The thing I’m proudest of is the opportunities Balarinji creates, with our partners and clients, to give voice to Australia’s rich Aboriginal narrative. Whether we’re illuminating the work of a globally significant Aboriginal artist on the latest Qantas 787 Dreamliner, deeply embedding local Aboriginal story in major public infrastructure, or inspiring the dreams of young creative professionals who work with us in the city, the country or the bush, these are voices who enrich us all as Australians, and create a different legacy of place for the future.
Photo Davide Maurice Smith Photography
Tasmanian-born Ros Moriarty co-founded Balarinji and is the company’s Managing and Creative Director. In 2015, Ros was named Winner, Business Enterprise, in the Financial Review/Westpac Australian 100 Women of Influence Awards.
An alumnus of The Australian National University, Ros was formerly an ABC journalist with Radio Australia, and held senior positions with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in Canberra and Sydney.
Ros is currently a Commissioner for the Future of Sydney CBD. Her past Board appointments include Inaugural Chair of the Football Australia Women’s Football Council, and Board member for Menzies School of Health Research Darwin, National Gallery of Australia, Australian Major Events SA and the Australian Academy of Design.
Ros was named Winner Business Enterprise in the 2015 Financial Review/Westpac Australian 100 Women of Influence Awards. She is an inductee of the halls of fame of the Australian Design Institute, the Australian Graphic Design Association, and the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame. In 2021 she was the recipient of a UNESCO Achievement Award and the Good Design Australian Design Prize.
She has also been awarded South Australian Business Woman of the Year, the Advance Australia Award for Service to Industry and Commerce, and the St Peter’s Citizenship Award.
Ros’ memoir Listening to Country (Allen & Unwin 2010) was shortlisted for The Age 2010 Book of the Year. She has also written eight awarded picture books for children (Allen & Unwin 2012-2017), illustrated by Balarinji.
She is Co-founder and Co-chair of the not-for-profit Moriarty Foundation, which enables Aboriginal families and communities to unlock the potential of their children.
Balarinji’s work is about a strong connection between Aboriginal people and all Australians. Hopefully presenting our work to national and international audiences has brought Australia along with us. Excellence has always been important to us, so that our work speaks for itself and ordinary Australians can identify with it, bringing the nation closer together. As Aboriginal Australians, we have so much knowledge to share and celebrate. It is important for me that Balarinji brings together Aboriginal people from all over Australia to present their culture in a way that is meaningful to them.
Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM is Balarinji’s Co-Founder, Chair and Cultural Director.
Born in remote Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory,
John was taken from his mother at the age of four and placed in a number of
boys' homes in Sydney and Adelaide, under the then government's assimilation
policy. Children who were removed like John became known as the Stolen
At 15 years of age, John was reunited with his mother in Alice Springs and was
reconnected with his birthplace of Borroloola and his family.
John is a full member of the Yanyuwa people of Borroloola, his skin name is Bulenyi, his cultural name is Kundereri, and he belongs ceremonially to the Rainbow Snake and Kangaroo Dreamings.
John has had a lifelong commitment to advocacy for Aboriginal equality, reconciliation and cultural engagement. He was an active campaigner in the 1967 Referendum for Aboriginal people to become citizens of Australia, and formerly held executive positions in Federal and State Departments of Aboriginal Affairs.
He is the recipient of the Order of Australia (AM), the St Peters Citizenship Award and the Advance Australia Award for Service to Industry and Commerce.
John's autobiography, Saltwater Fella, (Penguin 2000) was Highly Commended in the Australian Human Rights Commission Literary Awards.
John's Board appointments have included Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council and Deputy Chair of Indigenous Business Australia (IBA).
John is an inductee of the halls of fame of the Australian Institute of Design, the Australian Graphic Design Association and Football Australia.
He is a Churchill Fellow, a Convocation Medalist of the University of South Australia, and an Honorary Doctor of both the University of South Australia and Flinders University, SA. In 2018 John was named by Charles Darwin University as a Companion of the University.
In 2021 John was the recipient of a UNESCO Achievement Award and the Australian Design Prize from Good Design Australia.
He is Co-founder and Co-chair of the not-for-profit Moriarty Foundation, which enables Aboriginal families and communities to unlock the potential of their children.
St Francis House, Adelaide, where John lived between the ages of 11 and 16 was where John discovered the sport which would shape his future. John’s exceptional talent, skill and speed resulted in him being the first Aboriginal football player to be selected to represent Australia.
John has long held a vision to see a higher number of Aboriginal players follow in his footsteps. Equally he hopes football will be a game changer for young Indigenous players everywhere to have a quality education and lead healthier lives, as it was for him.