Archie Roach shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award

A year of successes: Killarney singer-songwriter Archie Roach has been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Indigenous Writing category.
A year of successes: Killarney singer-songwriter Archie Roach has been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Indigenous Writing category.

ARIA Hall of Fame-inductee Archie Roach has been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award.

Roach's memoir,Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music, has been shortlisted in the Indigenous Writing category.

It's a powerful recount of Roach's life as a stolen child, musical and lyrical genius, and leader.

Described by Australian singer Paul Kelly as "an inspiring story of survival, grace and generosity", Tell Me Why voices the joy, pain and hope Roach found on his path through song to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today.

It tops off a successful year for the Killarney artist, who won two ARIA awards for best male artist and best contemporary artist last month, won Album of the Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards, was crowned 2020 Victorian Australian of the Year and the launched his Charcoal Lane YouTube series.

Roach, a Gunditjmara and Bundjalung man, was born in Victoria in 1956.

He spent part of his childhood growing up at the Framlingham Aboriginal Mission, before he was forcibly removed from his family at two years of age and placed into foster care.

Roach's recording history includes twelve albums, soundtracks, film and theatrical scores and his books include the award-winning memoir Tell Me Why, accompanied by a companion album, and the picture book Took the Children Away.

The judge's report for the literary award nomination describes Roach's memoir as a book "beautifully written with a powerful story told with exquisite tenderness and care.

"When one reads this book Uncle Archie holds your hand with his words and takes you through his life and tells you stories of the past which many may have forgotten."

Winners will be announced February 1.

This story Archie Roach shortlisted for literary award first appeared on The Standard.