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Vale Archie Roach

Indigenous Australian singer, songwriter, activist and storyteller Archie Roach has died, aged 66.

Born in Mooroopna, Victoria, Roach was a child of the Stolen Generations, having been forcibly removed from his family by government agencies and placed in an orphanage as a child. Roach’s memoir Tell Me Why: A story of my life and my music (S&S), which was released with a companion album of the same name, received numerous accolades including the 2020 Indie Book of the Year award for nonfiction and the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing. With a career spanning three decades, Roach was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2015 for his services to music and as a supporter of social justice, and he was named the 2020 Victorian Australian of the Year.

Curtis Brown Australia writes: 

Curtis Brown Australia pays its deep respects to the family and friends of Archie Roach on his passing. Archie was a Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung Senior Elder, celebrated as one of this country’s preeminent performers, songwriters, and storytellers. Archie generously shard his landmark stories in music and in print, in recent years publishing his memoir Tell Me Why and his picture book Took the Children Away, illustrated by his beloved late partner Ruby Hunter. Archie dedicated his memoir to his family, and to ‘all those stolen and scattered, who found their way home, and to those who never did’. Vale, Archie Roach.

Simon & Schuster Australia writes:

Along with the rest of the nation, Simon & Schuster Australia is mourning the passing of Archie Roach, one of our greatest storytellers.

We were honoured to work with Archie on his award-winning memoir Tell Me Why, and on his children’s book, Took the Children Away, which was illustrated by his beloved, late partner Ruby Hunter. Archie’s hope was to share his life experience with all Australians, of all ages, giving us a deeper understanding of our country’s history. This he did through the beauty of his language, the clarity of his vision, and the generosity of his spirit.

Together with his songs, these books will keep Archie’s voice in our national conversation for generations to come.

Image credit: © Adrian Cook Photography


Category: Obituaries