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Tributes Flow As Archie Roach Embarks On Final Journey

22 August 2022 | 1:05 pm | Dan Cribb

"Amos & Eban Roach & family are taking Archie Roach Home."

(Pic by Phil Nitchie)

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Family, friends and fans have paid tribute to legendary Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung songwriter and storyteller Archie Roach this morning, gathering in the streets of Collingwood, Fitzroy and St Kilda.

Escorted by the Southern Warriors Aboriginal Motorcycle Club, Amos and Eban Roach ‘took Archie Roach home’, with one final journey through the streets of Narrm/Melbourne.

Commencing at 9am, the procession made stops at Charcoal Lane, Federation Square and more before leaving Narrm and continuing on to Warrnambool.

Touching posts have been shared on socials, both from those in Narrm and able to pay tribute in person and those sending messages from afar.

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Archie Roach passed away at the end of July, following a spell of long illness at Warrnambool Base Hospital surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Roach's catalogue and activisim took him to considerable heights including being inducted into the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2011. He was also honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours list as a Member of the Order of Australia and was named 2020 Victorian Australian of the Year.

This year, two pillar-shaped monuments were erected on the shores of Lake Bonney at Barmera to honour him and his wife Ruby Hunter who passed away in 2010. 

A mentor, inspiration and supporter for so many artists, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, Archie Roach changed the trajectory of First Nations music and its place in the national psyche.