VALE ARCHIE ROACH Musician and indigenous rights advocate dies aged 66

Australian musician and cultural figure, Archie Roach, has passed away aged 66.

Roach’s sons Amos and Eban Roach released this statement behalf of the Roach family.

“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung Senior Elder, songman and storyteller Archie Roach,” it read.

“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.”

Archibald William Roach AM was an Aboriginal Australian singer, songwriter, guitarist and author. He was a Gunditjmara and Bundjalung elder and a campaigner for Indigenous Australian rights.

He was a survivor of the stolen generation and first became known for his song Took The Children Away which featured on his 1990 debut album Charcoal Lane.

Took the Children Away won Roach the 1991 Human Rights Achievement Award. It was the first time that the award had been given to a singer/songwriter.

Roach was honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to music as a singer-songwriter, guitarist and a prominent supporter of social justice.

Roach’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.

Australian musician and indigenous rights advocate, Archie Roach has passed away aged 66. May his message and music live on.

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