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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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