Building Bridges 2014


The sessions start at 7.30 pm and finish at 9.30 pm, with a break for supper between the two presenters. Questions are invited and there’s time during supper to engage the presenters in conversation.

6 Aug Dennis Foley
Steven Ross
Aboriginal Enterprises & Collaboration & Burbaga Project
Reconciliation & Aboriginal Affairs in Western Sydney
13 Aug
location see below
Bonney Djuric
Linda Holden
Parramatta Girls Past and Present
Reconciliation Post Apology?
20 Aug Ray Minniecon
Carla McGrath
Black Diggers: Their History
Aboriginal Issues in the Media
27 Aug Sean Brennan
Anna Jovanovic
Constitutional Recognition
Reconciliation Action Plans


The Jubilee Room, Parramatta Town Hall
182 Church Street Mall

The Jubilee Room is attached to the Parramatta Town Hall (opposite St John’s Cathedral). The entrance to the Jubilee Room is on the left hand side facing the Town Hall.

The meeting on the 13th of August will be held in the Dan Mahoney Room, Level 2 of the Council Chambers at the rear of the Town Hall.


Metered parking is available in the Council car park.
Between 6 pm and 8 pm the rate is$1.10 per hour, Free after 8pm.
Metered parking is also available in Macquarie Street.

Public Transport:
The venue is only minutes from Parramatta station. Exit the station on the Darcy Street
side and walk to the Parramatta Mall.


Registration and Catering:

While registration (no cost) is not essential we encourage you to register with the Parramatta Evening College online or by phone (9687 2072) since this helps with catering needs. Otherwise just turn up to any of the sessions when you can.

A donation on the night would be appreciated to help cover costs of hall hire and publicity.


General Information:

Building Bridges provides an opportunity to come and hear both Indigenous and non-Indigenous presenters sharing their knowledge, expertise and personal experience in in informal and relaxed atmosphere.

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

While the Federal Government’s 2008 apology to the Stolen Generations was seen as overwhelmingly positive, both major political parties have ruled out any form of compensation (unlike Canada’s conservative government which has provided $1.2 billion) to its stolen generations ‘Canadian Natives’).

The affect of the budget cuts to Aboriginal programs is yet to be felt but they may well be detrimental to ‘Closing the Gap’. The Northern Territory Intervention (the so-called Emergency Response) which will likely continue until 2023, has created much controversy and it too seems to have had little effect on improving the lives of Aboriginal people.



The presenters:

Professor Dennis Foley
has a PhD and is a member of the Burbaba Aboriginal Corporation. His research focuses on discipline of Indigenous enterprise and entrepreneurship. He teaches at Newcastle University and at universities overseas.

Steven Ross
is a Wamba Wamba man & Parramatta Council’s ATSI Community Project Officer. He has worked as Arts Coordinator for the Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre & the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations.

Bonney Djuric
spent 9 months in the notorious Parramatta Girls Home when she was 15. About 300,000 girls have passed through the Home since 1887. Today efforts are being made to preserve the precinct as an international Site of Conscience.

Linda Holden
was born on Gumbaynggirr land and is a descendent of King Bobby. She has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law and is currently involved with domestic violence issues. She is currently embarking on a PhD.

Pastor Ray Minniecon
is a Kabi Kabi man with a theological degree from a WA University. He has been involved in raising awareness about Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander servicemen who participated in all of Australia’s overseas wars.

Carla McGrath
is an Indigenous woman from Thursday Island and although raised on the mainland, retains strong links with the Torres Strait Islands. She is the business development manager at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.

Sean Brennan
is the Director of the Gilbert & Tobin Centre of Public Law and teaches and writes mainly in the area constitutional law, native title and Aboriginal land rights. He has authored and coauthored
numerous books on constitutional law.

Anna Jovanovic
is a proud Walbunja woman employed by Reconciliation Australia. Previously Anna worked for the Corporate not-for profit sector. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Business Management at Charles Sturt University.


For more information:

Building Bridges 2014 brochure
Ring Lyn on 9639 8394 or Tom on 0425 250 360 or contact us

During the sessions a selection of books and other literature will be available for sale covering a range of Indigenous issues.