Warren H Williams

Warren Hedley Williams (born 27 December 1963) is an Aboriginal Australian singer, musician and songwriter from Hermannsburg in Central Australia. As of 2013 he worked as a broadcaster on CAAMA Radio in Alice Springs.

Warren H Williams
Birth nameWarren Hedley Williams
Born (1963-12-27) 27 December 1963 (age 58)
OriginNtaria (Hermannsburg), Northern Territory, Australia
GenresAboriginal country music
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, radio broadcaster
Years active1990s–present
LabelsCAAMA, ABC Music

Early lifeEdit

Williams was born on 27 December 1963 in Hermannsburg, the son of country musician Gus Williams.[1] He is an Arrernte man.[2]

He started playing guitar at the age of six with his father,[1] and later went to school at a Lutheran college in Adelaide:[3] Immanuel College in Novar Gardens.[4]

Music careerEdit

In 2007, he wrote the musical Magic Coolamon, which debuted as the first ever Central Australian Indigenous musical.[5]

Williams toured with John Williamson many times, including "Hillbilly Road" in 2008.[6]

In 2015, Williams invited long-time friend and award-winning Australian singer Shane Nicholson to visit his hometown of Hermannsburg (Ntaria) to help break his writer's block. Williams took him to sacred sites and shared Aboriginal Dreaming stories which inspired Nicholson's ARIA-nominated album Hell Breaks Loose, which features the track 'Hermannsburg'.[7]

In 2016, Williams teamed up with emerging artist Dani Young, writing and recording an album of traditional country duets in Nashville. The album, Desert Water was produced by Billy Yates, and features Jim Lauderdale.[citation needed] The album was released on 22 July 2016.[8] The album debuted at #2 on the ARIA Country albums charts, and the first single "Two Ships" spent 6 weeks at #1 on Tamworth Country Radio.[9]

Radio and television careerEdit

In 1996, Williams was the first remote Indigenous broadcaster (RIBS) on the 8KIN FM network, presenting music shows live from Hermannsburg. He is the longest-serving broadcaster on CAAMA Radio, as of 2015 presenting the mid-morning show from 9am - 11am on weekdays, as well as the 80s Mix on Monday evenings, Rockn on Wednesday evenings, and CAAMA's highest rating program Strictly Country on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.[10] His programs are also played through the National Indigenous Radio Service.[2]

In 2015, Williams made his directorial debut, writing and directing two episodes of the Aboriginal television series Our Place for ICTV.[citation needed]


Williams stood as lead Australian Greens candidate for the two Northern Territory seats in the Australian Senate in the 2010 federal election,[11] and again in the 2013 federal election.[12][13] At the 2012 Northern Territory election, he stood for the Australia's First Nations Political Party in the seat of Namatjira.[citation needed]


Title Details
Western Wind
  • Released: 1995
  • Label: CAAMA Music
  • Format: CD
Country Friends & Me
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: CAAMA Music
  • Format: CD
Where My Heart Is
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: CAAMA Music
  • Format: CD
Places in Between
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: CAAMA Music
  • Format: CD
Be Like Home
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: CAAMA Music
  • Format: CD
Looking Out
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Heartland
  • Format: CD
Urna Mara
  • Released: 2011
  • Label: ABC
  • Format: CD
(with The Warumunga Songmen)
  • Released: 2011
  • Label: Heartland
  • Format: CD
Desert Water
(with Dani Young)
  • Released: June 2016
  • Label: UMA
  • Format: CD
These are the Changes
  • Released: January 2020
  • Label: ABC
  • Format: CD, DD

Recognition and awardsEdit

In 2004, Williams was the subject of an episode of the television series Nganampa Anwernekenhe.[14]

In 2009 he was inducted into the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame.[15][1] (His father, Gus, had become an inductee in 2000.[16])

AIR AwardsEdit

The Australian Independent Record Awards (commonly known informally as AIR Awards) is an annual awards night to recognise, promote and celebrate the success of Australia's Independent Music sector.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
AIR Awards of 2012[17] Urna Marra Best Independent Country Album Nominated

ARIA Music AwardsEdit

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1998 "Raining on the Rock" (with John Williamson) ARIA Award for Best Indigenous Release Nominated [18]
2012 Winanjjara: The Song Peoples Sessions ARIA Award for Best World Music Album Nominated [19]

Australia Council for the ArtsEdit

The Australia Council for the Arts is the arts funding and advisory body for the Government of Australia. Since 1993, it has awarded a Red Ochre Award. It is presented to an outstanding Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal Australian or Torres Strait Islander) artist for lifetime achievement.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2012[20] himself Red Ochre Award Awarded

Country Music Awards (CMAA)Edit

The Country Music Awards of Australia (CMAA) (also known as the Golden Guitar Awards) is an annual awards night held in January during the Tamworth Country Music Festival, celebrating recording excellence in the Australian country music industry. They have been held annually since 1973.[21][22]

Year Nominee / work Award Result (wins only)
2008 himself Hands of Fame imprinted
2009 ""Australia Is Another Word for Free"" with John Williamson and Amos Morris Bush Ballad of the Year Won

Deadly AwardsEdit

The Deadly Awards, (commonly known simply as The Deadlys), was an annual celebration of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in music, sport, entertainment and community. They ran from 1996 to 2013.[23]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
Deadly Awards 1998 "Raining on the Rock" Single of the Year Won
Deadly Awards 2001 Where My Heart Is Album of the Year Won

National Indigenous Music AwardsEdit

The National Indigenous Music Awards recognise excellence, innovation and leadership among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians from throughout Australia. They commenced in 2004.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2004 himself Male Artist of the Year Won
2005 "Dreamtime Baby" Most Popular Song Won
2006 "Learn My Song" Song of the Year Won
Be Like Home Best Cover Art Won
2010 himself Act of the Year Nominated
Looking Out Album of the Year Nominated
2012 "Winanjjara" Traditional Song of the Year Won
Winanjjara: The Song Peoples Sessions Album of the Year Nominated


  1. ^ a b c "Warren H Williams, 2009". Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 8 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Biographical details". Warren H. Williams. Warren H Williams. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  3. ^ Egan, Ted (23 December 2019). "Hermannsburg Mission: questions of survival". Alice Springs News. Speech by former Administrator Ted Egan AO at the launch of Volume II of The Tale of Frieda Kaysser by John Strehlow. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  4. ^ "2010-10-21: Statement by Speaker: Death of Mr Kasper Gus Ntjalka Williams OAM". Northern Territory Government – Legislative Assembly. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  5. ^ Magic Coolamon - First Central Australian Indigenous Musical
  6. ^ "John Williamson". Toyota National Country Music Muster. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
  7. ^ McCabe, Kathy (8 August 2015). "Shane Nicholson found outback inspiration to write songs about life and dating as a single dad". News.com.au. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  9. ^ Sheridan, Haley (22 August 2016). "Perfect harmony for duo". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Radio Program Guide". CAAMA. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  11. ^ Nancarrow, Kirsty: Greens choose entertainer as Senate candidate, ABC News, 14 July 2010.
  12. ^ "Australian Greens NT Candidates". Australian Greens. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  13. ^ Aston, Heath (26 June 2013). "Country singer challenges Peris in Senate race". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  14. ^ Warren H Williams, the stories, the songs (2004)
  15. ^ "The Hands of Fame Inductees – Australian Country Music Hall of Fame".
  16. ^ "Gus Williams, 2000". Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 8 November 2022.
  17. ^ "NOMINATIONS: 2012 Jagermeister Independent Music Awards". Australian Independent Record Labels Association. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  18. ^ Warren was introduced to John, by legendary Australian radio journalist Graham Archer, who facilitated the collaboration. The song's lyrics were slightly changed by Williams in consultation with Williamson, creating what Williamson described as a stronger song. Aria Awards
  19. ^ ARIA Award previous winners. "ARIA Awards – Winners by Award – Best World Music Album". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Warren H. Williams 2012 Red Ochre Award winner". indigenous.gov.au. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Australian Country Music Hands of Fame". historyofcountrymusic. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  22. ^ Sydney Morning Herald 25 January 2009 Kasey rattles the gongs by Matt Buchanan
  23. ^ "The 2001 Deadlys". Archived from the original on 21 July 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.

External linksEdit