Award-winning musician and Indigenous rights campaigner Archie Roach is to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame at the 2020 ARIA Awards later this month.
Roach, who has been a musician and advocate for Indigenous social issues for the past four decades said it was an “honour” to receive the induction which he also credited to his team.
"It's a great honour to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Whilst it’s been thirty years since I recorded my debut album Charcoal Lane, I do recall receiving two ARIA awards for that album,” said Mr Roach.
“Through the years, writing and recording my songs, as well as touring, has helped me to heal and connect to audiences around the country.
“To be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame is validation that no matter where you have come from and the struggles that you had to overcome through the years, that you can achieve great things if you set your mind and heart to it.”
Roach's debut album, Charcoal Lane, was recorded with Paul Kelly and other notable artists in 1990 and went on to win Roach his first two Aria awards.
The Bundjalung-Gunditjmara legend has gone on to record and release a further nine albums, which have won him numerous awards across various arts and entertainment bodies.
This NAIDOC Week special episode sees the legendary singer-songwriter Archie Roach yarn with Take It Blak host Jack Latimore about the release of his latest album, The Songs of Charcoal Lane; the 30th anniversary of his classic debut album; challenging institutions and demonstrating for change; and what it's like to find himself on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 50 all-time great Australian artists.
His songs have exposed truths of dark realities: the consequences of the forced removal of children from family in 'Took The Children Away', 'Tell Me Why', and 'Lighthouse (Song For Two Mothers)', and about life on the streets, on 'F Troop' and 'Charcoal Lane'.
As well as deep connections to self and family: 'Small Child', 'Always Be Here'; to country on 'A Child Was Born Here', and 'Nopun Kurongk', and of love through 'Let Love Rule' and 'It’s Not Too Late'.
Speaking to NITV News Online's Take It Blak podcast for its NAIDOC Week 2020 special episode, Roach said he remembered the reaction of the crowd when he and wife, Ruby Hunter arrived at the Aria's red carpet in 1991.
“The car just pulled up I suppose and it was just a normal reaction for everybody to start screaming even though they didn’t know who it was and then two Koorie’s get out, two blackfullas get out of the car and then onto the red carpet and they all went very quiet,” said Roach.
"When Charcoal Lane was nominated back then, you didn't know what to expect and I'm not sure if anybody else did as well, but we got Best Indigenous Release and Best New Artist.
"I wasn't expecting Best New Artist but it was an amazing time back then and I wasn't prepared for what was going to happen after that."
ARIA Chief Executive, Dan Rosen, said Roach has told important stories throughout his 30-year professional career.
“He told stories that no one else was telling, and brought these issues to the forefront of the Australian psyche,” said Mr Rosen.
“He is an artist of enormous integrity, writing songs of deep personal honesty that resonated all around Australia.
“His thirty-year career on-stage is enough for him to be a legend, but it is matched with his off-stage activism and his tireless work to give back to the communities around him.”
Earlier this year, Roach was named the 2020 Victoria Australian of the Year for the tireless campaigning he does on Indigenous issues through his music and his late wife’s charity, the Ruby Hunter foundation.
Roach has also been nominated for three more ARIA Awards later this month, which include; Best Male Artist, Best Independent Release and Best Adult Contemporary Album.