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Tell Me Why For Young Adults

2021 - Winner

Winner

Judges' comments

Tell My Why, for young adults, is a gracious and honest first-person account of the life of Archie Roach, one of Australia’s most acclaimed musicians. We are invited into Roach’s life — his childhood, where memories are fragmented images, reconnecting with family, finding love, becoming a father, an Elder and acclaimed storyteller. We come to understand a life lived in the shadow of loss of family and connections, as a result of government policies removing Indigenous children from their family and people. 

The title Tell Me Why references the abiding quest for reconnection and for comprehension. Roach takes the young reader on a journey that reveals the impact of the removal of children over generations and ultimately, offers hope. The inclusion of ‘Uncle Archie’s Playlist’, and personal archival documents from both NSW and Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Departments, adds depth to this memoir and points of connection for young adult readers with this dignified Gunditjmara and Bundjalung man. 

Tell Me Why is an authentic and moving memoir which leaves a lasting impression. Young readers will gain deeper insights into the history of colonial Australia. Roach's craft of story-telling, through music as both history and healing, conveys the generosity that pre-occupies Aboriginal worlds to ‘welcome you back’.