Boomerang Festival


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Rhoda Roberts


A member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul and Gidabul clans of Northern NSW and South East QLD, Rhoda was the founder and Artistic Director of the annual International Festival The Dreaming based at Woodford QLD.

An experienced motivated and versatile arts executive, with a diverse range of international and national industry practice within commercial, community and non-profit organisations, Rhoda was recently appointed Chair of Playwriting Australia.

She was a co-founding member of Australia's first national Aboriginal theatre company, the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust (ANTT) and coined the term Welcome to Country, establishing protocol manuals and welcomes by local custodians for the arts industry.

Rhoda was commissioned to direct and write a new Australian Opera for Opera Australia for production in August 2011 following the success of her direction of the international Opera Miricoloa a Milanao by Rome’s, Giorgio Battistelli for the Brisbane Festival 2009. She is also the director /producer for theatre work BodymARKS, which featured at the 2010 Darwin Festival.

Rhoda was the Founder and Artistic Director of Sydney Dreaming Festival and the former Artistic Director of the Festival of the Dreaming staged in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Rhoda has been involved with a number of large events in varying roles including Creative Director, Awakening Segment Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Rugby World Cup 2003, Athens handover ceremony, The Opening Ceremony of the Musee Du Quay Branley, Paris, Japan Expo, World Youth Day events and Australia Day events where she developed the Woggan ma Gule annual ceremony to honour the day, acknowledging and paying homage to the ancestors and the Gadigal, first peoples. Rhoda was the Creative Director for Songlines – the phenomenally successful lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails, which opened Vivid Festival Sydney 2016.

She hosts and develops stories for the Television health series Living Strong and continues her work in radio with the national music program Deadly Sounds. Well known for her work with SBS television as a journalist and presenter for the current affairs program, Vox Populi, she has also worked for Network Ten and ABC Radio as a producer and journalist, and currently hosts Deadly Voices from the House, and produces Dance Rites, Homeground, and many more.

As an actor/producer and director, she continues to work freelance as a consultant, is a sought after speaker and performer in theatre, film, television and radio.

Rhoda has written and produced several documentaries, and was the first Aboriginal to host a national prime time current affairs program. In 1998 as co-writer she performed the one woman show Please Explain. Her solo production Bible Boxing Love toured in 2008.

Recent consultancy work includes, advisor with the SPC Secretariat Pacific Communities, Based in Noumea for the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts. She has been appointed by the Jimmy Little Foundation to develop series of concerts based in the NT and developing series events for the NSWLALC titled Sacred. In association with Every Cloud Productions and the ABC, she developed the television series Blood Sisters.

The film A Sisters Love was produced and directed by Ivan Sen and features Rhoda. She is also currently completing her first novel.

Current positions: Head of Indigenous Programming, Sydney Opera House Producer, Vibe Australia, Creative Director, Rhoda Roberts Gallery and Events, Producer and Festival Director, Boomerang Festival.

Recent Positions have included: Creative Director, Sydney New Years Eve, Consultant Festival Director, Garma Festival, Produced by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, Artist management Bluesfest 2011, Artistic Director, Nukkan Ya Ruby (Series of Tribute Concerts), Artistic Director Events, Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance and Artistic Director, Opening Ceremony, CHOGHM 2012.

Current Board positions: Indigenous Tourism Australia, Playwriting Australia, The Australia International Cultural Council (AICC)

Past Board memberships includes:  Sydney Opera House Trust, The Dreaming Festival Board, NSW Australia Day Council., Darling Harbour Authority, The National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA), The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, Actors Equity ,Aboriginal National Theatre Trust, The Yothu Yindi Foundation Garma Festival Board.