Celebrated and beloved Aboriginal musician, singer, songwriter and ARIA hall of fame inductee Archie Roach has passed away aged 66. Roach was a proud Gunditjmara and Bundjalung Senior Elder.
Roach’s death was announced on his Instagram page on Saturday evening via a post by his sons, Amos and Eban Roach.
View this post on Instagram
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung Senior Elder, songman and storyteller Archie Roach.” The post begins.
“Archie passed, surrounded by his family and loved ones, at Warrnambool Base Hospital after a long illness. We thank all the staff who have cared for Archie over the past month.
“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.
“A private ceremony will follow.
“We ask that the media please respect the family’s privacy.
“Archie’s sons, Amos and Eban Roach, have given permission for Archie’s name, image and music to be used, so that his legacy will continue to inspire.”
Archie Roach rose to prominence after the release of the song “Took The Children Away”.
The song discusses the Stolen Generations where Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families.
The full lyrics to the song can be read here.
Since his death was announced, tributes have flowed for the singer across social media.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remembered Archie Roach as a “prolific national truth teller”.
Archie’s music drew from a well of trauma and pain, but it flowed with a beauty and a resonance that moved us all.— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) July 30, 2022
We grieve for his death, we honour his life and we hold to the hope that his words, his music and his indomitable spirit will live on to guide us and inspire us.
Rest in power Vale Uncle Archie Roach— Dr Amy Thunig (@AmyThunig) July 30, 2022
*his family have given permissions for his name and image to be continued to be used 🖤
Archie Roach was proof that music could change lives and move hearts. Music changed his life and his music changed the lives of countless Australians.— Tony Burke (@Tony_Burke) July 30, 2022
An elder, storyteller, musician and one of the most humble people I’ve met in my life.
Absolutely devastating to hear the news of Uncle Archie Roach’s passing. My heart breaks for his family and community — sending you all the love and strength. Rest easy Unc x ❤️— Nakari Thorpe (@nakarithorpe) July 30, 2022
Archie Roach was awarded a place on the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll, a Victorian Australian of the Year award, and inducted as a member of the Order of Australia as per SBS.
Rest in peace, Archie.