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John Moriarty AM (New South Wales)

Chairman & Co-Founder Of The Jumbana Group, Indigenous Artist

John Moriarty AM

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.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Flinders University, and is a Churchill Fellow. He is an Honorary Doctor of the University of South Australia, and a Convocation Medalist of Flinders University. John is a former Board Member of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the National Indigenous Council, the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, the Australian International Cultural Committee, the NSW Government Aboriginal Business Round Table, the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, the Northern Territory Tourist Commission and the South Australian Museum.

He is a former Chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council, the ATSIC Electoral Boundaries Review Committee and the National Aboriginal Sports Corporation of Australia, and a former Deputy Chair of Indigenous Business Australia. John 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.

He was named South Australian Aboriginal Businessman of the Year in 1992. In 2014 John was inducted into the Australian Design Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was inducted into the Football Federation of Australia Hall of Fame.

John Moriarty began his soccer career with South Australian First Division teams Port Thistle, moving on to Port Adelaide, and to Adelaide Croatia for a summer season, before playing for Adelaide Juventus. Moriarty represented South Australia seventeen times. John co-founded John Moriarty Football in 2012 to bring children together through sport, promoting good health and well-being in some of Australia’s most remote communities.