About us

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is a world-renowned research, collections and publishing organisation. We promote knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions, languages and stories, past and present.

We care for a priceless collection, including films, photographs, video and audio recordings as well as the world’s largest collection of printed and other resource materials for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. We undertake and encourage scholarly, ethical, community-based research in a variety of sectors, including health, native title, languages and education. Our publishing house, Aboriginal Studies Press, regularly publishes outstanding writing that promotes Australian Indigenous cultures. Our activities affirm and raise awareness of the richness and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories.

We understand ourselves through places like AIATSIS. Through places like AIATSIS, we can wake up the people with knowledge… There might be precious mysteries to help us understand ourselves again. We can look to the past to find our way.

Wanta Jampijinpa Pawu-Kurlpurlurnu (Steve Jampijinpa Patrick), Lajamanu, NT

Video

Our functions are established under the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989. They are to:

  • undertake and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies
  • publish the results of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies and to assist in the publication of the results of such studies
  • conduct research in fields relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies and to encourage other persons or bodies to conduct such research
  • assist in training persons, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as research workers in fields relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies
  • establish and maintain a cultural resource collection consisting of materials relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • encourage understanding in the general community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies

We are an Australian Government statutory authority established under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Minister responsible for AIATSIS is Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training. AIATSIS sits within the portfolio of the Department of Education and Training.

What we do

Governance

Further information