Change The Record is an Indigenous-led non-profit organisation, petitioning to raise the legal age at which children can be arrested from 10 to 14 years old.
According to the organisation’s website, in one year, almost 600 children aged 10 to 13 years old were locked up or transgressed through the Australian legal system.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are disproportionately impacted by these laws and pushed into prison cells at even higher rates, accounting for 70 per cent of these younger children in prisons,” a statement on the website reads.
In a video posted to Twitter today (July 1), Roach said his charity, The Archie Roach Foundation, was supporting the Raise The Age campaign.
“Me and Uncle Jack Charles… we’d like to offer them our support. Children as young as ten shouldn’t be in gaol. They should be learning more about their culture and their history and their family and country. They’re not going to learn that behind bars.”
“So let’s raise the age, to 14, and get behind the Change The Record campaign to keep that happening as soon as possible.”
Roach first made his mark as a musician and Indigenous rights activist with his 1990 song ‘Took The Children Away’. Since then, he has gone on to release nine studio albums, including last year’s ‘Tell Me Why’. He has toured extensively across the world as a headliner and revered support act.
Roach featured recently on the third episode of livestream series, The State of Music, alongside Paul Kelly, Alex Lahey and Tim Freedman.
Charles is a member of the Stolen Generation and an Aboriginal elder. A prolific performer, musician and actor, Charles’ screen credits include the landmark film The Chant Of Jimmy Blacksmith, Blackfellas and Pan.
Sign the Raise The Age petition here.