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Archie Roach visits the Sanctuary

2 April 2014

'This is where my music belongs.'

Wominjeka – when Archie Roach, one of Australia’s best internationally recognised singer-storytellers was welcomed to Healesville Sanctuary yesterday, he felt an instant connection.

Healesville Sanctuary is home to sites of great Aboriginal cultural significance and understands the privilege and importance of being entrusted as custodians of traditional Wurrundjeri country. 

Archie grew up in the Yarra Valley and had many friends from Healesville, Coldstream and living on Coranderrk, where Healesville Sanctuary stands today. 'The place has grown so much and the link with country is very strong. Campfire Corroboree is going to be great; this is where my music belongs,' Archie said.

For one night only, Campfire Corroboree is the chance to experience an unforgettable evening under the Coranderrk night sky lit by the spirits of Indigenous ancestors. Archie and his band will perform many of his classic songs, penned from 1990 and released on his new CD box set, Creation.

'Coranderrk is known around the country by my people and it has such an important link to our rich history.  It’s where a lot of great things began. I can’t wait for people to hear my music in such a special setting.

'The statue of Barak at Wurundjeri Walk at Healesville Sanctuary is a wonderful tribute to a great man; he was a great leader and someone to look up to,' Archie said. 'William Barak, in his day, played such a politically important role as a conciliator who could explain our culture to European people so they could better understand who we are.'

Archie was presented with a feather from the Wedge-tailed Eagle by Wurundjeri Elder Murrundindi. The significance of an eagle feather within Indigenous culture is very important: Bunjil, as the ruler of the skies, receives enormous respect.  The eagle is said to represent honesty, courage, wisdom, power, and freedom. A feather from a Wedge-tailed Eagle is among the most coveted.

'Bunjil represents your spirit and who you are,' Archie explains. 'I believe it’s where my music goes when I sing; it soars high above, like the Wedge-tailed Eagle.'

A limited number of tickets to Campfire Corroboree is still available.