Meet Roderick McLeod
Chairman & Founder of Nallawilli
In 1962, Roderick at the age of 7 was removed from his mother and five siblings through the State-sponsored Assimilation Program and made a ward of the State.
His psychological report read “Although of Aboriginal Stock Roderick is not ethnically distinctive and can be easily placed”! His childhood was spent in multiple State placement facilities as well as numerous foster homes throughout NSW.
He was only informed about his First Nation identity in high school at age 15, by the NSW Welfare Department. At 17 he joined the Australian Armed Forces where he served for 6 years.
Once leaving the army he worked with many Fostering and Adoption Agencies, supporting First Nation children, young people, and their parents.
He was reunited with his birth family when he was 31. In coming home he became a proud descendant of the Ngarrindjeri and Yatemetung Nations.
His background has made him passionate and committed to improving life skills, wellbeing and opportunities of First Nation people.
Roderick’s objective is to lead by example and encourage First Nation people to persist with their Traditional Culture, education, lead healthier lifestyles and improve their self-reliance. He is an advocate for children and dislikes when they are called “kids”.