AIATSIS Rules

Made under s 48 of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989 (the Act) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Amendment Act 2016.

In these Rules, 'Member' means:

  • a person who has been appointed by the Council as a member of the Institute under s 7(1) of the AIATSIS Act and who continues to be a member, or
  • a person who continues to be a member of the Institute under the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Amendment Act 2016.

1. Membership (AIATSIS Act, s 7)

Appointment

  1. Applicants for membership of the Institute must demonstrate their interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage, such as through:
    1. Participation or employment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community or cultural organisations;
    2. Involvement in research, teaching or study related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ culture and heritage; or
    3. Participation, including employment, in activities related to the collection, management, preservation and custodianship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ culture and heritage.
  2. The Council retains the discretion not to make an appointment.
  3. The Council may review the membership of any person (other than a Councillor) if the Council becomes aware that their conduct or behaviour may be inconsistent with AIATSIS’ values or ethical guidelines, or is bringing AIATSIS into disrepute. Principles of natural justice will apply in such a review. If the Council concludes that the person’s conduct or behaviour is not consistent with AIATSIS’ values or ethical guidelines, or is bringing AIATSIS into disrepute, the person’s membership may be revoked.
  4. A member who becomes an employee of the Institute pursuant to s 29 of the AIATSIS Act will have their membership suspended by the Council until they cease to be an AIATSIS employee. An AIATSIS employee may apply for membership of the Institute but, if appointed as a member, will have their membership suspended by the Council until they cease to be an AIATSIS employee.
    Note: The Council may appoint members under s 7 of the AIATSIS Act. Section 33(4) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 allows an authority which has power to make appointments under an Act to subsequently remove or suspend any person so appointed.
  5. Members can also apply to be ‘AIATSIS Fellows’, a different category of members of the Institute with an academic, research or professional focus. To qualify as an AIATSIS Fellow applicants must satisfy one or more of following criteria:
    1. meritorious service and commitment to furthering research of importance to Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander peoples;
    2. evidence of original and positive contributions to the field of Indigenous Studies; or
    3. a substantial role in research training and/or fostering the research activity of others.
  6. An annual fee of $250 will apply for membership in the AIATSIS Fellows category, from the date of appointment.
  7. In appointing AIATSIS Fellows, the Council may take into consideration the advice from relevant senior AIATSIS staff and any advisory committees on research to validate applicant claims where specialist or technical knowledge is required.
  8. Applicants for membership as an AIATSIS Fellow will be required to commit to applying the principles of the AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Communities in their work.
  9. A person will cease to be an AIATSIS Fellow if:
    1. the person provides notice to the Institute in writing that they wish to resign their position as an AIATSIS Fellow; or
    2. the person fails to pay the annual fee when it becomes due and payable; or
    3. the person ceases to be a member of the Institute.
  10. If the membership of a person who is an AIATSIS Fellow is suspended, their appointment as an AIATSIS Fellow is suspended for such time as their membership is suspended.
  11. A member who ceases to be an AIATSIS Fellow does not for that reason cease to be a member of the Institute.
  12. Persons wishing to become a member or an AIATSIS Fellow may apply using the forms prescribed by the Council.

2. Council (AIATSIS Act, ss 12(1), 15(2))

  1. Diversity and Indigenous representation

    AIATSIS members will elect four members of the AIATSIS Council, two of whom will be female and, at least, two of whom will be Indigenous.

  2. Term of Office

    Elected members of the Council shall serve for four years or any lesser period as determined by the Council before the election.

  3. Elections

    1. The election of members of the Council, under Section 12(1)(a)-(b) of the Act, shall take place once every four years. The Council shall set the date and time that nominations for the election will close, and the date and time at which the election will conclude.
    2. A candidate for election shall nominate using a certificate in a form prescribed by the Council, must be an AIATSIS member at the time of nomination, and may nominate in the category of female or male candidate.
    3. If at the time nominations close, the number of nominations received in either the female or male category is fewer than the number of vacancies to be filled in that category, or the number of Indigenous candidates in both categories together means that the election would not result in at least two elected Council members being Indigenous, the Council shall extend the period for nominations for such period as it considers appropriate, and, if necessary, the date and time at which the election will conclude. The Council shall continue to extend the period for nominations and, if necessary, the date and time at which the election will conclude, until the number of nominations received in both categories is equal to, or greater than, the number of vacancies to be filled in that category and the number of Indigenous candidates in both categories together means that the election will result in at least two elected Council members being Indigenous.
    4. If the number of nominations received in both categories is the same as the number of vacancies to be filled in each of those categories, and the election of all the nominated candidates would mean that at least two elected Council members will be Indigenous, the persons nominated shall be declared to be elected. If only one Indigenous candidate is nominated in either the female or male category, that candidate shall be declared to be elected. Following this, if the number of nominations received in either category exceeds the number of remaining vacancies to be filled, the election for that category shall take the form of a secret ballot.
    5. If a ballot takes place, each voter will be able to indicate their two preferred candidates for each category, with each preference being of equal weight.
    6. The Chairperson of the Council shall appoint a returning officer or officers who shall supervise the counting of votes and the validity of voting papers.
    7. The Indigenous candidate (if any) who receives the greatest number of votes in each category shall be elected to the Council. If there are no Indigenous candidates in one category (including in that category any Indigenous candidate already declared to be elected under cl 2C(d)), the two Indigenous candidates who receive the greatest number of votes in the other category shall be elected to the Council. The remaining vacancies in each category shall be filled by the candidates with the greatest number of votes in each category, whether or not those candidates are Indigenous. If, on any count: (i) two or more candidates have an equal number of votes; and (ii) one of those candidates must be excluded; the returning officer is to decide by lot which candidate is to be excluded.
  4. Vacancies arising

    1. If a vacancy arises among the elected Council members between scheduled elections due to resignation, termination, or another cause, the vacancy shall be filled by the candidate with the next highest number of votes from the most recent election.The candidate must be in the relevant category and the appointment must mean that the requirement that at least two elected Council members be Indigenous is met.
    2. If no such nominee is available and willing, and the next scheduled election will not take place within 12 months of the vacancy arising, a by-election will be held to fill the vacancy.
    3. The Council shall declare for which category a by-election will be held, and where the vacancy is a vacancy to which s 12(1)(a) of the AIATSIS Act applies, the Council shall limit nominations to Indigenous candidates only. The Council shall set the date and time that nominations for the by-election will close, and the date and time at which the by-election will conclude.
    4. A candidate for a by-election shall nominate using a certificate in a form prescribed by the Council, and must be an AIATSIS member at the time of nomination.
    5. If no nominations are received by the time nominations close, the Council shall extend the period for nominations for such period as it considers appropriate, and, if necessary, the date and time at which the election will conclude.
    6. If there is only one nomination, that candidate shall be declared to be elected. If there is more than one nomination, the election shall take the form of a secret ballot.
    7. If a ballot takes place, each member shall be able to indicate their one preferred candidate.
    8. The Chairperson of the Council shall appoint a returning officer or officers who shall supervise the counting of votes and the validity of voting papers.
    9. The candidate with the greatest number of votes will be elected. If two or more candidates receive the greatest number of votes, the returning officer is to decide by lot which candidate is to be elected.
  5. Meetings

    Subject to s 23 of the AIATSIS Act, the Council shall usually meet in Canberra, with a minimum of four meetings a year, scheduled at approximately quarterly intervals, on dates set in advance.

3. Commencement, repeal of previous rules and transitional provision

  1. These Rules commence on the day they are made.
  2. The previous rules made under s 48 of the AIATSIS Act that are in force immediately before these Rules commence are repealed subject to cl 3(c).
  3. These Rules only apply to Council elections for Councillors to hold office and vacancies arising after the end of the terms of office of all the elected Councillors who held office immediately before 12 February 2016. The previous rules made under s 48 of the AIATSIS Act that are in force immediately before these Rules come into effect apply to any Council elections for Councillors to hold office and vacancies arising before the end of the terms of office of all the elected Councillors who held office immediately before 12 February 2016.