Archie Roach honoured with “journey home” through Naarm as family, friends and fans pay tribute

The generation-defining Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung) and Bundjalung Senior Elder, songman and activist was laid to rest in Warrnambool

Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander readers are advised that this story contains the name and image of a person who has died.

The late, great Archie Roach was honoured with a public tribute in his hometown of Naarm (aka Melbourne) today, as his sons Amos and Eban led his funeral procession through the streets of the Victorian capital.

In a statement shared on social media, Roach’s sons invited fans of the late Gunditjmara (Kirrae Whurrong/Djab Wurrung) and Bundjalung Senior Elder, songman and activist to “join and pay your respects to Archie’s journey home”. 

Amos & Eban Roach & family are taking Archie Roach Home.Escorted by the Southern Warriors Aboriginal Motorcycle…

Posted by Archie Roach on Sunday, August 21, 2022

For the ceremony, Roach’s body was transported in a hearse adored with the Aboriginal flag, while a group of bikers – representing the Southern Warriors Aboriginal Motorcycle Club – followed the route both in front of and behind the vehicle. 

Beginning at 9am this morning (August 22), the procession rolled through the streets of Collingwood, Fitzroy and St Kilda, before Roach was ultimately laid to rest in Warrnambool. Hundreds of family, friends and fans of Roach’s turned out to pay their respects – have a look at some of the many tributes shared below:

Roach died on July 30, surrounded by his family and friends, following a long period of illness. He was aged 66. 

Dozens of artists paid tribute to the iconic songman; among them were Gang Of Youths, who performed a tribute to Roach at their show in Perth the day after he died. Roach was later honoured at this year’s National Indigenous Music Awards, where a group of Indigenous artists – including Leah Flanagan, Birdz, Yirrmal and William Barton – joined Emma Donovan and Fred Leone in performing Roach’s 2012 song ‘We Don’t Cry’.

Earlier this month, live recordings from two of Roach’s early performances – a 1992 show in Portland, Oregon and a 1993 show in Garrmalang/Darwin – were made available to stream as part of the Australian Road Crew Association’s Desk Tape series.