Archie Roach’s forthcoming tour will be his last in NSW: “My health is my biggest challenge”

He's had to reschedule this tour four times in 12 months

Beloved national icon Archie Roach has shared his rescheduled NSW road tour dates and advised that due to his poor health, they will be his last in that state.

Slated as his “last road tour of NSW”, Roach, who currently resides in southwest VIC, has been forced to reschedule this particular tour four times in just over a year. In a press statement, Roach said: “My health is my biggest challenge and coming to NSW in March/April will be my final NSW road tour.”

Roach, 66, underwent major surgery for lung cancer after receiving a diagnosis in 2011. The year prior, Roach had suffered a stroke as he conducted music classes for children in WA’s remote Kimberley.

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Roach continued: “I am so grateful that everyone has held onto their tickets waiting for these shows to go ahead. Thank you.”

Roach has also added two Queensland dates to the stretch, both in April. Representatives for Roach told NME the artist will endeavour to keep performing in cities, but will no longer do regional tours. However, “last shows” in regional areas may be a possibility in the future. All tour dates can be found below.

Today (January 26), the launch of the inaugural Archie Roach Foundation stage at Port Fairy Festival (on Peek Whurrong country in southwest Victoria) was also announced.

On the importance and cultural significance of the Maar Nation community having a new platform by which to share their culture, Roach said: “For me personally, it’s huge! I was taken away as a child from my mother’s country when I was just two years old.

“To return to my community and be able to present our culture on the ARF Stage would not have happened if I had not found my way back to my people.”

The stage will place a spotlight on emerging and established First Nations musicians from across Australia, hosting a series of community-led songwriting workshops, traditional dance, art, curated conversations, storytelling and a yarning circle.

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The sixth episode of Uncle Archie’s Kitchen Table Yarns takes place today, Survival Day, live at 5pm AEDT. “To me Survival Day recognises the struggles that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have endured since colonisation,” said Roach. “It’s also a day where we celebrate our culture and our resilience.

“We are still here and getting on with our lives through our culture. It’s a day to celebrate not just our survival but our living.”

Roach’s special guest will be J-MILLA. Appearing as part of the 12-part YouTube series, J-MILLA – real name Jacob Nichaloff – was the 2021 winner of the Archie Roach Foundation (ARF) NIMA. “J-MILLA is an exciting rapper from the NT. I love his work,” said Roach. “I reckon he’s one of the best rappers I’ve heard.

“In a way J is a lot like me, he raps about everything from the injustices facing First Nations people to love songs and songs about life in general.”

Nichaloff added: “It’s been a blessing to know that Uncle Archie has my back and is excited for me and my career. He had nothing but kind words and motivation throughout the whole yarn and he inspired me to keep on keeping on. I can’t wait to meet him face to face.”

Archie Roach’s 2022 tour dates are:

MARCH
Thursday 31 – Grafton, Saraton Theatre

APRIL
Friday 1 – Ipswich, Civic Theatre
Saturday 2 – Lismore, Norpa
Sunday 3 – Brisbane, Princess Theatre
Tuesday 5 – Coffs Harbour, Jetty Memorial Theatre
Wednesday 6 – Coffs Harbour, Jetty Memorial Theatre
Friday 8 – Dubbo, Dubbo Regional Theatre & Convention Centre
Saturday 9 – Griffith, Griffith Regional Theatre
Sunday 10 – Wagga Wagga, Wagga Civic Theatre
Tuesday 12 – Bathurst, Bathurst Memorial Centre
Wednesday 13 – Corunna, Tilba Valley Winery & Ale House
Friday 15 – Canberra, National Folk Festival
Saturday 16 – Canberra, National Folk Festival
Monday 18 – Albury, Albury Entertainment Centre
Thursday 21 – Sydney, Mary’s Underground
Friday 22 – Newcastle, City Hall
Saturday 23 – Thirroul, Anita’s Theatre

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