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The Senior Executive Board (SEB) ensures the transition of Council directives through to the business plans of AIATSIS programs. The Council appointed Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the organisation’s performance and advises the Council on all operational matters. Executive staff assist the Council, liaise with AIATSIS membership and develop the organisation’s public profile.

  • Leonard Hill – Interim Chief Executive Officer

    Leonard is currently the A/g Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and has been in this role since June 2023. Leonard has held a number of other Senior Executive Service (SES) Officer roles in a long public service career including Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer at AIATSIS; Executive Director, Collections Services Group at AIATSIS, and Assistant Secretary Culture Branch with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

    Leonard is a descendent of the Ngemba people from North West NSW. He draws his Indigenous heritage from his mother who was born and raised in Brewarrina in North Western NSW, and who spent her childhood living on the Aboriginal Mission in Brewarrina until her early teens.

    Leonard has worked in the Australian Indigenous Affairs space since the early 1990’s in a number of roles across the Australian Government, NSW State Government, as well as local Aboriginal Community Organisations. Some of these roles include Indigenous Coordination Centre (ICC) Manager and Deputy Manager roles in a number of ICC’s across NSW; Indigenous Education Manager (DEST); TAFE NSW Campus Manager at a number of NSW TAFE Campuses including the Eora Centre for Indigenous Performing Arts in Redfern; and the Assistant Manager of a CDEP in Brewarrina.

    Leonard has also undertaken a number of roles on local community and volunteer organisation boards including as Public Officer - Brewarrina Aboriginal Medical Service; Treasurer - Gainmara Birrilee Aboriginal Pre-school; and is currently a Director on the board of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aborignal Health and Community Services in Canberra, and a Director on the Board of the Australian Red Cross Society.

    Leonard has been involved in and led a number of Australian Government Delegations on International engagements including to Germany, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Vietnam, UK, USA and the United Nations including leading the Australian delegation to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous peoples (UN EMRIP) in Geneva in 2018. Leonard also led an AIATSIS delegation to Mexico in September 2019 to discuss Indigenous Policy and culture as it relates to National cultural and collecting Institutions.

  • Jude Barlow – Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Strategic Operations Group

    Jude Barlow is a Ngunnawal woman and is the Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

    Prior to taking on her current role, Jude was the Director Executive Support & People at AIATSIS. 

    Jude’s almost 20-year career in the APS commenced in Aboriginal Hostels Limited where she worked in various Human Resources roles. Jude has also worked at the APSC as a member of the Indigenous Employment Team managing the Indigenous Pathways Traineeship Program, finishing her time at the APSC as an Indigenous Liaison Officer providing advice to Departments and Agencies across the APS.  

    In 2018 Jude commenced as the Director Human Resources – HR Operations at the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) before returning to AIATSIS in 2019 to take on the role as Chief of Staff to the CEO.  

    Jude is on the Advisory Group for the ACT Supreme Court Cultural Steering Committee and the ANU School of Music Indigenous Reference Group. Jude is also a Director of the Winnanggaay Ngunnawal Language Group, and a member of the National Folk Festival Board. 

    Jude holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Literature with minors in History and Philosophy and an elective in HR. She also holds an Associate Diploma in Performing Arts. Jude is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Laws. 

    Jude strongly believes that education and healing are key to ensuring a future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that is safe, productive, and sustainable. 

  • Dr Caroline Hughes AM – Executive Director, Collection Services

    Dr Caroline Hughes AM is a proud Ngunnawal woman and the Executive Director, Collections Services Group. She has made significant contributions to the field of education throughout her career, which spans over 30 years. She came to AIATSIS from the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) where she was the Director of the CIT Yurauna Centre of Educational Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. 

    Aunty Caroline empowers others to achieve their dreams through the power of education and employment. As practitioner, manager and leader of VET programs in community development and client support services she ensured that cultural heritage has been the essence of all. Caroline has led the design and delivery of cultural programs that have strengthened the cultural capability of individuals and teams across organisations - within government and private sectors. Aunty Caroline grew partnerships and improved engagement with governments, private sector and community to improve business outcomes as well as increased the commercial income to support profitable operations and outcomes. Her leadership has contributed to policies, strategies, compliance and business acumen.

    Under Aunty Caroline’s leadership she established long standing respectful partnerships that were formed with Indigenous culture at the foremost of all activities, an example is the establishment of an Early Learning Centre in partnership with Northside Community Services – winning national awards in the early child care sector. These initiatives reduced barriers to education for parents and caregivers to improve employment outcomes.

    Aunty Caroline has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of University of Canberra, a Bachelor Adult Education as well as Graduate Certificate in Leadership & Management and Graduate Certificate Leadership in the VET Sector.

    At AIATSIS Caroline plays a leadership role ensuring that the institute is a responsible custodian of all items held in the unique and diverse AIATSIS Collection, guiding the strategic management and long-term safekeeping of all materials held in it.

    Caroline was shortlisted as a nominee for 2021 ACT Australian of the Year and was a recipient of the ACT Women’s Honour Roll in 2018. 

    In recognition of her significant service to the Indigenous community of Canberra, Aunty Caroline was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours. 

  • Kris O'Sullivan – Executive Director, Partnerships and Engagement

    Kris is a proud Wiradjuri man. He brings a deep understanding of Indigenous culture and perspectives to his work with 15 years of business and financial management experience in the private and public sectors, particularly in accounting, finance, and regional economic development.

    In his public service career, Kris has significantly contributed to regional economic development within the NSW Government. He has worked across various departments, including the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and the Department of Regional NSW. Kris has played a pivotal role in driving economic growth and prosperity in regional communities through his roles.

    In addition to his work in the public sector, Kris is also a dedicated member of the Australian Army Reserve. Since enlisting in October 2016, he has served in different capacities, including his current position as an instructor in the Sydney University Regiment. Kris has also been deployed on various operations, such as Operation NSW Flood Assist 21-1, Operation Flood Assist 2022, and Operation COVID-19 Assist. His commitment to serving his country and contributing to the well-being of others is truly commendable.

    Kris has passion for building enduring and mutually beneficial relationships. In June 2023, he led the Australian Delegation to the UNESCO roundtable in Paris, where he advocated for the return of culturally significant material from Manchester University to the Anindilyakwa community. This demonstrated his dedication to preserving Indigenous heritage and fostering international collaboration.

    Education has played a crucial role in Kris's career journey. He completed the Charles Sturt University Koori Admissions Program and subsequently earned a Bachelor of Business Studies. He has also pursued post-graduate management qualifications and is working towards a Master of Business Administration with Southern Cross University. 

    Kris has actively engaged in programs that explore the intersection of Indigenous leadership, identity, and public service. He completed the Aboriginal Career Leadership Development Program through the Australian Graduate School of Management, further enhancing his understanding of Indigenous leadership principles and their application in the public sector.

    Kris has a creative side beyond his professional pursuits. In the 2000s, he was part of a hip-hop group that achieved significant recognition. Their talent was acknowledged when they won the first online Triple J Unearthed competition in November 2006, and their track "Rhythm and Rhyme" received high rotation on the airwaves.

    Kris's expertise in business, financial management, regional economic development, and Indigenous leadership make him a valuable member of the AIATSIS Executive Leadership team.

  • Dylan Daniel-Marsh - Executive Director, Ngurra Precinct

    Dylan has a wealth of experience spanning more than 15 years in diverse sectors such as business, higher education, and government. Within AIATSIS, his journey has been marked by various roles, including as the Director of Research Business from 2012 to 2017. Returning to the Institute in 2020, he assumed the position of Director, Engagement, Exhibitions, and Commercial Innovation. He was appointed as the Executive Director of the Ngurra Cultural Precinct Project in December 2022.

    He was Chief Business Development Officer for Youfoodz Asia from 2017 to 2020. During this period he spent 3 years travelling the Middle-East and Asia with Commonwealth and QLD Government trade delegations developing business relationships with multinational companies.

    Dylan has also operated his own consultancy firm, catering to both government and corporate clients. He has expertise in launching and cultivating businesses in the Canberra region, including in the food and beverage and services industries.

    Beyond his professional endeavours, Dylan has actively engaged with the community through his involvement with Rotary International. Since 2014, he has been an active member, and served as the President of the Rotary Club of Belconnen from 2019 to 2020. 

Chief Executive Officers and Principals

Chief Executive Officers

  • Mr Craig Ritchie 2016 - 2023
  • Mr Russell Taylor 2015 - 2016


  • Mr Russell Taylor, 2009 - 2015
  • Mr Steve Larkin, 2004 - 2008
  • Mr Russell Taylor, 1997 - 2003
  • Mr Peter Daffen, 1996 Oct - Dec
  • Dr William (Bill) Jonas, 1991 - 1996
  • Mr Warwick Dix, 1985 - 1991
  • Mr Eric Willmot, 1981 - 1984
  • Dr Peter Ucko, 1972 - 1980
  • Mr Frederick McCarthy, 1964 - 1972
Last updated: 05 June 2024