The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) formalised agreements to partner with Oxford University and King’s College London in the United Kingdom this week.
A separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with each organisation was signed and stipulates agreements to collaborate in fields including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection’s management, cultural protocols, academic research and staff exchanges.
AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie and AIATSIS Chairperson Professor Michael McDaniel were on hand to sign the agreements.
“These two partnerships represent an unprecedented level of global collaboration and knowledge exchange for AIATSIS,” Mr Ritchie said.
“At Oxford University, our first project will be working closely with the Pitt Rivers Museum, which has one of the largest collections of Aboriginal Australian materials in the UK, while our initial focus at King’s College London will be a research-focussed collaborative partnership with the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies.
“We all have a genuine commitment to improving understanding and best practice when it comes to caring for the stories, culture and materials of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. Learning from each other's strengths and expertise will be enormously beneficial for all parties.
“AIATSIS provides a national forum – a place for deep engagement, collaboration, dialogue and exchange. These partnerships are the latest components of a global strategy to bring together passion, knowledge and expertise creating powerfully transformative encounters with the cultures and heritage of First Australians.”
AIATSIS signed an MoU with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in October last year.
The Institute is also signatory to a number of national memorandums of understanding, partnering with the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA), Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA), the University of Sydney and First Languages Australia (FLA).
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