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Council

Our organisation is governed by a Council of nine members. Four are elected by AIATSIS members and five are appointed by our Minister and must be Aboriginal persons or Torres Strait Islanders.

The Council is responsible for setting our policies and ensuring we perform properly and efficiently across all of our functions.

  • Jodie Sizer - Chairperson
    Jodie Sizer

    Ms Jodie Sizer is a Djap Wurrung / Gunditjmara woman, and part of the Framlingham Community of South West Victoria.

    Jodie is currently the inaugural CEO of the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, land manager to 170,000 hectares of Crown land, 3 Marine National Parks, 3 Marine Sanctuaries and 2 National Parks from Bells beach stretching beyond the 12 Apostles. Jodie was a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of PwC’s Indigenous Consulting. She is currently Vice President of the Collingwood Football Club, Board member of the Ebony Institute and an Enterprise Professor of the University of Melbourne.

    Jodie commenced her career in the Aboriginal community controlled sector, further graduated to work as an auditor and qualified Accountant (CPA), she possesses a strong background in corporate governance and is a graduate of the University of Melbourne Asia-Australia New Leaders Program.

    Jodie has also worked in Indigenous organisations and government. She was an ATSIC Regional Councillor, listed in the Australian Women's Who's Who publication, inducted on the Victorian Women's Honour roll, recipient of the Prime Minister's Centenary medal and listed as one of the Australian Financial Review's 100 Women of Influence. 

    Jodie was appointed to the AIATSIS Council in 2016 and appointed as Chair in 2020, succeeding Prof Michael McDaniel.

  • Prof Clint Bracknell - Deputy Chairperson
    Clint Bracknell

    Professor Clint Bracknell is a Noongar musician from the south coast of Western Australia and Professor of Linguistics at the University of Queensland.

    He has investigated connections between song, language, and landscapes in Australia’s southwest for over a decade, co-developing Noongar language resources including both the first fully adapted Shakespearean stage work and dubbed feature film in a language of Australia.

    Clint holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Western Australia and received the 2020 Barrett Award for Australian Studies.

  • Michelle Deshong
    Michelle Deshong

    Michelle Deshong draws on strong connections to Kuku Yalanji and lives in Townsville, North Queensland. She details the importance of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and people asserting their traditions and culture through methods of leadership and self-governance.

    Michelle is recognised globally for her efforts in the gender justice space, transforming gender power relations and norms through her efforts.  She has remained alert to women’s vast and growing achievements, and to women’s progress towards equal participation in society. Michelle has worked with women, nationwide and globally, to raise their voices as active citizens in their own communities, step into leadership roles, and understand how leadership can create sustainable change that promotes women’s rights and gender equality.

    Michelle is among a generation of Indigenous Leaders pushing the boundaries to overcome the hurdles that have long beset Indigenous communities. Michelle has a large body of work in the Government, NGO, and community sectors. She holds several governance positions as well as managing her own consultancy business.

    From 2017 to 2022 Michelle was the CEO of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIG) implementing innovative approaches to cultural governance and best practice across the Country and building international collaborations. Michelle has been the lead facilitator for the Straight Talk program through OXFAM for the past 12 years and sees this as a crucial opportunity to position women as political change agents and leaders of their communities and nations.

  • Judith Ryan AM
    AIATSIS Council - Judith Ryan

    Judith Ryan received a BA Honours in Fine Arts and English Literature at the University of Melbourne in 1970 and a Certificate in Education at Oxford University in 1972. She began her Art Museum career in 1977 at the National Gallery of Victoria where she is currently the Senior Curator of Indigenous Art. Judith's special interest is Indigenous Australian art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – its diversity, dynamism and transformation in the face of social change.

    Judith has curated about fifty exhibitions of Indigenous art and has published widely in the field. Judith is currently working on TIWI, a major exhibition and publication scheduled for 18 September 2020 – 31 January 2021. In 2017 Judith was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division ‘For significant service to the visual arts, particularly to the museums and galleries sector, as a curator of Indigenous exhibitions and as an author.’

  • Murray Saylor
    Murray Saylor

    Murray Saylor is a Samsep man from Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait. Murray’s passion and drive are focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural, ecological and economic sustainability. Murray has over 20 years of diverse experience in the fields of Government, Defence, Community Development, Indigenous affairs and Resource sectors.

    Murray is the founder/Managing Director of Tagai Management Consultants, a company driven to work respectfully with clients in the Australia and Asia/Pacific region to deliver market leading procurement/supply chain management, business advisory, innovative futures, and stakeholder engagement services. In 2019, Tagai Management Consultants were presented with the Innovation in Business award by the Ipswich Business Chamber, and in 2018 was selected as one of 100 faces of Small business in Queensland.

  • A/Prof Myfany Turpin FAHA
    Myfany Turpin

    Associate Professor Myfany Turpin FAHA is a linguist and ethnomusicologist at the University of Sydney. She has worked with Aboriginal communities in central Australia since 1994 to document their language and music. Her research interests are in the relationship between language and music and language documentation.

    Her research on the Kaytetye language resulted in a co-authored encyclopaedic dictionary, picture dictionary and collection of stories with the late Kaytetye speaker Alison Nangala Ross. She has written scholarly articles in the areas of semantics, music, phonology and ethnobiology and produced audio-visual publications of Aboriginal songs. She works with local organisations to produce resources and provide opportunities for Aboriginal people to further their work in cultural and language survival.

    She is a member of the Musicological Society of Australia and the Australian Linguistics Society, editor for the Indigenous Music of Australia series of Sydney University Press and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

  • Ash Walker
    Ash Walker

    Ash Walker is a Dharawal/Dhurga man belonging to the La Perouse Aboriginal community in Coastal Sydney.

    Previously, Ash has worked as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group, a corporate lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin and as Acting CEO of the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.

    Ash holds a Master in Business Administration (Distinction) from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales

  • Associate Professor (Dr) Fred Cahir

    Associate Professor (Dr) Fred Cahir is a teacher and researcher in the field of Shared History at Federation University situated on Wadawurrung Country in Ballarat.

    Since 2012 Fred has authored a large body of publications including books, journal articles and documentary films.

AIATSIS Council Chairpersons

  • Jodie Sizer, 2019 - present
  • Professor Michael McDaniel, 2017 - 2019
  • Professor Michael (Mick) Dodson AM, 1999 - 2017
  • Professor Marcia Langton AM, 1992 - 1998
  • Ken Colbung AM MBE, 1984 - 1990
  • Professor JD Mulvaney, 1982 - 1984
  • Dr Les Hiatt, 1974 - 1982
  • Emeritus Professor NWG MacIntosh, 1966 - 1974
  • Emeritus Professor AD Trendall, 1961 - 1966
Last updated: 05 December 2023