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About our research

We are at the forefront of research led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are involved as researchers, partners and drivers of our research priorities and projects. We lead by example in conducting research to the highest ethical standards and we have a genuine commitment to building pathways for knowledge exchange.

We specialise in:

  • Languages and cultural expression
  • Native Title and traditional ownership
  • Education and cultural transmission
  • Governance development and public policy
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Land and water

Our research contributes to the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and has a direct benefit to the communities we work with. It also allows us to build upon, and contribute to, the knowledge contained within our collections.

Our partnerships are essential as they connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations with researchers, policy makers and practitioners to address the questions they want answered, shared and built upon.

It is the grounded nature of our research that places us in a position to influence and inform policies and practices of importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

  • Research Governance and Coordination

    The Research Governance and Coordination (RGC) team provides executive support and coordination across the Research and Education Group and to the Executive Director. The team works closely with research teams to manage complex contracts and reporting requirements, research specific policies and procedures, and supports project development and management.

  • Indigenous Country and Governance

    The Indigenous Country and Governance (ICG) team produces, shares and supports leading edge research and products in the fields of native title, traditional ownership, land and water, caring for country and governance. The team works closely with other Research units to enable an effective and influential evidence base to inform policy, practice and decision-making in the context of Indigenous cultural resurgence and self-determination.

  • Indigenous Culture and Heritage

    The Indigenous Culture and Heritage (ICH) team undertakes community-based research to support the active practice of Indigenous cultures through the protection and transmission of knowledge. Our work aims to support language revival (including language classes and the creation of dictionaries), evidence-based policy development, community data management, the recording of community stories within culturally informed frameworks and providing advice to the Commonwealth on the situation and status of Indigenous culture and heritage.

  • Indigenous Research Exchange

    The Indigenous Research Exchange was established to build the evidence base to support policy and practice that improves outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Exchange does this through positioning AIATSIS as the national forum for dialogue on Indigenous cultures; speaking authoritatively through evidence based research and culturally based representative networks; articulating national priorities for Indigenous research; actively building diverse and enduring relationships domestically and internationally; helping develop community capability in relevant areas; positioning AIATSIS as a trusted advisor; and building our policy capacity and capability to deliver world class expertise.

  • Ethics and Research Leadership

    The Ethics and Research Leadership (ERL) team provides sectoral leadership in ethics, and manages AIATSIS ethics programs and services.  The team provides central advice to Research and Education group and works closely with other Research units in providing policy research and evidence based advice to government. 

    The Ethics and Research Leadership (ERL) team provides sectoral leadership in ethics, and manages AIATSIS ethics programs and services.  The team provides central advice to Research and Education group and works closely with other Research units in providing policy research and evidence based advice to government. 

  • Education

    The Education team, formed in 2020, enacts the newly developed AIATSIS Education Strategy. Our work includes influencing what children learn at school about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia; researching, developing and providing culturally responsive, digitally agile teacher training and educational resources; facilitating a cutting edge, Canberra-based Schools Program that provides culturally and racially literate learning experiences for students; and managing educational projects, workshops, focus groups and procurement.