John Harding (Kuku Yalangi/Meriam Mer)
John has been actively involved in Indigenous Affairs for forty years, and has managed Programs as diverse as Film/Television, Employment/Training, Disability Access, Local government, Education, Tutoring, and the Arts.
He has had extensive experience in translating government policies into a structure a team can understand and implement, and always established formal links with the First Nations stakeholders. He considers this aspect of community involvement as the key to the success he has had in his long and varied career.
John's work in policy development and analysis has impacted across several sectors. This included establishing the first Indigenous Employment and Training Strategy for a tertiary institution, for which he was also the Coordinator for three years at The University of Melbourne. The success of this Strategy became the blueprint for several other universities throughout the 90’s.
John is also a critically acclaimed Playwright/Director and received many State and National Awards, including The Australian Human Rights Award (Drama) alongside Faith Bandler (Human Rights Medal) in 1997
John also founded The Ilbijerri Theatre in 1991, the oldest continuous First Nations theatre company in existence, for which he was made The National NAIDOC Artist of the year in 1992
Johns professional motto has always been a simple one;
“When the rules aren’t working for us as First Nations peoples, we need to challenge them, and create our own”
Barmal Bijirl would like to pay respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. We pay respect to elders past present and emerging and recognise that sovereignty has never been ceded