National News and Sport
Musician Archie Roach dies aged 66
CELEBRATED Indigenous musician Archie Roach has died in hospital aged 66 after a long battle with illness.
The death of the Gunditjmara-Bundjalung eldest was confirmed in a statement from his sons Amos and Eban Roach, distributed on Saturday by the late singer’s management agency, the Mushroom Group.
“We are so proud of all that our father has accomplished in his remarkable life,” the couple said.
“He was a healer and a unifying force. His music brought people together”
They said their father would want his many fans to know how much he loved them for their support throughout his career.
Mr Roach died at Warrnambool Base Hospital after a long illness, surrounded by his family and loved ones.
“We thank all the staff who have looked after Archie over the past month,” his sons said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia had “lost a brilliant talent, a powerful and prolific national truth-teller”.
“Archie’s music tapped into a well of trauma and pain, but flowed with a beauty and resonance that moved us all,” Mr. Albanese said in a social media post.
“We mourn his death, we honor his life, and we remain hopeful that his words, music, and indomitable spirit will live on to guide and inspire us.”
A private ceremony will follow Mr. Roach’s death and his family has asked for confidentiality, but they have allowed his name, image and music to continue to be used so that his legacy inspires others.
Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said Mr Roach’s contribution to the country at a time when society was “waking up with the Stolen Generations” was remarkable.
“He was a storyteller. He was a truth-teller. He had the most amazing voice and he explored tough issues,” she told ABC TV.
Mr. Roach was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2020.
He rose to prominence with the release of his debut single Took the Children Away in 1990.
The song reflected his experience as a member of the Stolen Generation and earned him ARIA nominations for Breakthrough Artist and a Best New Talent award at the 1991 awards.
It was added to the National Film and Sound Archives in 2013. – AAP
Archie Roach was a familiar face in the North East music scene.
He was a regular and strong supporter of the annual Folk Rhythm & Life festival in Eldorado and performed regularly at venues in the area, inspiring many of our local artists. – EDITOR