Vale Warwick Roden

Warwick Roden with wife, Jan.

The Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) pays tribute to the life of print industry legend Warwick Roden who sadly passed away last week.

Warwick was known for his unwavering dedication to the printing industry. He began his print journey in 1956 as an apprentice at John Sands Printing and later established Roden Print & Packaging in 1973 with his mother, June. Together, they built the business into one of Sydney and Australia’s leading commercial print powerhouses.

Other members of the Roden family, including his wife Jan, brother Phil, and son Chris, joined the business. They built a reputation for quality and customer care that is widely acknowledged in the Sydney printing industry. Today, Roden Print is a part of Immij.

For a year, Warwick also worked at the König & Bauer factory in Würtzburg, Germany. This gave him the opportunity to explore the European printing industry where he remains highly respected and valued. At the end of that year, he was invited to work as a printer on the K&B stand at drupa, which was regarded as a great honour. He subsequently attended every drupa from 1972 to 2016.

Warwick’s legacy in the print sector and the LIA is profound. His career spanned almost 70 years, during which he was an instrumental figure in the LIA, an organisation he helped to co-found in 1963. The institute aims to foster knowledge sharing and personal development, a mission Warwick wholeheartedly embraced. His extraordinary involvement with the LIA and with knowledge-focused printers around Australia helped make the industry more professional and successful. 

Alongside his professional endeavours, Warwick demonstrated a lifelong commitment to ‘giving back’ to the industry which played such an essential role in his life. This included, among many examples, stints on the Judging Panel for the NSW PICA Awards and National Print Awards, sitting on the Colour Standards committee, the Apprentice of the Year and an exceptional sixty years’ involvement with LIA. He was Graphic Arts Person of the Year in 1999, and a Fellow of the LIA (as well as a Life Member).

Warwick’s unwavering support ‘for all people in print’ continued throughout his career, earning him an appointment several years ago as a Life Member of the LIA. Even after retirement in 2005, Warwick continued as an enthusiastic member of the LIA NSW committee, and he was taking minutes and collating the NSW Events Calendar as recently as May this year.

Warwick has many friends and colleagues across the sector in Australia and worldwide. All hold him in the highest esteem and are quick to share stories not only of his extensive knowledge, professional brilliance, and passion for print but also of his gentlemanly conduct, warm and collaborative approach, and enduring influence on their own lives and careers.

He will be sadly missed. 

Our hearts go out to Warwick’s beloved wife, Jan, his sons, Michael and Chris, and his wider family. We share in your loss and offer our deepest condolences during this difficult time.

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