Archie Roach AM

As part of our commitment in capturing and sharing great Australian music stories, the Australian Music Vault asked some of the country’s most influential trailblazers and unsung heroes to open up about their lives in music.

Multi-award winning artist and community elder, Archie Roach AM is one of Australia’s most loved and respected singer-songwriters. A proud Gunditjmara Bundjalung man born in Mooroopna, Victoria, Archie was forcibly removed from his home as a child as a result of a government policy of assimilation. Throughout his 30 year career as a recording artist and live performer, Archie’s music echoes the sorrow and dislocation this process has caused members of the Stolen Generations but also the power of hope and love to bring about generational healing. 

His iconic song, ‘Took The Children Away’ from his 1990 debut album, Charcoal Lane, has proven to be a bridge for generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, earning him accolades from audiences around the world. In this interview, Archie talks about his journey with this special song, from writing and recording with the support of soul-mate Ruby Hunter, and fellow musicians Paul Kelly and Steve Connolly, through to international recognition as the first songwriter to ever win an International Human Rights Achievement Award. 

Archie Roach AM | Long Play Series

Interviewer: Namila Benson

Location: Melbourne Room, Arts Centre Melbourne, 2017


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