Archie Roach to Receive Australia's Ted Albert Award

Archie Roach poses for a portrait in Melbourne, Australia.
Martin Philbey/Redferns

Archie Roach poses for a portrait in Melbourne, Australia. 

Singer, songwriter, storyteller and activist Archie Roach is this year’s recipient of the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music.

The prestigious honor will be presented at the 2017 APRA Music Awards, to be held April 3 at the International Convention Centre Grand Ballroom on Sydney's Darling Harbour.

Roach, a Gunditjmara Bundjalung man, rose to prominence with his debut solo album from 1990 Charcoal Lane, which featured "Took the Children Away," a song which explored his experience as a member of the Stolen Generations (children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were forcibly removed from their families).

"Took the Children Away" won Roach an international Human Rights Achievement Award, making him the first person ever to receive the honor for a song. 

His career accolades also include five ARIA Awards (two for "Took the Children Away") and induction into the National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) Hall of Fame in 2013. Two years later, the inspirational artist was recognized in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours list as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division for his significant service to the performing arts and to the community as a spokesman for social justice.

"Absolutely honoured to be the 2017 APRA AMCOS recipient of the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music. Thank you," he wrote in a Facebook post Monday morning.

The Ted Albert Award is one of the Australian music industry's highest accolades, and is decided by the APRA board of writer and publisher directors. Previous recipients include Paul Kelly, Michael Gudinski, Denis Handlin, Slim Dusty, The Seekers, Lindy Morrison of the Go-Betweens, Fifa Riccobono and last year's winner Cold Chisel

In other news, organizers of the APRA Awards have announced an expanded lineup with Paul Kelly joining Australian Music Prize winners A.B. Original and Dan Sultan, Kate Miller-Heidke, Tkay Maidza, Holy Holy, Julia Jacklin, Cloves and Busby Marou on the bill. 

The rights organization has also announced Adele’s global hit “Hello” is the winner of the international work of the year category while Adelaide venue The Gov (aka The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel) is the inaugural winner of the licensee of the year category. Run by the Tonkin family, The Gov is recognized for its commitment to supporting local artists and the broader music community.

Flume leads the race for this year’s APRAs with four nominations while Sia is up for three.

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