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GinaGuyNAIDOC week is the first full week of July (6-13th) with celebrations held around the country to honour the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. PBC commemorates this annual indigenous awareness event on Tuesday 8 July with what will be a memorable show from Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It's all about increasing awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.

Nyoongar singer-songwriter Gina Williams was named Artist of the Year at the NAIDOC Perth Awards on June 6. Held in the Heath Ledger Theatre at the State Theatre Centre, Gina and Guy performed a selection of songs from their debut album Kalyakoorl (which means Forever). The album is a glorious journey into the incredibly rare and beautiful Nyoongar language. Kalyakoorl is brimming with evocative, beautifully crafted songs and showcases the jaw-dropping combination of Guy's guitar mastery and Gina's incredible voice.

It's a rare performer who is able to capture the hearts and imagination of an audience, to connect deeply through the power of song. You know when it happens, there's that magical moment when a hush falls over the room; when the audience connects with the performer. You can feel it, and you know it's special. It's even more special when it's in a completely different language. You don't need to understand what Gina's singing; we know love, loss and joy, it all means the same thing regardless of language.

Gina is a Balladong daughter, with links, through her grandmother to the Kitja people of the East Kimberley. Her music is informed by an ancient Indigenous culture. She draws further from a deep well of recent West Australian and an even deeper personal history.

"I grew up not knowing anything about my true history," Gina explains. "I've had to go back as an adult and learn. I don't regret this, but it means I've had to claw territory back. I wanted to learn the language, to write songs so that I could teach my children. It's an incredibly beautiful language – when I hear Nyoongar language I hear music, it literally sings to me."

Teaming up with her dear friend Guy Ghouse (Desert Child), these two bring a fresh, modern take on an ancient tradition, bringing together evocative sounds, acoustic instruments and that magnificent voice. The natural rhythms of the language are perfectly captured and represented in these new songs. And there's an onstage connection that comes from two people who've grown up with similar soundtracks, who share a deep friendship and commitment to this music.

"Society today has surrendered a lot of instinct to technology," Guy says. "Instead of relying on our instincts with music, we tend to look to machines to tell us whether something sounds right or not. I love that when we're playing music together, we know in our hearts we're onto a good thing."

Performing with the all-important blessings of her elders and her community, Gina and Guy will take you on a journey you will not get anywhere else in the world. And it's one you are not likely to forget.

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