2016 Distinguished Artist Award Recipient
Archie Roach AM
Archie Roach AM will receive the 2016 Distinguished Artist Award at the Melbourne 2016 ISPA Congress, Reimagaining. View other ISPA Award winners.
Archie Roach occupies a unique place in Australian music, as one of Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous artists and influential singer-songwriters, de facto spokesperson for the Stolen Generations, and a committed campaigner for Indigenous rights and social justice.
There are few Australian voices in the debate on social justice and Indigenous welfare that resonate as strongly as Archie Roach’s. His impact on this country’s musical landscape is equally strong.
Archie’s song Took The Children Away (from his 1990 debut album Charcoal Lane) 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. It won two ARIA Awards and, uniquely for a song, an international Human Rights Achievement Award.
25 years and eight albums later, Archie’s work has been recognised internationally, in mainstream and Indigenous circles, and 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.
His work reflects issues facing Indigenous Australians, as well as exploring universal themes of love, friendship, family and community. His commitment to being a catalyst for change remains undiminished; he is a spokesperson for social justice, working in Indigenous communities and mentoring young and emerging Indigenous artists.
Archie’s new album, Let Love Rule, will be released later this year.