National

Musician Roach on national award stage

By AAP Newswire

Musician and indigenous storyteller Archie Roach has called for a unified future while accepting the title of Victoria Australian of the Year.

The 63-year-old received the accolade in Melbourne overnight.

"We live in the most blessed country on this earth, to be the most blessed people ... we all come from a sacred place and we can all journey back as one people and be the authors of a new story for this country," Roach said.

The ARIA Awards winner took the accolade over fellow nominees AFL champion Neale Daniher, journalist Adele Ferguson and Salvation Army Commanding Officer Brendan Nottle.

He runs Ruby's Foundation - named after his late wife - which looks to improve opportunities for young First Nations people through art and culture.

"She'd be probably proud," he said when asked what Ruby would think of the award.

"If it wasn't for her I probably wouldn't have made records and albums. She reminded me that 'it wasn't all about you Archie Roach'."

Roach will join winners from across the country for the announcement of the national awards, to be made on the eve of Australia Day in Canberra.

2020 VICTORIAN WINNERS

* Victoria Australian of the Year - Archie Roach

* Victoria Senior Australian of the Year - former police assistant commissioner and road safety champion Raymond Shuey

* Victoria Young Australian of the Year - youth and disabilities worker Taya Davies, 29

* Victoria Local Hero - single mum Josephine Jones has collected more than 5.3 tonnes of rubbish from Mornington Peninsula beaches during her daily collection since 2006