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Vale Archie Roach

Posted by Team APATA | Aug 4, 2022

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers please be advised that this article contains images and names of people who have passed.

30 July 2022 Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung Senior Elder, songman and storyteller, Archie Roach passed away.

We direct you to some beautiful and moving articles among the many tributes and acknowledgements of Archie Roach’s legacy.

WARNING: We advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that the following content contains images, video, names and voices of people who have passed.

MURUNDAK: SONGS OF FREEDOM journeys into the heart of Aboriginal protest music following the Black Arm Band, a gathering of some of Australia’s finest Indigenous musicians, as they take to the road with their songs of resistance and liberty.

From the concert halls of the Sydney Opera House to remote Aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory, murundak – meaning ‘alive’ in Woirurrung language – brings together pioneering singers including Archie Roach, Bart Willoughby and the late Ruby Hunter, and a stellar lineup of emerging Indigenous talent including Dan Sultan, Shellie Morris and Emma Donovan.

Winning Australian of the Year in 2020 this short piece by ABS Australia shares Archie Roach’s insight into finding meaning in life through songwriting.

Crispin Winsor and the archives of the NFSA collection have a fantastic piece with archival footage of Archie Roach through the years. Read Here: https://www.nfsa.gov.au/latest/vale-archie-roach/

Charcoal Lane

When Covid halted Archie Roach’s final nation-wide tour Archie began the a YouTube Series reflecting on the making of the 1990 album ‘Charcoal Lane’ called : Archie Roach Back to Charcoal Lane Series. Find the playlist HERE. 

The album contained the song, ‘Took the Children Away’ and shone a spotlight on the plight of Australia’s Stolen Generations to the world. In 2000 Archie Roach became the first and only songwriter to be bestowed a Human Rights Achievement Award.

Kitchen Table Yarns

The legendary artist then began Uncle Archie’s Kitchen Table Yarns, another YouTube series where he reaches out to young First Nations singer/songwriters. Find the Kitchen Table series HERE.

The Archie Roach Foundation

“In July 2014 Archie Roach produced an outdoor NAIDOC concert within the walls of the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre with the support of Parkville College, a specialist registered Victorian Government school within the precinct.

The concert brought together young prisoners, Indigenous Elders, family and community and members of the justice community. Archie and Sydney based songwriter and soul singer, Radical Son performed but the concert highlight was when a young client took to the stage to rap about his own family’s story which he was inspired to write after a previous visit from Archie.

It was a pivotal moment for Archie and cemented his desire to support, mentor and create meaningful and life changing opportunities through the arts for other younger First Nations artists, particularly those who find themselves at the crossroads. For Archie it was about giving back and passing on what he had been given from people he met along his own journey that became signposts to point him in a different direction when he was off track. For Archie it’s his cultural responsibility.”

Vale Archie Roach.


We acknowledge Archie’s sons, Amos and Eban Roach, for permitting Archie’s name, image and music to be used, so that his legacy will continue to inspire.

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