High-profile creative director Rhoda Roberts has been appointed curator of the second annual Parrtijima — A Festival in Light event in Alice Springs in September.

Roberts will curate the program for the free public events that showcase the world’s oldest continuous culture through the newest technology against a backdrop of an ancient landscape.

Roberts is a respected Indigenous creative director, writer, producer and a member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul clan of northern NSW and south-east Queensland.

She is Head of First Nations Programming at Sydney Opera House, festival director of Boomerang at Bluesfest and was creative director of the Vivid Sydney Opera House Sails Projection in 2016.

“I’m thrilled to have the new opportunity to develop the program for this extraordinary event, which will connect thousands of visitors to Alice Springs – home of the Arrernte of Mparntwe,” Roberts said.

“I have been involved with many communities in the Territory and my family has strong ties with North East Arnhem Land.

“Under Yolngu way, I’m regarded as Gudurrku (brolga) from the Yirritja attached to the Gumatj. I have spent a great deal of time in Alice Springs and Darwin in my years as a journalist and film producer and working on arts events including Garma Festival and Darwin Festival.

“I’m delighted to be returning to Alice Springs for Parrtjima, which will be a magnificent celebration of our central desert artists, who are renowned for their vibrant use of colour.

“Our artists are vital as they continue to paint country, ensuring the knowledge of yesterday is reimagined for tomorrow.”

The first program announcements will be made mid-year.

Andrew Hopper, general manager of Northern Territory Major Events Company, said Roberts will work closely with local Aboriginal artists and 40 art centres from across the desert to develop the narrative for the 10-day event.

The Parrtjima – A Festival in Light event will be held in Alice Springs from Friday, September 22 to Sunday October 1, 2017.