Please support Archie to walk alongside others.


The Foundation is a way for me to give back and pass on what’s been given to me from people I’ve met on my journey who have pointed me in a different direction to a better way of life and understanding, to freedom. 

I hope to be a signpost for others, to walk alongside and empower them to tell their story through the arts to point them in a deadly direction; in particular young people within the youth justice system.”

Together we’ll fly.
— Archie Roach AM



The Archie Roach Foundation was established in 2014 to nurture meaningful and potentially life changing opportunities for First Nation artists. 

The Foundation seeks to walk alongside those working in the arts and young people heading down the wrong track just like Archie was, to support them to be the best that they can be. 

Archie knows what it means to have someone walk beside you at key crossroads in your life; to help point you in a deadly direction and empower you to take the next positive step.

He also understands the power of music and storytelling to communicate, connect and heal and is committed to helping others share their story which creates a stronger, more cohesive culturally respectful national story. 

Learn More


Over the years if I didn’t have music I would have had no other outlet to express myself except negatively. Music has always been a healing force to bring me out of that dark space.
— Archie Roach AM

Malmsbury NAIDOC July 2017.jpg


In July 2014 Archie Roach produced an outdoor NAIDOC concert within the walls of the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre with the support of Parkville College, a specialist registered Victorian Government school within the precinct.

The concert brought together young prisoners, Indigenous Elders, family and community and members of the justice community. Archie and Sydney based songwriter and soul singer, Radical Son performed but the concert highlight was when a young client took to the stage to rap about his own family's story which he was inspired to write after a previous visit from Archie.

It was a pivotal moment for Archie and cemented his desire to support, mentor and create meaningful and life changing opportunities through the arts for other younger First Nations artists, particularly those who find themselves at the crossroads. For Archie it was about giving back and passing on what he had been given from people he met along his own journey that became signposts to point him in a different directon when he was off track. For Archie it's his cultural responsibility... 

Read more about our work in the Youth Justice System


As an ex-prisoner and self-proclaimed leader in my own right, I have pushed myself to be a leading black light in my community.

Having spent many years in Victorian prisons I felt I had an inherent obligation to return to prisons not only to share my journey but also to rekindle the burning embers of many a black fellas dreaming that has been lost through addiction.

Even though a u-beaut actor, Victorian Senior Australian of the Year and an Elder in my community, it was my criminal record that stopped me from being allowed to go back into prisons to help others. Until the Archie Roach Foundation came along.

The Foundation has been the catalyst for prisons finally taking me seriously and letting me back in to talk to the very people that need to hear my story. Finally an opportunity to tweak the conscience of these young minds.

I’m proud to be a board member of the Archie Roach Foundation and a member of the Foundation’s Council of Elders.
— Jack Charles


Council of Elders


Archie Roach AM

Archie's story has been well documented. A singer songwriter and storyteller of international repute, Archie has penned songs for the past 30 years that have touched the heart and soul of audiences in Australia and won fans worldwide. He has raised his voice against the injustices suffered by his people, writing songs about lives lost in prison and the cruelty and discrimination endured by so many of his people...

Read more about Archie


Uncle Jack Charles

One of Australia's most respected actors, Jack Charles is a member of the Stolen Generations. Removed from his mother as a baby Jack knew nothing of his Indigenous heritage as a child. At 19 he began a career as an actor, but his addiction to heroin and a life of crime saw him jailed. Today he is passionate about being a mentor and guide for young First Nation's men and women caught up in the recidivist prison system...

Read more about Uncle Jack


Joy Murphy Wandin 

Joy Murphy Wandin, AO, is an Indigenous Australian and senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance in Victoria, Australia.  She has given the traditional welcome to country greeting at many Melbourne events and to many distinguished visitors where she says in the Woiwurrung language “Wominjeka Wurundjeri Balluk yearmenn koondee bik” (Welcome to the land of the Wurundjeri people).

Read more about Aunty Joy