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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains images, voices and names of deceased persons.

Vision, mission and functions

Our vision is a world in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and cultures are recognised, respected, celebrated and valued.

Our mission is:

  • To tell the story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. 
  • Create opportunities for people to encounter, engage with and be transformed by that story.
  • Support and facilitate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural resurgance.
  • Shape our national narrative.

Our functions are established under the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989.

Our functions are:

  • to develop, preserve and provide access to a national collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage;
  • to use that national collection to strengthen and promote knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage;
  • to provide leadership in the fields of:
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research; and
    • ethics and protocols for research, and other activities relating to collections, related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and
    • use (including use for research) of that national collection and other collections containing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage;
  • to lead and promote collaborations and partnerships among the academic, research, non-government, business and government sectors and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in support of the other functions of the Institute;
  • to provide advice to the Commonwealth on the situation and status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.