Rhoda heads to Opera House
NORTH Coast Aboriginal and arts identity Rhoda Roberts has been appointed to a pivotal indigenous arts programming position with the Sydney Opera House.
Ms Roberts will take up the position as Head of Indigenous Programming and is the first appointee to the position.
Among her duties Ms Roberts will take carriage of the annual Message Sticks indigenous arts and culture festival held at the Opera House in March and April.
Probably best known as a presenter of SBS current affairs program Vox Populi, Ms Roberts was also a founding director of the Dreaming Festival and co-founding member of Australia's first national Aboriginal theatre company, the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust.
Ms Roberts is also a producer for Aboriginal media, communications and events management organisation Vibe Australia which has produced the annual indigenous music, sport, entertainment and community awards, The Deadlys, since 1995.
Closer to home Ms Roberts operates the Rhoda Roberts Gallery, at the New Italy museum complex on the Pacific Hwy south of Woodburn and works as an art consultant.
Ms Roberts said the creation of the position and her appointment demonstrated a more than tokenistic approach to reconciliation.
"I applaud the commitment of the Sydney Opera House on creating a visionary national leadership project of this kind," she said.
"Many arts organisations have a reconciliation plan but to actually bring someone in at an executive level really says they are committed to on-the-ground reconciliation, rather than just having the paperwork and ticking the box."
The position would enable her to build capacity in the indigenous arts sector as well as employment for indigenous artists.
"I truly believe that the cultural elements that (indigenous artists) bring to the nation is our advantage, and is so positive," she said.
"The culture is ours, it is what everyone who comes to Australia wants to see, they want an Aboriginal experience."