Simon & Schuster Australia acquires memoir of Australian legend Archie Roach


Simon & Schuster Australia is proud and excited to announce the publication of the memoir of Archie Roach, one of Australia’s most important and cherished voices. World rights for the memoir, yet to be titled, were acquired in a hotly contested auction via Clare Forster at Curtis Brown Australia and will be published on 1 November 2019.

Archie Roach is best known as a singer and songwriter but he is also widely recognised as a campaigner for the rights of First Nations people, especially those who are part of the Stolen Generations. Archie himself was only four years old when he was forcibly removed from his family and made a ward of the state. From the release of his critically acclaimed, multi award-winning debut album Charcoal Lane in 1990 to his most recent album Dancing with My Spirit, Archie’s inspired and affecting musical and songwriting talent is considered one of the most important worldwide in expressing the issues facing First Nations people, with none more richly told than in one of his most powerful songs, Took the Children Away.

Simon & Schuster’s vision for this memoir is to bring Archie’s extraordinary life story to all Australians and leave a lasting legacy for generations of future readers. His story is not only a lightning rod for the issues that we all face about our nation and the survival and optimism of First Nations Australians, but more importantly a powerful, passionate and moving personal story of music, family, love, loss and renewal.

Archie says, ‘I feel that it’s a good time to tell my story now so people may understand the journey that I have taken in life, not necessarily as a First Nations person, nor a member of the Stolen Generations, but as an Australian. And in doing so I hope that it would be seen as a testament to overcoming enormous odds and to the enduring strength of the human spirit.’

Publisher Roberta Ivers says, ‘I’m so honoured to be publishing the great Archie Roach’s memoir. The story of his extraordinary life and music is one of breathtaking resilience and strength, of his urgent quest for identity, home and community, but it’s also a moving love story, a journey of pain and heartbreak, and one of shining hope and regeneration, too. He truly is the beating heart of our country.’

In recognition of Archie’s tireless contribution in giving back to his community, Simon & Schuster Australia have made a donation to the Archie Roach Foundation so that Archie’s great work continues with young artists needing direction and support.

Canada Tour 2018

For the month of July this year, I toured through three Canadian states performing at summer music festivals in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary, Bella Coola and Harrison, made possible by the support of the Canadian Council for the Arts. Along the way we met so many wonderful First Nations performers, community members and Hereditary Chiefs and clocked around 5000 kms driving through some of the most spectacular country I have ever seen. I felt so welcomed by everyone we met along the way and was honored to have spent meaningful time with so many First Nations people. My spirit was filled to overflowing. One performer, Leonard Sumner, I had the opportunity to see perform at several of the festivals I was also performing at. Leonard has just visited me at home in south west Victoria and we had the best yarns from our time together... 

A big shout out to all our friends from the Nuxalk Nation Bella Coola BC, especially Peter Tallio, Health Director at Nuxalk Health and Wellness and Noel Scott Pootlass, Nuxalk Artist Chief Nuximlayc, Sheldon from Nuxalk Radio 91.1 FM and Clyde from Copper Sun Gallery & Journeys Petroglyph Tour.

To Dr Reg Crowshoe, Elder and leader from the Piikani nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy and his wife, Rosie, who transferred a name to me at the Calgary Folk Music Festival, and gifted me with a robe to keep my voice strong, Amy Willier and Curtis Lefthand (both members of the newly appointed Calgary Folk Festival Indigenous Advisory Group).

To David McLeod the CEO of Winnipeg's First Nations radio station, NCI FM - The Spirit of Manitoba, Alan Greyeyes and Destiny for connecting us all. Many beautiful connections made with other First Nations musicians, Leonard SumnernêhiyawakA Tribe Called Red and importantly a deeply moving Welcoming Ceremony at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in Manitoba led by Anishinaabe Elder Sherry Copenace.

You will all be in my heart forever.

Limited Edition Archie Roach Portrait by Robert Henderson

Archie Roach and Wiradjuri artist, Robert Henderson have donated signed Limited Edition Prints of Robert’s portrait of Archie to The Archie Roach Foundation and The Wayne Weaver Foundation in support of First Nations families and communities.

These special numbered, signed and catalogued prints are $310 (including postage and handling) and was Robert Henderson’s 2014 Archibald Prize entry.

What happens to your donation?

Profits from the donations received will be split equally between the two Foundations to enable them to continue their important work in First Nations communities.

What does the Archie Roach Foundation do?

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

What does The Wayne Weaver Foundation do?

The Wayne Weaver Foundation was founded in early 2018 in support of bereaved First Nations families and communities. The Foundation supports the cost of funerals, transport, coffins, and gravestones.

The Wayne Weaver Foundation is focussed on protecting and conserving the social and cultural bonds and traditions of First Nations people, their families and communities at times of bereavement by providing the support, resources and follow up necessary to attend and participate in funeral ceremonies.

Donate now

Receive a stunning Limited Edition print of Archie Roach by Wiradjuri artist, Robert Henderson. Each print is reproduced on quality art paper, is individually numbered and signed by Archie and Robert.

A limited number of prints are available. To donate, contact us now at: or

Heart of St Kilda Concert for Sacred Heart Mission

On Tuesday night I joined a stellar lineup of performers inc Kate Ceberano, Margaret Roadknight, Tex Perkins & The Fat Rubber Band and comedians at the iconic Palais Theatre for the 11th Heart of St Kilda concert which supports the important work of the Sacred Heart Mission. The annual concert supports the Mission's Meals Program which provides up to 400 meals daily to those in need and serves over 160,000 meals each year to people experiencing homelessness, social isolation and disadvantage.

Inaugural Songs for Peace Concert, Roebourne W.A.

Under the magical Pilbara moon in Roebourne, at the Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation’s Ngurin Cultural Centre, on Saturday September 29, Archie shared the stage with a stellar line up of artists for the inaugural Songs For Peace concert 

The line-up, curated by Grammy Award winner and music broadcaster Lucky Oceans, included acclaimed Broome artist Stephen Pigram, Bidyadanga singersongwriter John Bennett, Brian Ritchie (ex Violent Femmes), David Hyams & Josie Alec to name a few. 

Presented by the Roebourne community and produced by Big hART it was a powerful celebration of music, hope, peace and renewal. It is hoped to build this concert as an annual attraction for the Pilbara region, attracting tourists from across the country.

Sorry Day Twentieth Anniversary Concert Featuring Archie Roach Friday 26th May 2017 - Astor Theatre

The Bringing Them Home Committee (WA) and Yokai: Healing Our Spirit are proud to bring you the Sorry Day Twentieth Anniversary Concert.  The concert features Archie Roach with support from local Aboriginal performers Gina Williams, Della-Rae Morrison, Candice Lorrae, Beni Bjah and the Madjitil Moorna Choir. 

Archie Roach is a multi-award winning Aboriginal singer/songwriter who is best known for his advocacy for the Stolen Generations and for his song “Took the Children Away”, which has become the anthem for the Stolen Generations.  Gina Williams, Della-Rae Morrison, Candice Lorrae, Beni Bjah are also award winning singers and songwriters so this is going to be a very special night showcasing  some of the best Aboriginal performers in this country. Production for the night is being coordinated by well-known Noongar performer Phil Walley-Stack! 

This is a significant anniversary for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community as it commemorates the Twentieth Anniversary of the tabling of the Bringing Them Home Report in the Commonwealth Parliament.  This landmark report into the Stolen Generations highlighted the past practice of removing Aboriginal children from their families and the ongoing impact of those policies.  Most of the performers at this Twentieth Anniversary Concert have family connections to the Stolen Generations and they will be joined by Stolen Generations survivors and their families to acknowledge this anniversary.  

This was an amazing night for all to remember!  Thank you to all the guests who attended to support this event.