Archie Roach to be inducted into ARIA Hall of Fame
The ‘voice of the Stolen Generation’, Archie Roach, will be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame during the upcoming ceremony on Wednesday, November 25.
This year, Roach has already celebrated being named the 2020 Victorian Australian of the Year, and the 30th anniversary of his debut album Charcoal Lane.
The centrepiece of the album was Roach’s song ‘Took The Children Away’, which was produced by Paul Kelly and his late guitarist Steve Connolly. ARIA said it shone a stark light on the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, “bringing the issue to national and global attention through song and storytelling”.
The album is certified Gold and received two ARIA Awards back in 1991.
He went on to win three more ARIA Awards, was the first songwriter to take home a Human Rights Achievement Award, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2015 for his significant service to the performing arts and to the community as a spokesperson for social justice.
Roach said songwriting and touring had helped him to heal.
“It’s a great honour to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, whilst it’s been 30 years since I recorded my debut album Charcoal Lane, I do recall receiving two ARIA awards for that album. Through the years writing and recording my songs as well as touring, has helped me to heal and connect to audiences around the country.
“To be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame is validation that no matter where you have come from and the struggles that you had to overcome through the years, that you can achieve great things if you set your mind and heart to it. Your achievements are only as good as the people around you and I have been blessed with a great team,” he said.
Last year, he released his new album and memoir, both titled Tell Me Why, documenting his struggle to find his identity, family and sense of belonging.
In addition to his Hall of Fame induction, Roach is up for Best Male Artist, Best Independent Release and Best Contemporary Album at this year’s awards.
ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen said it’s an honour for the organisation to have Roach join the Hall of Fame.
“He is an artist of enormous integrity, writing songs of deep personal honesty that resonated all around Australia. He told stories that no one else was telling, and brought these issues to the forefront of the Australian psyche.
“His 30-year career on-stage is enough for him to be a legend, but it is matched with his off-stage activism and his tireless work to give back to the communities around him. He’s a man who has made the world a better place, and he rightly takes his place as a giant of Australian music,” Rosen said.