasure.

Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse
Bringing a fresh, modern take on ancient traditions

Gina Williams is rapidly gaining a reputation across Australia for bringing a fresh, modern take on ancient traditions; merging evocative sounds, natural acoustic instruments, poignant stories with that incredible, beautiful voice. The natural rhythms of the language are perfectly captured and represented, and there’s an onstage connection and charisma that comes from a gentle heart. 

Australian Indigenous music Icon and National Treasure, Archie Roach, has likened Gina to being a modern day Edith Piaf, telling audiences that Gina “takes this old, old language, writes and sings these beautiful songs so that we in the audience cannot help but fall in love with the romance of it all.” 

Gina is a Balladong daughter; one of the 14 clan groups which make up the Noongar nation, covering the south west corner of Western Australia. She also has links to the Kija people of the east Kimberley region of WA. This music is informed by an ancient culture and is drawn from a deep well of recent West Australian and an even deeper personal history. By of cial records, Noongar language is critically endangered (there are less than 400 recognised uent speak- ers left). Her mother and grandmother, both part of the stolen generations were never allowed to speak their languages. Gina wasn’t stolen, but was relinquished as a baby for adoption. Telling her story and singing these beautifully crafted songs in language is deeply personal.