Victor Williams’ is a multi-talented Larrakia artist and musician, and is considered by the community a strong cultural knowledge holder. His father is from Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory and his mother is Larrakia and Tiwi. Victor offers the following services:
- Cultural ceremony facilitator
- Singing/Music performer
- Art/craft workshop facilitator
- Performance workshop facilitator
- Bush tucker/medicine guide/presenter
About learning culture
” My grandmother and mother taught and passed on their artistic skills to me. I learnt language from my grandmother from my Dads side - and music, art and plants from my dad’s side too. My father’s family live in Crocker Island, Oenpelli and Maningrida. When I was fourteen I went to live on Crocker Island. I didn’t know any language when I arrived but I didn’t speak English for a year. I was forced to speak their language. My grandparents didn’t speak any English so the kids on the Island helped me to learn so I could talk to them.
I was in and out of jail when I was young. When I was 19 years old my father decided to trick me into staying on Country in West Anrhem Land to sort myself out. He said ‘We’re going to hunt goose’, so we drove out into Country where Dad had a five bedroom house. There was no one else around for miles. When we stopped, he asked me to go and get some water. When I came back he was gone. He left me for a year out there. I learnt how to make fire, how to do smoking in the house to fend off mosquitos.
I had no fishing line – and nowhere to buy smokes! I did have water and electricity, but no fuel. Plants are important in the bush. You’ve got to learn how to eat, how to survive. That’s what I did. A year later, Dad came back in a helicopter. By then I had lots of hair and a long beard. “You look really healthy” he said.
In 1991, I helped Lorraine Williams write the first ethno-botany book from an Aboriginal point of view: ‘Allawa ethnobotany: Aboriginal plant use from Minyerri, NT’”
About sharing culture
“Sharing culture is important – and to understand that Aboriginal culture is not all the same across Australia. For example, playing clapsticks is different in different areas – they sing differently.”