Complaints handling policy

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) values comments and feedback so we can better understand your needs and be able to continuously improve our services. Our Complaints Handling policy is also available to read and download as a Microsoft Word document, which can be downloaded here: AIATSIS complaints handling process (DOCX, 200KB).

Our Complaints Handling policy is a part of our Service Charter, and offers a centralised, unified process for managing complaints. It draws on existing practices across AIATSIS so that feedback, comments and complaints are able to be considered and fed into AIATSIS' business processes. The policy applies across all of AIATSIS’ activities including collections, access, publishing, research and enabling functions. A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction or concern about services, treatment or interaction with AIATSIS. A complaint can be made in person, phone call, fax, email or a letter. Formal complaints are those made in writing, including fax, email and letter.

AIATSIS will do the following to resolve your complaint:

  • All efforts will be made to address the concern as soon as it is made known
  • Issues will be elevated to the Executive unit if you are not satisfied with our initial response, or you require more detailed information than what has been supplied. 

Process for handling general complaints (in person or via telephone)

  • AIATSIS staff are the first point of contact and will endeavour to address your complaint immediately
  • AIATSIS staff will check whether you wish to formalise your complaint and make you aware of complaints handling information on the AIATSIS website
  • If you wish to formalise your complaint, you can lodge this via the website in writing or by speaking with the listed contact officer
  • AIATSIS staff will prepare a response to your complaint in consultation with their unit Director 
  • If the above steps do not result in a satisfactory response, you can request that your complaint is escalated to the Principal for a response

Information regarding complaints handling

AIATSIS ensures that our complaints handling information is prominent on the website and easily accessible.  

Contacting AIATSIS to make a complaint

An online enquiry form is available on the Contact Us page

If you are dissatisfied or have concerns about our day-to-day services, please discuss this with the person you dealt with or their supervisor, and we will try to resolve your concerns immediately.

If you are still not satisfied, contact the Director, Executive Unit, by phoning 02 6261 4201 or emailing

Timeframes for complaints handling

Complaints that are not able to be resolved immediately will be addressed within ten (10) working days, including responses in writing.

Complaints Register

The Executive unit is responsible for the complaints register. Each program area must ensure the Executive unit is provided with details of formal complaints to include in the register. The register will be viewed by the Senior Executive Board bi-annually.

Research misconduct

The AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee handles complaints and/or allegations related to research projects sponsored or conducted solely by AIATSIS or in partnership with an external organisation. Depending on the nature of the complaint, a person concerned about the conduct of research undertaken or funded by AIATSIS may choose one of several options to raise their concern.

If you have any concerns regarding research misconduct.


Dr Lisa Strelein, Executive Director, Research
P: 02 6246 1155​


Last reviewed: 5 Nov 2019