Building Bridges 2011

For the sessions please click here

For the brochure to download/print: please click here

Building Bridges provides an opportunity to come and hear Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous presenters sharing their knowledge, expertise and personal and community experience in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

Many people have never met an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian. Here’s your chance to meet them over a cup of coffee and supper and discover that there’s more to Indigenous society and culture than is often negatively portrayed in the media.

Following the apology in 2008, which had wide public support, there has been growing disillusionment over the Northern Territory intervention, especially its blanket application to everyone regardless of circumstances. The Racial
Discrimination Act has only been partially reinstated despite the rhetoric, and income management remains in force.

Many Indigenous Australians still experience unemployment, poor health, deplorable housing, poor education and domestic violence at levels that would not be tolerated by the majority of Australians. Indigenous leaders have long since realised that the answer doesn’t only lie with governments but with the people themselves and many are working tirelessly to address the problems.

Registration & Catering

Registration isn’t essential but we encourage you to do so (no charge) with
Parramatta Evening College via phone 9687 2072 (Quote Course No. 3X3BBR)
or online
(select “Enroll now” on the right side, then “Add a person” on the bottom right. When you are asked to make the payment just continue – the course is free of charge).
Registration helps us with catering. Otherwise just turn up when you can.

A donation on the night would be appreciated to help cover publicity and other costs.


The Jubilee Room, Parramatta Town Hall
(182 Church Street Mall, the entrance to the Jubilee room is opposite the
church – on the left side of the building when you are facing the

Parking: Council car park behind Town Hall and Library
Enter from Macquarie St., turn left at Post Office.
$1 per hour.

By Train:
The venue is about 10 minutes walk from Parramatta Station.


The sessions commence at 7.30 pm and finish around 9.30 with a break for supper in between the two presenters. During the supper break and following the second speaker, there is usually time for informal discussion.

3 Aug

Ali Golding
Charline Emzin-Boyd
Twenty Years on The Block in Redfern
Aboriginal Education and Training
10 Aug Simon Jovanovic
Donna Lee Astill
Damian Griffis
Aboriginal Employment and Colonisation
Working & Advocating for the Disabled
The Indigenous Disability Network
17 Aug Derek Walker
Nicole Watson

Aboriginal Community Development
Why Change the Constitution?

24 Aug Kaylene & Rick Manton
Chris Graham
Koori Church & its Programs
Racism in the Media & the NT Intervention
31 Aug Kerrie Kenton
Tim Agius
Art, Kinship, Stories and Song
What Works in Aboriginal Health
07 Sep Graham Merritt
Mercedes Sarmina
Aboriginal Activism in WA/NT & STICS
Florists and Prisoners – the connection

The presenters:

Ali Golding
is a Biripai woman from the north coast. She’s a graduate of Nungalinya Aboriginal College, Darwin, with a Diploma in Theology. She has lived on the Block for twenty years. She is Inaugural Elder in Residence, Faculty of Medicine, University of NSW.

Simon Jovanovic
Simon’s country is Walbunja near Bateman’s Bay. He has worked for the Ageing, Disability and Home Care as Regional Aboriginal Employment Support Officer. He is currently undertaking a Ph D at the University of Western Sydney.

Donna Lee Astill
is an Aboriginal woman who has studied at James Meehan high school and UWS. She has worked in Aged Care & at Westmead hospital. Currently with indigenous Disability Advocacy Service and also helping Aboriginal prisoners.

Damian Griffis
is currently the Executive Officer of Aboriginal Disability Network, a new national peak organisation representing Aboriginal people with disabilities. Internationally, he is a lead advocate for the establishment of the Pacific Disability Forum.

Derek Walker
is a Bundjalung man from Baryulgil 90 Km north west of Grafton (noted for its asbestos problem). He has worked as Program Manager for, Australian Indigenous Mentoring and is currently Chief Development Officer, Auburn Council.

Nicole Watson
is a member of the Birri-Gubba People. She has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and a Master of Laws from Qld University of Technology. She is a Research Fellow at the Jumbunna House of Learning UTS.

Kaylene & Rick Manton
Rick is an ordained Presbyterian minister & is in charge of the Anglican Church at Tregear! Rick & Kaylene are involved with youth programs and rehabilitative programs for those suffering from addiction.

Chris Graham,
Walkley award-winning journalist & former editor National Indigenous Times, exposed the ABC’s Lateline in 2006 as a scam when a senior public servant posed as a former Youth Worker at Mutitjulu claiming he uncovered a paedophile ring.

Charline Emzin-Boyd
is a Bundjalung Aboriginal & Tanna Islander woman who is the NSW Teachers Federation Aboriginal Education Coordinator. She is Chairperson of the Australian Education Union Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Committee.

Kerrie Kenton
is a descendent of the Wangal, Wategora and Dunghutti People of NSW. She is an artist, designer, teacher, traditional weaver and mud sculptor and is internationally recognised with works in collections both here and abroad.

Tim Agius is from the Nurrung Nation, Adelaide plains South Australia. Tim works with the Sydney West Area Health Service and is Director of Aboriginal Area Health. He has a special interest in ‘what works & what doesn’t’ in Aboriginal health.

Graham Merritt
is a Western Australian Noongar man active in opposing development on Aboriginal sacred sites on Rottnest Island. He advocates for Australia Day being ‘Survival Day’ for Aboriginal people & is involved with Aboriginal Jobs with Justice.

Mercedes Sarmina
has her own website and on-line floristry business, and a video on U-Tube. She runs accredited floristry, job ready pograms, specialising in Indigenous floristry and training women prisoners in the art of floristry.


For further information about the seminars ring Lyn on 9639 8394 or Tom on 0425 250 360.