Posted on 06 November 2014 by Cranbourne News

By BRIDGET SCOTT

Students from Hampton Park Secondary College got a taste of history last week when Aboriginal singer-songwriter Archie Roach performed at the school. Teacher Geoff Shinkfield compiled an online book with poems, lyrics and short stories about the Stolen Generation and asked Archie Roach to visit students and discuss his own experiences. Mr Roach was himself part of the Stolen Generation and separated from his parents at only three years of age. After being raised by a series of white foster parents he eventually became a street kid and lived in Melbourne’s parks and lanes. He later established himself as one of Australia’s most profound musical artists.

The Koori community at the college were particularly excited to welcome this guest, with their families asked to come and meet with Mr Roach and be part of the occasion. Community Links Leader Catherine Murdoch said this was a great way to give Indigenous students an “understanding of their own history.” “The students loved it and quite a few stayed behind to get autographs,” she said. This was the first time the artist had visited the school.

Mr Roach started as a busker before he became a serious musical artist, with a break-through song ‘Took the Children Away’ – one of the first songs about the Stolen Generation. Since his first album in 1990 (‘Charcoal Lane’,) Archie has recorded another eight albums, winning many awards and achieving great respect in the music world. Year 11 students were given a more in-depth understanding of Australia’s history when Mr Roach visited on Friday 24 October and performed in the school’s performing arts centre.

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