Taking philanthropy "to dream"
John Harding was living in Sydney, plying his trade as an actor, director and playwright, when he returned to Melbourne, looking for a new challenge. He wasn’t particularly interested in full-time work until he saw an advertisement at the Koorie Heritage Trust for a philanthropic intern. As John remembers it, that was the first time he became aware of a role for an Indigenous person to become involved in philanthropy.
John believed his family experience informed the philanthropic impulse behind his interest. “It was actually just the way I was brought up,’’ he said. “My mother [Eleanor Harding] was quite prominent in the social sector in Victoria and eventually became important at a national level: and she always brought us up with the ethos…[that] anyone who was homeless she would basically just bring them in to the house on to the lounge room floor or into our beds and we’d sleep on the floor.’’
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