Craig Ritchie announced as new AIATSIS CEO

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - 9:30am
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AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie. Photo by Steven Rhall

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Council Chairperson, Professor Mick Dodson AM, announced Dhunghutti/Biripi man Craig Ritchie, as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Institute today.

Professor Dodson said it was with great pleasure that the Council welcomes and congratulates Craig Ritchie as the Chief Executive Officer of the highly regarded national institute.

“After an extensive search Craig Ritchie joins us at a very exciting time in the Institute’s journey. He will ensure our vision is articulated and connected to the functions of AIATSIS,” Professor Dodson said.

“Craig will lead our operations into a period that will create better opportunities for the people across our nation and the globe to encounter, engage and be transformed by the story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia.

“He will be critical to setting a new direction of a confident, engaging and sustainable AIATSIS for the next half century.

“After 26 years on the AIATSIS Council, I will soon be retiring from my position as the Chairperson and I am pleased to leave AIATSIS in good hands.”

Craig Ritchie was appointed to the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer at AIATSIS in January 2017 having joined AIATSIS as Deputy Chief Executive Officer in April 2016. Craig has worked in other senior roles in the APS, most recently in the Department of Education and Training, 2011 to 2016, as the Branch Manager for International Mobility and Manager of the Access and Participation Branch.

From 2002 to 2010 Craig worked for the ACT Government as the Manager for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Policy for the ACT. He led the development of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Family Wellbeing Plan.

Craig also has experience in community sector, working at both the AWABAKAL Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative and then as CEO at NACCHO the National Aboriginal community controlled health services.

At Education, Craig led two major systemic reform initiatives in higher education: the first, in reframing the national approach to widening participation policy and programs; the second, in implementing the findings of the Review of Access and Outcomes in Higher Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

Craig’s first degree was from the University of Newcastle, he has a post-graduate qualification in management and is currently undertaking research into Aboriginal culture and public policy making for a PhD.  In 2006 Craig was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research models of Indigenous leadership in the USA and Canada.

Craig is one of a small cohort of Indigenous public servants who provide significant leadership in the broader whole-of-government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs particularly as a member of the Commonwealth Indigenous Reform Group.

Craig is appointed to the role for a period of five years.

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Last reviewed: 16 May 2017