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Took the Children Away single work   lyric/song   "This story's right, this story's true"
Issue Details: First known date: 1996... 1996 Took the Children Away
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Although not the first song about the enforced separation of Indigenous children from their families, Archie Roach’s song, based on his own life and experience, was released at a time when there was increasing public focus on the Stolen Generations. The significance of the song also resonated outside the Indigenous community with Roach winning ARIA Awards for Best Indigenous Release and Best New Talent in 1991. Took the Children Away received an international Human Rights Achievement Award, the first time that the award had been bestowed on a songwriter.'

Source: NFSA (https://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection/curated/took-children-away-archie-roach). Sighted: 21/02/2019)

Exhibitions

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Nourishing Terrains : Australian Aboriginal Views of Landscape and Wilderness Deborah Bird Rose , Canberra : Australian Heritage Commission , 1996 Z1493612 1996 single work poetry non-fiction dreaming story (taught in 3 units) Canberra : Australian Heritage Commission , 1996 pg. 81
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature Anita Heiss (editor), Peter Minter (editor), Nicholas Jose (editor), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2008 Z1483175 2008 anthology poetry drama prose correspondence criticism extract (taught in 19 units)

    'An authoritative survey of Australian Aboriginal writing over two centuries, across a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Including some of the most distinctive writing produced in Australia, it offers rich insights into Aboriginal culture and experience...

    'The anthology includes journalism, petitions and political letters from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as major works that reflect the blossoming of Aboriginal poetry, prose and drama from the mid-twentieth century onwards. Literature has been used as a powerful political tool by Aboriginal people in a political system which renders them largely voiceless. These works chronicle the ongoing suffering of dispossession, but also the resilience of Aboriginal people across the country, and the hope and joy in their lives.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2008
    pg. 134-136
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature Nicholas Jose (editor), Kerryn Goldsworthy (editor), Anita Heiss (editor), David McCooey (editor), Peter Minter (editor), Nicole Moore (editor), Elizabeth Webby (editor), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1590615 2009 anthology correspondence diary drama essay extract poetry prose short story (taught in 23 units)

    'Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety.

    'The writing reflects the diverse experiences of Australians in their encounter with their extraordinary environment and with themselves. This is literature of struggle, conflict and creative survival. It is literature of lives lived at the extremes, of frontiers between cultures, of new dimensions of experience, where imagination expands.

    'This rich, informative and entertaining collection charts the formation of an Australian voice that draws inventively on Indigenous words, migrant speech and slang, with a cheeky, subversive humour always to the fore. For the first time, Aboriginal writings are interleaved with other English-language writings throughout - from Bennelong's 1796 letter to the contemporary flowering of Indigenous fiction and poetry - setting up an exchange that reveals Australian history in stark new ways.

    'From vivid settler accounts to haunting gothic tales, from raw protest to feisty urban satire and playful literary experiment, from passionate love poetry to moving memoir, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature reflects the creative eloquence of a society.

    'Chosen by a team of expert editors, who have provided illuminating essays about their selections, and with more than 500 works from over 300 authors, it is an authoritative survey and a rich world of reading to be enjoyed.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Allen and Unwin have a YouTube channel with a number of useful videos on the Anthology.

    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009
    pg. 1267-1268
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Fire Front : First Nations Poetry and Power Today Alison Whittaker (editor), St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2020 18673559 2020 anthology poetry essay

    'This important anthology, curated by Gomeroi poet and academic Alison Whittaker, showcases Australia’s most-respected First Nations poets alongside some of the rising stars. Featured poets include Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Ruby Langford Ginibi, Ellen van Neerven, Tony Birch, Claire G. Coleman, Evelyn Araluen, Jack Davis, Kevin Gilbert, Lionel Fogarty, Sam Wagan Watson, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Archie Roach and Alexis Wright.

    'Divided into five thematic sections, each one is introduced by an essay from a leading Aboriginal writer and thinker — Bruce Pascoe, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Chelsea Bond, Evelyn Araluen and Steven Oliver — who reflects on the power of First Nations poetry with their own original contribution. This incredible book is a testament to the renaissance of First Nations poetry happening in Australia right now.'

    Source: Publisher's blurb.

    St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2020
    pg. 23-25

Works about this Work

Archie Roach’s Took the Children Away: How One Heartbreaking Song Galvanised a Nation Kate Hennessy , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 13 November 2020;

'On its 30th anniversary, Archie Roach, Paul Kelly, Mick Dodson and others reflect on the ‘anthem for the stolen generations’ – and the legacy it left behind.'

A Way Home Anwen Crawford , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , November no. 161 2019; (p. 68-70)
“I’d thought it had just been me and my brothers and sisters who’d been taken,” writes Archie Roach in Tell Me Why (Simon & Schuster), his newly published memoir. The singer-songwriter is recalling one of the first times that he performed his best-known song, “Took the Children Away”, in public. It was 1988, and Roach and his partner, the late musician and artist Ruby Hunter, had travelled with their two sons to La Perouse – “the only place in Sydney where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have continuously lived from before 1788 to this day” – in order to join protests against the bicentennial celebrations. It was January 25, the day before the 200th anniversary of British invasion, and at the protest camp Hunter encouraged Roach to get onstage and play a song, in an effort to diffuse a growing argument among the crowd over the route of the next day’s march. “I didn’t sing to impress or to educate,” Roach writes, of his performance that day. “I sang to honour.” (Introduction)
Man, Animal, Other : The Intersections of Racism, Speciesism and Problematic Recognition within Indigenous Australia Elena Wewer , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: NEW : Emerging Scholars in Australian Indigenous Studies , vol. 2-3 no. 1 2016-2017;

'This paper explores the parallels between racism and speciesism, to argue that the colonial ‘othering’ and subjugation of Indigenous Australians reflects the domestication of farmed animals.' (Publication abstract)

Archie is Back to His Best Noel Mengel , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 10 September 2012; (p. 10)
Getting in Touch with Australia's Heartbeat Saffron Howden , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 27 March 2012; (p. 9)
The 13th Message Sticks festival aims to open a path between cultures.
Red Ochre Award for Archie Roach 2011 single work column
— Appears in: Arts Yarn Up , Autumn 2011; (p. 4-5)
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts has awarded The Red Ochre Award to singer/songwriter Archie Roach for his 25 year contribution to music.
Getting in Touch with Australia's Heartbeat Saffron Howden , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 27 March 2012; (p. 9)
The 13th Message Sticks festival aims to open a path between cultures.
Archie is Back to His Best Noel Mengel , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 10 September 2012; (p. 10)
Man, Animal, Other : The Intersections of Racism, Speciesism and Problematic Recognition within Indigenous Australia Elena Wewer , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: NEW : Emerging Scholars in Australian Indigenous Studies , vol. 2-3 no. 1 2016-2017;

'This paper explores the parallels between racism and speciesism, to argue that the colonial ‘othering’ and subjugation of Indigenous Australians reflects the domestication of farmed animals.' (Publication abstract)

A Way Home Anwen Crawford , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , November no. 161 2019; (p. 68-70)
“I’d thought it had just been me and my brothers and sisters who’d been taken,” writes Archie Roach in Tell Me Why (Simon & Schuster), his newly published memoir. The singer-songwriter is recalling one of the first times that he performed his best-known song, “Took the Children Away”, in public. It was 1988, and Roach and his partner, the late musician and artist Ruby Hunter, had travelled with their two sons to La Perouse – “the only place in Sydney where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have continuously lived from before 1788 to this day” – in order to join protests against the bicentennial celebrations. It was January 25, the day before the 200th anniversary of British invasion, and at the protest camp Hunter encouraged Roach to get onstage and play a song, in an effort to diffuse a growing argument among the crowd over the route of the next day’s march. “I didn’t sing to impress or to educate,” Roach writes, of his performance that day. “I sang to honour.” (Introduction)
Last amended 17 Aug 2020 12:29:55
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