Governance and structure

AIATSIS is an Australian Government statutory authority established under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Minister responsible for AIATSIS is the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Minister for Indigenous Affairs. We sit within the portfolio of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

AIATSIS operates under the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989 as amended by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Amendment Act 2016. These amendments took effect on 12 February 2016.

Under the Act, the Council may:

  • Appoint members who have a demonstrated interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Make rules to assist with the conduct of the Institute - AIATSIS Rules

Read more about membership of AIATSIS.


AIATSIS is governed by a Council of nine members. The Council is responsible for ensuring proper and efficient performance across all of AIATSIS’ functions and setting its policies.

Read more about the AIATSIS Council and the Council charter.

Senior Executive Board

The Senior Executive Board (SEB) is the Institute's CEO management committee. The SEB discusses issues relevant to the management of the Institute and, in conjunction with the CEO, makes decisions on policy, operational matters and procedures that affect the organisation. The SEB also functions as an information sharing forum facilitating the flow of materials across the programs of the Institute.

Organisation structure

Our program areas are:

  • Collections
  • Research
  • Strategy and Operations Group, encompassing:
    • Aboriginal Studies Press
    • Communications
    • Public Program
    • Business Services
    • Executive


A number of committees support and contribute to AIATSIS’ work.

Committees that provide advice to the Council are:

  • Audit and Assurance Committee
  • Foundation Board
  • Membership Standing Committee

Committees that provide advice to the Chief Executive Officer are:

Further reading

Past Chairs and CEOs of AIATSIS

Last reviewed: 4 Sep 2019