Interview: Reconciliation SA Board Member Anthony Rologas

Born and raised in Anēwan country (Armidale NSW), Anthony Rologas has lived and worked in Adelaide since 2005, working in a number of different roles in the international and Australian community development sectors.

His current role is Chief Operating Officer with Ninti One Limited, a not-for-profit Aboriginal company whose purpose is to build opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through research, innovation and community engagement.

Recently, Anthony became a board member with Reconciliation SA and was happy to share some more information about himself for our blog.

Hear from Anthony below:

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How long have you been working within the First Nations sector? 

I’ve been working with Ninti One (an Aboriginal not-for-profit consulting company) since early 2018. Before that most of my work history was in the international community development sector. 

What drove you to find employment in that area? 

I’ve had a pretty strong social justice ethos for as long as I can remember, having grown up as somewhat of an ‘outsider’ as the son of a Greek-Cypriot migrant in country NSW. That ethos led me to a career in international community development, and over the years I became increasingly aware of the uncomfortable dissonance between Australia’s role in assisting excluded peoples in developing countries while turning a blind eye to the exclusion of our own First Nations people. 

What is the role of Ninti One? 

Ninti One’s vision is to build opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through research, innovation and community engagement. We do this by providing consulting services and delivering projects for a range of clients (government, corporate, not-for-profits, universities) whose objectives and values align with ours. We often act as a bridge between the client and the communities that they are seeking to work with, engaging both in a co-design process to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a voice and role in designing and delivering the programs and services that they need. 

How did you come to be on the Reconciliation SA board?  

I am passionate about reconciliation and committed to playing my part as a non-indigenous Australian. I was privileged to undertake the Governors Leadership Foundation Program last year, as part of which I volunteered to undertake a Community Action project working with the Australia Day Council of SA to support their efforts to promote a conversation about Australia’s national identity. The GLF experience was intensive and time-consuming, and having successfully completed the program I saw joining the Reconciliation SA Board as a great opportunity to both continue my learning journey and also hopefully contribute in a small way to promoting reconciliation and a better society for South Australians. 

What do you see as being needed for Reconciliation to be possible? 

Mobilising commitment and action from everyday Australians. Government clearly has an important role to play, by fully embracing and delivering on the Uluru Statement. But at the end of the day it is individual attitudes and actions that will make reconciliation happen. For many non-Indigenous Australians like myself, changing attitudes and driving actions can start with having uncomfortable conversations with family, friends and colleagues…trying to reduce the blind spot that many Australians still have about the challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander people. I’ve been delighted to see the attention that is now being paid to educating young kids about the history and culture of Australia’s First Nations peoples. One of my proudest parenting moments this year was watching my 8 year old son doing a Kaurna language acknowledgement of country at his school assembly!