Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM is Balarinji’s Co-Founder, Emeritus 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 Generations.
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, a UNESCO Achievement Award, the Good Design Australian Design Prize, the Design Institute of Australia President’s Award, and a Northern Territory Pioneer of Sport. In 2022, John was a finalist in the NSW Australian of the Year Awards.
John is a hall of fame inductee of Football Australia, the Australian Institute of Design, and the Australian Graphic Design Association. 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.
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’s autobiography, Saltwater Fella, (Penguin 2000) was Highly Commended in the Australian Human Rights Commission Literary Awards.
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.
Tasmanian-born Ros Moriarty co-founded Balarinji and is the company’s Managing Director and Creative Executive.
A former ABC journalist with Radio Australia, prior to establishing Balarinji, Ros held senior positions with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in Canberra and Sydney.
Ros is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Australian Design Council and a member of the Indigenous Football Australia Council™. She was formerly a Commissioner for the Future of Sydney CBD (2021), Inaugural Chair of the Football Australia Women’s Football Council (2019-21), and Board member of Menzies School of Health Research Darwin (2019-21), National Gallery of Australia, Australian Major Events SA and the Australian Academy of Design.
In recognition of her contribution to design and culture Ros has been inducted into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame, the Australian Graphic Design Association Hall of Fame and named a Good Design Australia Ambassador.
Ros’ honours include the St Peters Citizenship Award, the Advance Australia Award for Service to Industry and Commerce, the Winner of the Business Enterprise category in the 2015 Financial Review/Westpac Australian 100 Women of Influence Awards, a 2021 UNESCO Achievement Award, the 2021 Good Design Australian Design Prize, and the 2022 Design Institute of Australia President’s Award.
She is an alumnus of the Australian National University and in 2018 she was named a Companion of the University by Charles Darwin University.
Ros is the author of the memoir Listening to Country (Allen & Unwin 2010), shortlisted for both The Age 2010 Book of the Year, and the 2010 Australian Human Rights Commission Literary Award. She has also written eight picture books for children (Allen & Unwin 2012-18), variously listed for The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award (2012 & 2015), and the 2013 Australian Environment Award for Children’s Literature.
She is Co-founder and Co-chair of the not-for-profit Moriarty Foundation, which enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities to unlock the potential of their children.