From Jimmy Barnes To Briggs: Tributes Are Flowing For The Late Archie Roach

"Uncle Archie, thank you for validating the trauma felt in our communities since colonisation. Your music brought us healing and peace."

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Tributes are flowing in for songwriter, and acrivist Archie Roach who sadly passed yesterday aged 66.

– CONTENT WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following article contains images and names of deceased persons. – 

Archie’s sons, Amos and Eban Roach, have given permission for Archie’s name, image and music to be used.

The Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung Senior Elder was one of the greatest musicians in the country, known and honoured equally for his commitment to equality and justice for First Nations people across the country.

Roach died surrounded by family and loved ones at Warrnambool Base Hospital on Saturday; his passing marked with social media tributes from Indigenous rapper Briggs and musician Jimmy Barnes.

“Archie wanted all of his many fans to know how much he loves you for supporting him along the way. We are so proud of everything our dad achieved in his remarkable life. He was a healer and unifying force. His music brought people together,” Roach’s surviving sons Amos and Eban Roach said in a statement.

Throughout his prolific career, Roach recorded over nine studio albums, influencing the likes of Paul Kelly and Gang of Youths in the process. Best known for his protest anthem about the Stolen Generations, ‘They Took The Children Away’, Roach’s varied catalogue of music was steeped in love and respect for his culture and community.

Raised by his family in Mooroopna, Roach was separated from his family by welfare officers when he was four years old and placed into foster care with a family in Melbourne. Falsely told that his biological family had died in a house fire — Roach discovered he was a survivor of the Stolen Generations after receiving a letter from his biological sister when he was fifteen, informing him that his mother had passed away.

Roach then departed on a journey of self-discovery, where he would meet his lifetime partner Ruby Tucker. While their relationship was initially marked by health troubles, homelessness and substance abuse, their love would become a major theme of Roach’s music throughout his life.

Watch Archie Roach perform ‘They Took The Children Away’ below.