Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains names and images of deceased people. Archie Roach’s family has given permission for his name and image to be shared.
Honouring an extraordinary life and legacy: Support the Archie Roach Foundation
Lauded for his voice, his gentle spirit, his resilience and the truth-telling he delivered via his music, Archie Roach AM has left an extraordinary legacy that will live on in the work of the Archie Roach Foundation.
A Gunditjmara and Bundjalung Senior Elder, Archie was a Stolen Generation survivor who was only three years old when he was forcibly removed from his family. His music and activism gave an important voice to the stories and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.
“Archie Roach was a healer, a unifying voice, a truth-teller and the voice of a generation (for generations),” says Uncle Jack Charles, a friend and board member of the Archie Roach Foundation.
In a statement provided on behalf of the family, Archie’s sons, Amos and Eban, shared a message from their late father and expressed their pride in his powerful legacy.
“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 a unifying force. His music brought people together.”
Established in 2014, the Archie Roach Foundation nurtures meaningful and potentially life-changing opportunities for First Nations artists.
Archie Roach Foundation Director and ACF fund holder, Regina Hill, says she will remember Archie as “such a special person”.
“He was a thoughtful, caring, and gentle man,” Regina says.
“He had a deep and abiding care for others and desire for genuine reconciliation and healing. He expressed that through his music, through the way he interacted with his audiences, and, in so many ways – most significantly, through the way he connected with young ones. His work with young people in detention held a special meaning, as did his mentorship of young and emerging First Nations artists.”
We are so proud … He was a healer and a unifying force. His music brought people together
The Foundation held a special place in Archie’s heart, as a way to “give back and pass on what’s been given to me from people I’ve met on my journey who have pointed me in a different direction to a better way of life and understanding, to freedom,” he explained at the time.
“I hope to be a signpost for others, to walk alongside and empower them to tell their story through the arts to point them in a deadly direction; in particular young people within the youth justice system,” Archie said.
ACF Chief Executive Officer, Maree Sidey, says supporting the work of the Foundation is a powerful way to help Archie’s legacy live on.
“We know the Archie Roach Foundation has run for many years on the strength of its relationships and networks,” Maree says. “For the Foundation’s long-term, sustainable future, it’s important that we show our support by contributing financial resources too.”
The Foundation has a range of plans to embed Archie’s legacy of truth-telling in the national conversation, including using his lyrics and songs as curriculum materials.
“There is much that we would like to do at the Foundation to celebrate Archie’s legacy and continue the work that he was seeking to do in supporting First Nations artists; sharing his story through his memoir, curriculum development and education; justice, truth-telling and reconciliation,” explains Regina.
“We will come to that, but now we are holding Archie in our hearts and our thoughts. His spirit has expanded into the open sky and is flying now, with [his late partner] Ruby. I will miss him, but like so many, I will always be touched by what he shared with us.”