Artistic Biography 1990-2016
John Harding is one of Australia's leading playwrights, with eleven productions staged, and /or broadcast here and abroad.
John is the founding member of Ilbijerri ATSI Theatre Cooperative( Melbourne), its first artistic Director and a tireless worker in the struggle to create a space for Indigenous people on the Australian Stage.
In 1990 John wrote “Not Just Bricks and Mortar” for the Victorian Housing Commission which was staged at the Inaugural Melbourne Fringe Festival.
In 1991 John wrote “Up The Road” as Ilbijerri’s inaugural production.
John wrote a “ Little Blak book of Poems”, a book of poetry in 1994 published by Dynamo House (Melbourne)
John was the Artistic Director of the Nambundah Arts Festival at Belvoir Theatre in 1996
.John wrote "Up The Road" for Ilbijerri's first production, and went on to win the Australian Human Rights Award, for its second extended production and national tour in 1997, toured nationally by Belvoir Theatre and directed by Neil Armfield.
John has lectured on Indigenous theatre in various universities, and schools,.
John has directed his last three major productions, "Enuff at the Malthouse,(2002) "No Parking(2001)" at Theatreworks, and Second Helping"(2005) at North Melbourne's Arts House.
John is also an accomplished performer, co-writing and co-starring in "Blak and Tran II” (2004),with Hung Le (Adelaide and Melbourne International Comedy Festival), and Natives Striking Blak (Adelaide and Melbourne International Comedy Festivals) (2007) for Ilbijerri Theatre. John has worked in television for ABC "Blackout" show, and SBS "ICAM Program,. While at SBS John created the first Indigenous comedy show, a twenty-six part series "The Masters",directed by Michael Riley.
John has recently moved into film and has made three documentaries, “Nganampa Manta” (PY Media) for the Pitjatjanjara people and “Fitzroy Stars” (Movie Mischief), both bought by Message Stick for ABC television. The third documentary short film was commissioned by City of Melbourne and called “Lets Talk Treaty” as a part of the 2011 Laneways Program.
In 2012 John is wrote a play about the two Tasmanian Aborigines that were hung at the Old Melbourne gaol in 1842.It is entitled “For the Love of a Sista!
John won consecutive arts grants from City of Melbourne in 2014 and 2015 for the workshopping of his theatre script “Sisterly Love” based on the Black renegade uprising of Tasmanians Truganinni, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner across Westernport Bay in Victoria in 1842.