Dr Riordan will be remembered as a generous philanthropist, a champion of the arts and a passionate supporter of young people. He was a long-time subscriber, donor and friend of Melbourne Theatre Company. In paying tribute, Artistic Director Brett Sheehy AO described him as ‘an immensely humble and generous man whose philanthropic leadership touched the lives of many’.
Through the the Cybec Foundation, the charitable fund that he established with his late wife Patricia, Dr Riordan supported education, the arts, the environment and provided development avenues for young people to follow their passion and achieve their full potential. Through the Cybec Foundation, the Riordans began donating to MTC in 2003 as supporters of the Company’s Play Commission Programme. They also supported the MTC initiative now known as Cybec Electric, which provides opportunities to connect early career playwrights and directors to the mainstage and present public play readings of their works. In 2015, MTC recognised Roger’s extraordinary contribution to the company with a Lifetime Patron Award.
Dr Riordan was also a long-term donor, subscriber and friend of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2003, he established the MSO Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program at the MSO and the Cybec Young Composer in Residence — a pathway for young composers to be nurtured by the Orchestra and mentored by established Australian composers. Through this program, more than fifty aspiring composers from across Australia have had works commissioned and performed by the MSO. For many years Dr Riordan generously funded the MSO Associate Conductor position (previously known as the Patricia Riordan Chair) and the Cybec Assistant Conductor position. The MSO paid tribute to Dr Riordan as ‘an engaged, generous and egalitarian contributor who made the world a better place’.