AustLit logo
Rhoda Roberts Rhoda Roberts i(A108653 works by) (a.k.a. Rhoda Ann Roberts)
Born: Established: 1959 Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal Bundjalung ; Aboriginal
(Storyteller) assertion
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Rhoda Roberts is a Bundjalung woman of the Wiyebal clan. Her totem is the lizard. Roberts' childhood was spent in Lismore and Sydney.

After leaving school she trained to be a Nurse's Aide and eventually graduated as a registered nurse in 1979. With her nursing qualifications, Roberts travelled overseas to work. When she returned, she became involved in acting, training for three years before getting a job with a theatre company.

Roberts has worked as the Current Affairs Presenter of Vox Populi (SBS-TV), Radio Announcer on various radio programs, Reporter for First in Line, Presenter for Qantas in-flight videos, Artistic Director for the Awakening Ceremony for the Festival of the Dreaming (1997), and Indigenous Cultural Advisor for the Olympic Games in Sydney (2000).

In 2012, Roberts was named Artistic Director of Indigenous progamming at the Sydney Opera House.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2019 winner Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Ros Bower Award
2016 recipient Order of Australia Member of the Order of Australia (AM) For her distinguished service to the performing arts, leadership, advocacy and promoting contemporary Indigenous culture.

Awards for Works

Yarrabah! The Musical 2012 single work musical theatre

'Opera Australia and the Yarrabah Indigenous Community of Far North Queensland join forces for this world premiere musical. Directed by Rhoda Roberts, this innovative production tells the stories and history of Yarrabah through spoken word, dance and song, performed with a live band and featuring an original score by Shenzo Gregorio, with choreography by Marilyn Miller. Featuring many of the young people and elders of the Yarrabah Community, alongside artists Casey Donovan, Troy Brady and Nick Backstrom, 'YARRABAH! The Musical' is both striking and extraordinary.

'Yarrabah! The Musical' is over two years in the making, brought about by ongoing conversations between Opera Australia's Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini and the people of Yarrabah. It is part of Opera Australia's ongoing commitment to telling a broad range of Australian stories, building them from the grass roots and making genuine connections with communities.

The production takes place in Bishop Malcolm Park at the end of August [2012] with audiences sitting out on the grass surrounded by Yarrabah's natural beauty. There are two performances, the first of which is closed for the community. The final evening performance will be a public performance and a true celebration of the enduring culture of Yarrabah itself.' (Source :

2013 winner The Australian Events Awards 2013 for Coates Hire Best Community Event
Last amended 7 Mar 2019 15:50:02
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: