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AIATSIS Central Australia Unveiled: A Cultural Milestone in Mparntwe

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Northern Territory Government proudly announce the official opening of AIATSIS Central Australia in Mparntwe (Alice Springs).

Coinciding with our 60-year Anniversary, AIATSIS for the first time extends our reach outside Canberra, working closely with local communities in the preservation and exhibition of cultural heritage. 

AIATSIS Central Australia provides state-of-the-art facilities for preservation work, culturally appropriate digitisation, and storage capacity, as well as training in archiving skills for local First Nations staff. 

It has a dedicated engagement and exhibition space, today showcasing our inaugural exhibition To Know, To Respect, To Care

The exhibition will continue until 14 June 2024. 

It demonstrates the work of AIATSIS - to preserve, strengthen and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, culture and languages.

"The opening of AIATSIS Central Australia is a significant event that showcases our commitment to preserving and honouring the rich history of Australia's Indigenous cultures," said Leonard Hill, Interim Chief Executive Officer, AIATSIS. 

"This facility is a symbol of our dedication to safeguarding the knowledge and traditions of Indigenous communities. We want to ensure future generations can connect with their cultural heritage.”

“This facility will be a welcome addition to the thriving Alice Springs (Mparntwe) CBD and will provide an interactive, engaging space for cultural knowledge that will build on other cultural experiences in the town, such as the Strehlow Research Centre and the Araluen Arts Centre”, said, Minister Paech, Northern Territory Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

This AIATSIS centre will stimulate the local economy, as well as create a range of jobs and training opportunities for Aboriginal Territorians.”

“This facility is of cultural significance giving our community the ability to have access to research, digitisation, preservation, family history, and exhibitions displayed in a world class space. We have the opportunity to focus on our school-aged children and youth because all the resources are here in Central Australia in the AIATSIS Facility.” said Jennifer Nixon, Director of AIATSIS Central Australia.

AIATSIS and the Northern Territory Government extend their gratitude to all individuals and organisations who have contributed to the realisation of AIATSIS Central Australia. 

"AIATSIS Central Australia represents the historic next stage for AIATSIS and its role in telling our national story.” said the Hon Linda Burney MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians.

I commend AIATSIS, the Northern Territory Government, First Nations Media, and the Mparntwe (Alice Springs) community for their dedication and determination to pursue this opportunity for Central Australia.

For media inquiries, please contact:

0476 843 522

Northern Territory Government Media

AIATSIS is a world-renowned research and collecting institution dedicated to studying and preserving Indigenous cultures, languages, and histories. For over 60 years, AIATSIS has been at the forefront of advancing understanding and respect for Australia's First Nations peoples.

About the Northern Territory Government
The Northern Territory Government is committed to supporting and empowering Indigenous communities across the Northern Territory. Through partnerships and initiatives, the government aims to preserve and celebrate Indigenous cultures, strengthen community connections, and improve the lives of all Territorians.

Pictured from left to right: Mr Ash Walker (AIATSIS Council Member), Ms Michelle Deshong (AIATSIS Council Member), Mr Leonard Hill (Interim CEO AIATSIS), Hon Chanston Paech (Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory) and Mr Matt Paterson (Alice Springs Town Council Mayor).


Last updated: 02 February 2024