Briggs and Archie Roach take out prizes at 2021 Australian Book Industry Awards

Biographies of Nick Cave and Paul Kelly were also nominated

Briggs and Archie Roach have come away from the 2021 Australian Book Industry Awards as winners after the ceremony was held last night.

Held as part of the Sydney Writers Festival in Carriageworks, Briggs accepted the award for Children’s Picture Book of the Year for his book Our Home, Our Heartbeat, along with illustrators Kate Moon and Rachael Sarra.

Our Home, Our Heartbeat was adapted from the rapper’s 2015 track ‘The Children Came Back’ with Gurrumul and Dewayne Everettsmith.


Briggs celebrated his win on social media, thanking Moon and Sarra while also writing “Oh yeah, add ‘Award Winning author’ to my CV”.

‘The Children Came Back’ was written as a sequel to Archie Roach’s 1990 debut single ‘Took The Children Away’. Roach also walked away with an award last night (April 28), winning Audiobook of the Year for the narration of his biography Tell Me Why.

Tell Me Why had previously won the Indigenous writing award at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, coming with a $25,000 prize.

Earlier this year, Roach appeared alongside Briggs for ‘Something To Talk About’, an event put on by Sydney Writers Festival where the latter discussed Our HomeOur Hearbeat and First Nations storytelling.

Briggs also introduced Roach before the latter was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame last year. Roach, who also won ‘Best Male Artist’, then performed ‘Took The Children Away’.


Briggs and Roach weren’t the only musicians featured in the 2021 nominees, as biographies of both Nick Cave and Paul Kelly were both up for ‘Biography of the Year’. However, both were beaten out by The Happiest Man On Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor, written by Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku.