Ruby's Story

WORLD PREMIERE Message Stick Festival, Sydney, 2004


Music and Lyrics
Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter
Musical Direction, arrangements and additional music
Paul Grabowsky

Winner of the 2004 Deadly for ‘Excellence in Film & Theatrical Score’



Together and separately, Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach forged careers that cross musical boundaries. In this powerful collaboration, the late Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach joined forces with members of the Australian Art Orchestra to perform songs written about their experiences as members of the Stolen Generation. The songs recount Ruby’s birth by the side of a billabong near the banks of the Murray River in South Australia and chart her search for identity, the discovery of hope through love, and Ruby and Archie’s return to the river to build a new life and a new home to mend the wounds of the past. Through lyrical and poignant songs, Ruby’s Story is a tale about the abuse of power and the power of love; about facing up to past wrongs; and our shared responsibility to battle for the survival of our environment and the great river systems upon which all of our lives depend.

Paul Grabowsky’s arrangements, which have been hailed as his best work yet, take their lead form the country music and gospel traditions that have inspired them and from his own jazz and classical influences.



Wagga Civic Centre, Wagga

- Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center, Malaysia

- Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall, Auckland International Festival, New Zealand
- The Dreaming Festival (3 shows), Woodford, Queensland

- Playhouse, Sydney Opera House (7 shows)
- Water Water festival, Sale, Victoria

- Festival de Mexico Centro Historico, Mexico
- Brisbane Powerhouse, Queensland Music Festival and the Northern Territory tour: Cherbourg, Lismore, Darwin, Ngukurr, Alice Springs
- The Famous Spiegeltent, Melbourne International Arts Festival

- Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Cabaret Festival
- Playhouse, Sydney Opera House, Message Sticks Festival