John Moriarty: Saltwater Fella, Aboriginal Designer.

Saturday 28 October.

Open Day 1.30 to 5.30 pm.

Network speaker: John Moriarty, “Aboriginal Art, Community and Business”. 4.30 to 5.30 PM, Community Dinner follows at 6 pm.

John Moriarty

Hear John Moriarty.

You won’t want to miss the October 28 Open Day talk by well-known Aboriginal leader, designer and artist, John Moriarty.

John Kundereri Moriarty AM is Chairman and Co-founder of Balarinji, a leading Australian Indigenous design and strategy consultancy he established with Ros Moriarty in 1983. He also co-founded, and co-chairs The Nangala Project, a not-for-profit initiative creating an environment for change to benefit children and youth in remote Indigenous communities.

Born at Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory, John was taken from his mother at the age of four and brought up in a number of boys’ homes in Sydney and Adelaide under the then government’s assimilation policy.

This motivated a lifelong commitment to advocacy for Aboriginal
equality, reconciliation and cultural preservation. Today a full
member of the Yanyuwa people of his birthplace and belonging
ceremonially to the Rainbow Snake and Kangaroo Dreaming, John has held senior and executive positions in Departments of Aboriginal Affairs at both Federal and State Government levels.

John’s autobiography, Saltwater Fella, was published by Penguin Books in 2000, and was Highly Commended in the Australian Human Rights Commission Literary Awards.


In 1994 Qantas commissioned a painting from Balarinji Designs to decorate a Boeing 747. The team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists developed distinctive imagery, featuring motifs from Northern and Central Australia, to create one of the world’s largest pieces of modern art – a unique B747-400.

(Image below: