AIATSIS is governed by a Council of nine members, four elected by AIATSIS’ membership and five members appointed by the Minister who must be Aboriginal persons or Torres Strait Islanders.
As defined under its Act, the Council is responsible for ensuring proper and efficient performance across all of AIATSIS’ functions and setting its policies. The AIATSIS Council Charter (PDF - 248KB) outlines its responsibilities.
The current AIATSIS Council members are:
Professor Michael (Mick) Dodson AM, Chairperson
Professor John Maynard, Deputy Chairperson
Two positions on the Council are currently vacant pending appointments by the Minister.
A number of committees support and contribute to AIATSIS’ work, including the Research Advisory Committee, the Research Ethics Committee, the Native Title Research Advisory Committee, and the Publishing Advisory Committee.
The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is established under section 31(1) of the Act. It comprises three members of the Council appointed by the Council; eight members of the Institute elected by the members of the Institute in accordance with the Institute rules; and the Principal.
Under section 32 of the Act, the RAC has the following functions:
The Research Ethics Committee (REC) advises the Institute on the ethical aspects of research proposals to be carried out by its staff and grantees as well as on external collaborative research projects to be carried out with AIATSIS staff under the auspices of the Institute. Members of the committee are appointed by the Council in line with categories established by the National Medical Research Council.
Committee members are appointed for two-year terms.
- Ms Christine Grant (Chair)
- Dr Sarah Holcombe (Member)
- Mr Graeme Evans (Member)
- Ms Joyce Grahams (Member)
- Ms Vivien Holmes (Member)
- Mr Dave Johnston (Member)
- Dr James Ross (Member)
- Rev Karen Kime (Member)
The Native Title Research Advisory Committee (NTRAC) was established by Council to provide advice to the Principal on the research program of the Native Title Research Unit. The Committee usually meets twice each year. The Committee comprises two AIATSIS Council members, the Principal and Deputy Principal of Research, four experts in the field of native title and a representative from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The Publishing Advisory Committee (PAC) makes recommendations for publication to the AIATSIS CEO after considering peer-assessed manuscripts submitted by Aboriginal Studies Press.
PAC members provide a range of skills: academic credentials; Indigenous community and language knowledge; as well as writing and publishing expertise. Meetings are held as required.