Rollin Schlicht was born on Ocean Island in the Gilbert Islands in 1937. He travelled to England in 1952 where he studied architecture.
He graduated from the Kingston Art School, London in 1965 and returned to Australia in 1966. He began exhibiting in the Central Street Gallery in Sydney and his large, bright, semi-figurative works with elements drawn from Picasso and Matisse became well known in the early 1970s.
He travelled overseas in 1968 to 1969 and in 1973 his work was included in two major exhibitions in Sydney – the first Biennale of Sydney and Recent Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.