Born in 1956 at Framlingham Aboriginal mission in South Western Victoria, Archie Roach was forcibly removed from his family as part of the Stolen Generation of Aboriginal children, and it was his popular song ‘Took The Children Away’ which is widely credited for bringing the story of the Stolen Generations to a broad Australian audience.
He talks to Nine to Noon's Lynn Freeman about the importance of music and belonging, as well as his transformation from a homeless alcoholic to an influential indigenous performer who has played with a host of musicians including; Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith.
Archie Roach is performing Dirtsong, which features songs sung in 11 different Aboriginal languages, at the Michael Fowler Centre on Sunday 28th February which is part of the 2016 New Zealand Festival.
from 'Took the Children Away'
This story’s right, this story’s true,
I would not tell lies to you
About the promises they did not keep,
How they fenced us in like sheep
Said to us come take our hand,
Set us up on mission land
Taught us to read and write and pray,
Then they took the children away
Snatched from their mothers breasts,
Said this is for the best
Took them away…