Committees

We have a number of committees to support and contribute to AIATSIS’ work.

These committees provide advice to the Council:

These committees provide advice to the Chief Executive Officer:

The quality, independence and ethics of research activities within the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) are subject to oversight by the Research Advisory Committee, Research Ethics Committee, Native Title Research Advisory Committee and Publishing Advisory Committee.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a major role to play as members of these committees.

Research Advisory Committee

The Research Advisory Committee is established under section 31(1) of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989 (the Act).

It comprises:

  • three members of the AIATSIS Council, appointed by the Council
  • eight members of the Institute, elected by the members of the Institute in accordance with the Institute rules
  • the AIATSIS Principal.

Under section 32 of the Act, the Research Advisory Committee is established to:

  • assess applications for research grants made to the Institute and to make recommendations to the AIATSIS Council in relation to such applications
  • advise the Council in relation to research matters
  • advise the Council in relation to applications for membership of the Institute.

Current Research Advisory Committee members:

  • Council Appointment 1 – Emeritus Prof Robert Tonkinson
  • Council Appointment 2 – Mr Kado Muir
  • Council Appointment 3 – Professor Cindy Shannon
  • Health and Wellbeing – Prof Len Collard
  • Education and Socio Economic Institutions – Dr Peter Radoll
  • Arts and Creative Expression – Associate Prof Maryrose Casey
  • Native Title and Traditional Ownership – Dr Sally Babidge
  • Economics, Industry and Development – Prof Dennis Foley
  • Language and Cultural Transmission – Prof Regina Ganter
  • Land, Water and Environment – Dr Fiona Walsh
  • Governance, Law and Justice – Prof Larissa Behrendt

Research Ethics Committee

The Research Ethics Committee advises AIATSIS 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 by AIATSIS staff under the auspices of AIATSIS. Members of the committee are appointed by the AIATSIS Council in line with categories established by the National Medical Research Council. Committee members are appointed for two-year terms.

AIATSIS Council requires that at least four members be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, additionally its practice is that the Chair should also be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person. The AIATSIS Council appoints a minimum of eight members to the Research Ethics Committee. These eight members are voted in, and then assigned a role, these roles are:

  • a chairperson
  • a deputy chairperson
  • a lay man and lay woman
  • at least two members with knowledge of, and current experience in, the areas of research that are regularly considered by the committee
  • at least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people
  • at least one member who is a minister of religion or a person who performs a similar role in the community such as an Indigenous elder
  • at least one member who is a lawyer.

As far as practicable, this structure should reflect a gender and age balance. At least one member should preferably have relevant experience in dealing with ethical issues. AIATSIS staff members are ineligible for membership of the Committee. The Committee may be assisted by such other persons as it considers appropriate.

Current Research Ethics Committee members:

  • Ms Kerry Sculthorpe (Chair)
  • Ms Caroline Marsh (Deputy Chair)
  • Mr Rob Clifton-Steele
  • Dr Andrew Crowden
  • Reverend Karen Kime
  • Dr Jillian Marsh
  • Dr Lorraine Muller
  • Dr Margaret Raven
  • Ms Melanie Gentgall

Download the AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee Charter.

Collections Advisory Committee

Collections Advisory Committee Terms of Reference (PDF, 94KB)

Functions

The Collections Advisory Committee (CAC) was established by Council to provide advice to the AIATSIS CEO and Director of Collections about matters in relation to collection development, management and access. The CAC will do the following:

  • consider proposals for major donations or deposits and provide advice on acceptance or otherwise;
  • provide advice on policy development, specifically on risk to the collections
  • provide advice on major project development;
  • make recommendations to the Principal about collection matters; and
  • contribute to planning or strategic‐thinking workshops run by Collections

Members

Council will appoint two members to the Committee. The balance of the Committee will comprise four external members, independent of AIATSIS; the Principal of AIATSIS; Deputy Principal of AIATSIS; and the Director of Collections. The external committee members will have strong collections or client interest. CAC members will normally serve a two‐year term. Members may be reappointed for a further term of two years.

Current Collections Advisory Committee members:

  • Ms Nadine McDonald-Dowd
  • Ms Veronica Lunn
  • Mr Daniel Featherstone
  • Professor Peter Radoll
  • Professor Cindy Shannon AIATSIS Council member
  • Mr Geoffrey Winters AIATSIS Council member
  • Mr Russ Taylor AIATSIS CEO
  • Mr Craig Ritchie AIATSIS Deputy CEO
  • Ms Lyndall Osborne AIATSIS Executive Director Collections

Native Title Research Advisory Committee

The Native Title Research Advisory Committee was established by Council to provide advice to the Chief Executive Officer on the research program of the Native Title Research Unit. The Committee usually meets twice each year.

The committee comprises:

  • the AIATSIS CEO
  • two AIATSIS Council members
  • a representative from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the primary funding body of the AISTSI Native Title Research Unit
  • at least two (and up to eight)  native title experts who are in current practice
  • other members as nominated by the Council or the Principal from time to time

Current Native Title Research Advisory Committee members:

  • Mr Russell Taylor (CEO, AIATSIS) (Committee Chairperson)
  • Prof Mick Dodson (Council Member, AIATSIS)
  • Mr Kado Muir (Council Member, AIATSIS)
  • Dr Lisa Strelein (Executive Director of Research, AIATSIS)
  • Representative from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Dr Valerie Cooms (Member – NNTT)
  • Ms Melissa George (CEO NAILSMA)
  • Ms Natalie Rotumah (CEO, NTSCorp)
  • Mr Ian Irving (Federal Court Registrar)

Download the Native Title Research Advisory Committee Charter 2015

Publishing Advisory Committee

The Publishing Advisory Committee members offer a range of skills and academic credentials including Indigenous community and language knowledge, and writing and publishing expertise. Along with staff in the Aboriginal Studies Press team, the committee considers manuscripts submitted for publication. The Principal is advised by the committee’s recommendations.

Current Publishing Advisory Committee members:

  • Mr Russell Taylor (CEO, AIATSIS)
  • Mr Craig Ritchie (Deputy CEO, AIATSIS)
  • Ms Rachel Ippoliti (Acting Director, Aboriginal Studies Press)
  • Prof John Maynard (AIATSIS Council member)
  • Prof Mick Dodson (AIATSIS Council member)
  • Dr Tess Lea
  • Dr Shino Konishi
  • Dr Sandy O’Sullivan.

Related information