Ruby Hunter, minstrel for Stolen Generations, dies

Ashleigh Wilson; 19/2/10; (2 Items)

Ruby Hunter, who died in the arms of her partner, Archie Roach, has been remembered as one of the nation’s most compelling musical storytellers, a strong role model and inspiration to other indigenous performers. The singer, songwriter and occasional actor died at home in Victoria on Wednesday surrounded by family. She was 54. In a statement, Roach and her family said: “The family wishes to have their privacy respected in this time of profound grief.” Songwriter Kev Carmody said Hunter had made a phenomenal contribution to Australian culture. “She blazed a heck of a lot of trails and that makes it easier for the young ones coming along,” he said. Born on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia, Hunter was taken from her family at the age of eight before enduring life on the streets of Adelaide as a teenager.


From little things big things grow
Ruby Hunter. Singer. Born South Australia, October 31, 1955. Died Victoria, February 17. Aged 54.

From little things big things grow, and the story of Ruby Hunter has its origins on the banks of a South Australian billabong where she was born. Before she became known as one of the nation’s most admired singers, a proud voice of indigenous Australia and a compelling storyteller, Hunter endured an upbringing that would test the character of most. She was taken from her family at the age of eight, and forced to fend for herself as a teenager on the streets of Adelaide amid a persistent haze of alcohol. But then she met Archie Roach, her life partner and musical collaborator, and together the pair went on to develop musical careers, separately and as a unit, that won admirers across the world.