27 September 2023

AIATSIS strategy to promote diversity

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The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) has released a strategic plan outlining its determination to help Australia adopt a more inclusive national identity.

Chair of AIATSIS, Michael McDaniel (pictured) said Australia had reached an inflection point in its national story and in the story of AIATSIS itself.

“That is why in developing this strategic plan, the AIATSIS Council and Executive grappled with the question: ‘What kind of AIATSIS do we need to be today and in the future?’” Professor McDaniel said.

Chief Executive of AIATSIS, Craig Ritchie said that for more than 50 years AIATSIS, a national cultural institution, had been the nation’s best kept secret.

“Our strategic plan presents an exciting five year horizon where we will fully realise the transformation of AIATSIS to an outwardly focused, publicly engaged national institution,” Mr Ritchie said.

“To realise these aspirations the council have set a series of initiatives as priorities for the life of the plan, including a new, state-of-the-art home for AIATSIS that is a national forum for transformational cross-cultural engagement and shared learning.”

He said the Songlines project would work with communities to secure song traditions; resources would be made for the teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage in schools, and there would be an engaging web presence and potential physical presence beyond Canberra.

Professor McDaniel said AIATSIS was the heir to a long and significant history and by the end of the strategic plan would be approaching its 60th birthday in 2024.

“This history is something of which we can, and must, be rightly proud,” Professor McDaniel said.

“It is something worth celebrating!”

He said the four priorities set out in the plan – Discovery; Transformation; Resurgence: and Extending our Reach – each centred on opportunities and possibilities available at this time in history.

“The Council and Executive of AIATSIS share a determination to be part of helping all Australians reimagine what it means to be Australian,” he said.

The strategic plan covers the period until 2023 and can be accessed at the AIATSIS website at www.aiatsis.gov.au.

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