Took the Children Away by Archie Roach
Although not the first song about the enforced separation of Indigenous children from their families, Archie Roach’s song, based on his own life and experience, was released at a time when there was increasing public focus on the Stolen Generations.
The significance of the song also resonated outside the Indigenous community with Roach winning ARIA Awards for Best Indigenous Release and Best New Talent in 1991. Took the Children Away received an international Human Rights Achievement Award, the first time that the award had been bestowed on a songwriter.
Archie Roach (1956–2022) was a Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung), Bundjalung Senior Elder. To learn more about his life and work, explore the curated collections Archie Roach and Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter.
Notes by Beth Taylor and Adam Blackshaw