Rodney Douglas James Weathersbee arrived in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1959 with his wife, Betty, and their son and daughter, following his appointment as the General Manager of Arnott, Motteram, Menz Ltd, biscuit manufacturers. He had long-standing interests in Anthropology and archaeology and had a large private collection of Japanese art and antiquities. In South Australia he soon developed an interest in Aboriginal studies. He joined the Anthropological Society of South Australia (see AA 824) in 1961 and established close friendships with Harold Cooper (see AA 64), Charles Mountford (see AA 228) and other local researchers. He served as president of the Society from 1973-4.
During the 1960s and 1970s Weathersbee was involved in many archaeological surveys and excavations organized by the South Australian Museum and/or the Anthropological Society. He assisted TD Campbell (see AA 52), PS Hossfeld (see AA 140) and R Edwards (see AA 83) with their excavations at Mount Burr Rockshelter and Bevilaqua Cliffs in the South-East of South Australia in 1963 and also participated in the Anthropological Society's survey of the Monarto area in 1974. He also made his own artefact collecting trips, during family vacations, to sites on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South-East, Flinders Ranges and Birdsville Trackm, as well as sites in the Northern Territory and New South Wales.
Weathersbee was also interested in museums and art galleries and was particularly concerned about promoting the role of cultural institutions in public education. He was a founding member and inaugual President of the Friends of the South Australian Museum, established in 1965. He was a member of the Board of the South Australian Museum from 1974 to the time of his death, and was the Chairman of the Education and Display Subcommittee in 1977. He was also a founding member of the Friends of the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Weathersbee was a member of the National Trust of South Australia and the Royal Society of South Australia. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of SA in 1971. He was also a past chairman of the Australia-Japan Association.
Weathersbee's wife, Betty, died in 1978. Rodney remarried in 1979 but died on New Year's Day, 1982.