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Rhoda Roberts
, c. 2000

by Penny Tweedie

type C photograph (sheet: 50.8 x 31.0 cm, image: 40.7 x 28.0 cm)

Rhoda Roberts (b. 1960) is a Bundjalung woman from northern New South Wales, and a producer, director, writer, broadcaster, performer and arts executive. The daughter of politically active parents, Roberts grew up in Lismore and has recalled experiencing discrimination from a young age. Discouraged from undertaking the Higher School Certificate, she left school after Year 10 and moved to Sydney to study nursing, graduating in 1979. She became involved in theatre in the mid-1980s, co-founding the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust in 1988. In 1990 she joined SBS as a presenter on Vox Populi, and between 1992 and 2014 she was a producer and broadcaster for the national radio program Deadly Sounds. In addition, she held roles with Network Ten and ABC Radio; appeared in stage shows such as Please explain (1998) and Bible Boxing Love (2008); and wrote, produced and directed several documentaries including In the gutter no way (1989) for SBS. Her numerous credits include roles as a Creative Director for the Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony and Sydney New Years’ Eve; and she has been the Artistic Director for the Boomerang Festival and the Sydney Dreaming Festival, among others. Roberts has also served on the boards of organisations such as the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, Australia Day Council, Actors Equity, and the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association. Since 2012, she has been Head of Indigenous Programming at the Sydney Opera House.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2004
Accession number: 2004.221