After completing a Bachelor of Economics at Sydney University, Rod changed tack and studied Film and Television Production Techniques, encouraged by a friend of the family who was a filmmaker.
The family found living under the racist Apartheid system abhorrent and migrated to Australia in 1965. As a teenager, Rod adapted quickly to life in Sydney, appreciating the new sense of freedom, equality and democracy and attending Vaucluse Boys High School. He joined Film Australia as a production assistant.
Here he learnt about the film industry, working on a wide variety of films as 1st Assistant, Location Manager, Production Manager and Assistant Editor.
Inspired by the Challenge Foreign Change program at the National Film Board of Canada which used video as a tool for social change, Rod helped to start Film Australia"s first video production unit, called Video Dialogue. Rod directed and shot a series of videos about young people leaving school and looking for work, called Unemployment Is Not Working.
Returning to Australia in 1985, Rod helped form Summer Hill Films, a multi-skilled team specialising in discussion starter videos known as Trigger Films. Rod is particularly interested in stories about people and their life’s journeys.
Rod’s personal film about his Lithuanian great uncle, UNCLE CHATZKEL (1999, Business School), had two American Film Institute nominations and screened in over 50 international festivals on every continent.
He initiated and produced the Tudawali Award winning series, EVERYDAY BRAVE (2002, Business School) working with emerging Aboriginal directors to tell stories of unknown Aboriginal people who have made a difference to their communities. Rod co-produced WELCOME TO THE WAKS FAMILY (2003, Business School) about an orthodox Jewish family with 17 children. He produced and directed three series of AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPHY (2003–2008, Business School) featuring significant Australians reflecting on their lives and produced CROSSING THE LINE (2005,American Broadcasting Company) about two medical students working in a remote Aboriginal community (Best Documentary Social and Political Issues, ATOM Awards and other awards).
He is currently producing Sophia Turkiewicz’s film, ONCE MY MOTHER, a story of exile, survival, betrayal, reconciliation and love, explored through a troubled relationship with the director’s Polish mother, a traumatized refugee and gulag survivor.