The life and legacy of Uncle Archie Roach AM and Aunt Ruby Hunter will be celebrated with a new public artwork funded by the Victorian Government’s Creative Activation Fund.
Photo: Aunt Ruby and Uncle Archie, shared with permission from family.
Throughout their careers, both Uncle Archie and Aunt Ruby paved the way for firsts in the arts. Aunt Ruby’s 1994 album,inner thoughts,It was the first solo album released by a First Peoples female artist and received an ARIA Award nomination.
In 2020, Aunt Ruby was inducted into the National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame, the same year Uncle Archie was named Victorian of the Year.
As well as creating a unique new landmark where music fans from across Victoria and around the world can pay tribute to the artists, the statue will recognize the duo’s important work with Melbourne’s first community.
Since its establishment in 2014, the Archie Roach Foundation has made a significant impact on the lives of countless First Peoples artists and young people.
In March, the foundation established the Ruby Hunter Award to support emerging First Peoples women artists with the opportunity to mentor music and cash prizes for some of the country’s most prominent First Peoples women.
The Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and Yarra City Council, along with family members of Uncle Archie and Auntie Ruby, will begin the process of commissioning and designing the statue, which will be unveiled in 2023 at a location set in Fitzroy.
Urundjeri great uncle Colin Hunter said:
“Uncle Archie and Aunt Ruby’s love for their people inspired these gifted songwriters. They created songs that not only touched the hearts of millions but also educated a nation about the stolen generation.”
Myrtle Evans, Uncle Archie Roach’s sister, said:
“I remember the good times in Fitzroy with my darling baby brother Archie and Ruby by his side. We have shared many good times together as a family here. Coming back here reminds me of that time. I miss those times now. May dear Archie and Ruby’s spirits be here always.