Portrait of Archie Roach

Archie Roach

Archie Roach is an indigenous Australian singer, songwriter and guitarist. Archie is a philosopher and storyteller in the tradition of his ancestors, relaying and retelling intimate real life stories through song that have touched the hearts and souls of audiences around the world.

Archie 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 1993 Archie released Jamu Dreaming. The album was nominated for an Aria Award in 1994 and was in Australia’s Top 40. Released in July 1997, Looking for Butter Boy was recorded on his traditional land at Port Fairy in South-Western Victoria. This album won three Aria Awards in 1998.

Aside from his recorded offerings and many awards, Archie has also performed with some of the top names in the entertainment business - including Paul Kelly, Weddings Parties Anything, Crowded House, Billy Bragg, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, Bob Dylan, Joan Armatrading and Patti Smith.