There are few Australian voices in the debate on social justice and Indigenous welfare that resonated as strongly as Archie Roach’s. His impact on this country’s musical landscape is equally strong.

When Archie released his debut album “Charcoal Lane” 25 years ago, his song “Took The Children Away” shone a spotlight on the impact of the forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families and brought it to the attention of the global community. At the time, the song won two ARIA Awards and an international Human Rights Achievement Award (making Archie the first person ever to receive this award for a song).

Since then, Archie has received countless awards, and released eight albums and a retrospective box set (of his first four albums). His work has been recognised locally and internationally, in mainstream and Indigenous circles.  He has collaborated with the finest musicians in the country, including Paul Kelly, Troy Cassar-Daley, Christine Anu, Vika and Linda Bull, Shane Howard and Dan Sultan. He has toured with some of the world’s most iconic artists, including Leonard Cohen, Rodriguez, Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, Billy Bragg, Paul Simon, Joan Armatrading, Suzanne Vega and Patti Smith. 

In recognition of the significance of his musical contribution to the social and cultural landscape of Australia, in 2013 “Took the Children Away” was added to the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, as part of the Sounds Of Australia collection.

Three decades after the release of “Charcoal Lane”, his work continues to reflect the struggles and issues facing Indigenous Australians as well as exploring universal themes of love, friendship, family and community. His commitment to raising awareness and being a catalyst for change remains undiminished. Off the stage, he has become a spokesperson for social justice, working in Indigenous communities around the country and mentoring many young and emerging Indigenous artists.  He is also a Patron of Parkville College, within the Parkville Juvenile Justice precinct.

Archie has released 9 albums, his latest is called Let Love Rule and explores the many faces of love, calling for great care, more love and unity as we face the future.

Creative partner of Bleach* Festival since 2011