5 - Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies

Date Range1961 -

A Commonweath statutory authority established in 1961 to facilitate and promote research into Aboriginal cultures, and to house and maintain a cultural resource collection of materials about Aboriginal studies.

In 1989 the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies was reconstituted under a new Act of Parliament to include reference to both of the Australian Indigenous cultural groups. Thereafter it became known as the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). It is located in Canberra.

The establishment of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies resulted from a number of initiatives among scholars, officials and activists in the early 1960s. These included the National Conference on Aboriginal Studies, held in Canberra in May 1961. W. E. H. Stanner was convenor and chairman of the conference, which was attended by 55 eminent Australian anthropologists, prehistorians, linguists and other specialists engaged in research into Aboriginal people, culture and history. The federal government led by Robert Menzies subsequently created the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies as a national body that would coordinate scientific research into Australia's Indigenous groups.

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies received its statutory charter in 1964.

Diane Elizabeth Barwick was a founding member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. She served on three of its advisory committees, and was the first woman to be elected to its council in May 1978.

Inventory item BARI02123 - 'Tatz' - Letters and Research Papers - Folder [1], Series 30 - Anthropological and Historical Scholarship in Australia - Diane Elizabeth Barwick's Research Papers and Working Files, Diane Barwick Collection, MS 13521, State Library of Victoria, Australia. See in particular document entitled 'Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs'. In this document, Colin Tatz, Executive Officer of the Centre for Research into Aboriginal Affairs at Monash University and member of the Aboriginal Welfare Board, outlines the aims and goals of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies;

Metaphors of Interpretation: Essays in Honour of W. E. H. Stanner, edited by Diane Elizabeth Barwick, Jeremy Beckett and Marie Reay (Australian National University/ Pergamon Press: Sydney 1985), pages 35-37;

Official website of AIATSIS. URL: Accessed Monday 6 November 2006.

Published by the The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 5 October 2007
Listed by Ann McCarthy and Gavan McCarthy
HTML edition
Updated 28 November 2014

The template for this finding aid is part of the Heritage Documentation Management System

[ Top of Page | Home | Series | Provenance | Search | Index ]