The son and grandson of award-winning musicians Warren and Gus Williams, it’s no surprise Nicholas Williams loves singing. Nicholas, 26, also loves serving his community.
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I was born in Alice Springs but I live at Ntaria (Hermannsburg), where my family is from.
I started school at Ntaria, before going to Alice Springs and then Immanuel College in Adelaide. Going away to school opened up a different side of life for me. But being part of country and learning more about my own culture was important, too. And coming back home to Ntaria was the only way to learn it with family and friends.
The fact the Lutheran mission was at Hermannsburg has been important in preserving the culture. The first thing the missionaries did was to learn the language and later missionaries were open to the local people practising their culture.
This has meant local people have learnt to live with both our culture and our Christian faith. Everyone respects both ways.
The missionaries also brought choral music to Ntaria. My mum has been a member of the Ntaria choir for nearly 20 years, and there was always music growing up for me, listening to my dad perform. I joined the choir with my sister because we hoped more young people would be interested. Now there are four members under 30 in the Central Australian Aboriginal choir.
I think supporting the choir at Ntaria has been one of the best things the church has done to include Aboriginal people. Music connects everyone.
Another thing that connects people is the local youth centre, where I’m the Youth Development Officer. The centre creates a safe and happy place for young people to hang out and enjoy time with friends.
The young people of Ntaria are my motivators, because the things I do in community are for them and for the younger generations to come.
My grandfather also influenced me to be a community leader. I’m involved with the Historical Precinct Society, the Ntaria Supermarket, the Stronger Communities for Children Board, and others. It’s just a natural thing to be involved with community.
How can the LCA engage more effectively with young people?
Getting involved with other community service providers, like working with youth services. If we’ve got a night program at the youth centre (Finke River Mission Aranda Support Worker) Neville Doecke will come and spend time with the young people.
Nicholas Williams is a member at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Hermannsburg/Ntaria, in Northern Territory.
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