Archie Roach

Archie RoachArchie Roach is a truly gifted and inspiring talent. Born at Framlingham Aboriginal mission, Warrnambool in south western Victoria, Archie was taken from his family at an early age as part of the notorious ‘stolen generation’. Institutionalised, and then fostered, the Archie Roach story has been well documented.

A former homeless alcoholic, Archie Roach recorded his first record, Charcoal Lane, in 1990 with Paul Kelly as producer. The album contained Took the Children Away, a song that dealt with Archie’s personal experience as one of what is now called the ‘stolen generation’ of Aboriginal people. The album won two Aria Awards and a Human Rights Award – the first time a Human Rights award has been awarded to a songwriter. It was also in the US Rolling Stone’s Top 50 albums for 1992 and achieved gold status in Australia.

In 2010 he suffered immeasurably. Most will know by now that the venerable and dignified performer, who captured the hearts and minds of a nation in 1990 with Charcoal Lane and the landmark song Took The Children Away, lost his partner and soul mate Ruby Hunter; She was only 54. Later that year Archie himself suffered a stroke, which left parts of his body, including one of his hands, inert. In mid 2011 Archie was diagnosed with the early stages of lung cancer. He got half a lung removed and again went into heavy rehabilitation.