It has been a while since I last posted something. At school we had to choose a person to do a biography project on who had done something good for the world. I picked Archie Roach to look more deeply at as I think he has a strong story and has advocated for Aboriginal rights. Below is my essay about Archie Roach.
Childhood and family
Archibald William Roach was born at Mooroopna, Victoria on the 8th of January 1956. Later he moved to Framlingham where his mother was born. At the age of two in 1958 him and his sisters were stolen from their family as part of the stolen generations, and they were placed into orphanages. Archie was eventually fostered by Alex and Dulcie Cox a Spanish immigrant family in Melbourne. Their eldest daughter Mary Cox sung church hymns and taught Archie the basics of guitar and keyboards, that is what start Archies love to create music. He then got a letter from his real sister telling him that his mother just died, he spent the next few years on the streets battling alcoholism and smoking.
In 1989 Paul Kelly invited Archie to open one of his concerts for him. Archie sang his song called “Took the Children Away” at the end of the song the crowd was silent, Archie walked of thinking everyone disliked the song, but then they all burst out clapping and cheering. That was the first big performance Archie did and it kicked off his career as a musician. He met his amazing wife Ruby Hunter at a Salvation Army drop off point, she was also part of the stolen generation and grew up in South Australia. Paul Kelly helped Archie create his charcoal lane album in 1990 which turned out to be his hit album.
In 1992 Archie won two ARIA awards for his debut album Charcoal Lane. When he walked onto the red-carpet the whole crowd went dead silent. He won the humans rights achievement for his stolen generations “Took the Children Away” which was the first of its kind that any artists had made. In 2010 Archie was in the kitchen and heard his son cry out “Mum!”, Archie ran into the room to find Ruby lying on the ground. In 1997, 1998, 2020, 2021 he won ARIA awards for best indigenous release. Then in 2020 he got inducted into the hall of fame. In October in 2010 a grief-stricken Archie suffered are stroke while on tour, he recuperated and learnt how to play the guitar again and returned to live performances in April of 2011. Later in the year he survived lung cancer due to an early diagnosis and a huge surgery.
In 2010 Ruby suffered a heart attack and sadly passed away. When she died, Archie used music to talk about his grief and bring out his thoughts. Archie has released multiple albums recently and just released a new single “One Song” while I was writing this.
Archie roach has been a big influence on many, many people with his deeply moving stories and songs about his life. He has travelled to remote Aboriginal communities and sung some amazing songs with them and influenced them deeply.