Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

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Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
AIATSIS building with the sea of hands.jpg
A Sea of Hands outside the AIATSIS building on Acton Peninsula. The Sea of Hands was created in 2014 with the help of local communities, to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the National Apology to Australia’s First Peoples, 2008. (Photograph by Andrew Babington - AIATSIS)
Established 1964
Location Acton, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Website http://www.aiatsis.gov.au

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is an independent Australian Government statutory authority. It is Australia's premier institution for information about the cultures and societies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is located on Acton Peninsula in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

History[edit]

The Proposal and Interim Council (1959—1964)[edit]

In the late 1950s, there was an increasing focus on the global need for anthropological research into ‘disappearing cultures’.[1][2] This trend was also emerging in Australia in the work of researchers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,[3][4] leading to a proposal by W.C. Wentworth MP for the conception of an Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIAS) in 1959.[5]

The proposal was made as a submission to Cabinet,[6] and argued for a more comprehensive approach by the Australian Government to the recording of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.[7]

In 1960, a Cabinet sub-committee assessed the proposal[8] and formed a working party at the Australian National University (ANU) to consider the viability of the proposal. One of their first actions was to appoint W.E.H. Stanner to organise a conference on the state of Aboriginal Studies in Australia,[6] to be held in 1961 at the ANU.

Academics and anthropologists in the field of Aboriginal Studies attended the conference,[6] and contributed research papers published in a conference report in 1963.[9] No Aboriginal people were present at the conference.[5]

The Prime Minister, Robert Menzies appointed an Interim Council in 1961. The role of the Interim Council was to plan for a national Aboriginal research organisation and establish how this organisation would interact with existing research and scientific bodies.[5] The Interim Council was also tasked with immediately developing a programme that would identify and address urgent research needs.[10]

The Interim Council consisted of 16 members and was chaired by Deputy Vice Chancellor of the ANU, Professor AD Trendall,[5] officially recognised as the first Chair of the institute now known as AIATSIS.[11]

In August 1962, a draft constitution for the institute was submitted to the Menzies government, and rejected. The Interim Council completed a revised constitution in July 1963. Amendments to the document included the change from the title ‘director’ to ‘principal’ of the institute. This version of the constitution would go on to form the basis for the creation of the new Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies the following year.[5]

AIAS Early Years (1964—1970)[edit]

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies was established as a Statutory authority[6][12] under an Act of Parliament in June 1964.[13][14] The mission of the Institute at that time has been described as "to record language, song, art, material culture, ceremonial life and social structure before those traditions perished in the face of European ways."[15]

This notion is also reflected in the Institute’s official functions, as recorded in the Reading of the Bill in Parliament. These were:

(a) to sponsor and to foster research of a scientific nature on the Australian Aborigines.
(b) to treat as a matter of urgency those studies for which the source materials are disappearing.
(c) to establish and conduct a documentation centre on the Aborigines, and a library of books, manuscripts and other relevant material, both for the use of scholars and for public education.
(d) to encourage co-operation with and between scholars in universities, museums, and other institutions engaged in studies of the Aborigines, and with appropriate private bodies.
(e) to publish and to support the publication of the results of research.
(f) to co-operate with appropriate bodies concerning the financing of research, the preservation of sites, and the collection of records.
(g) to promote as and when necessary the training of research workers.
(h) to establish and maintain relations with relevant international bodies.[10]

AIAS had a twenty-two member Council, comprised mainly of academics, and had a foundation membership of one hundred.[16] The founding Principal of the newly formed institute was Frederick McCarthy,[17] a professional anthropologist and graduate of Sydney University who had spent nearly 30 years working in the field.[18]

The creation of the AIAS is considered to be the beginning of a multi-disciplinary research approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies in Australia.[13]

The Institute’s founding principal, Fred McCarthy, was an advocate of film as an important part of research methodology as early as his tenure as curator of anthropology at the Australian Museum in Sydney in the 1940s.[6] This was evident in the contributions he made during his involvement in establishing the AIAS and also as its principal, in continuing to support the development of the AIAS Film Unit[19] and championing ethnographic film in global forums.[6]

In the early years of the AIAS, the Film Unit largely outsourced early filmmaking work to other companies,[19] or worked in collaboration with the Commonwealth Film Unit (as early as 1962).[6][20] But over the next 30 years, the Film Unit would go on to produce “one of the most significant bodies of ethnographic film material in the world.”[21]

In keeping with the AIAS official function “to publish and to support the publication of the results of research”,[10] a publishing arm of the Institute was established in 1964. Publishing under the name Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, the publishing arm released a range of papers and research findings, including in the fields of linguistics, demography, physical anthropology, history and musicology.[22]

The early work of the AIAS is credited with increasing interaction between academics in different fields, as well as establishing the foundations for the extensive collections AIATSIS holds today. But before 1970, there had never been an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander member on the AIAS Council.[16]

Self Determination and the Institute (1970—1989)[edit]

The 1970s marked a period of change for the AIAS. This began with the appointment of the first Aboriginal member of the AIAS Council in 1970.[23] Phillip Roberts, an Alawa man,[24][25] served on the Council from September 1970 until June 1972.[26]

This was followed in 1971 with a second Aboriginal Council member, Senator Neville Bonner, who served on Council until 1974 and for a second term in the late 1970s. And again in 1972, with the appointment of Dick Roughsey to replace Phillip Roberts at the end of his term.[27]

The appointment of Phillip Roberts to the Council reflected a growing pressure for an increase in Aboriginal representation within the Institute.[26] But the move did not allay the belief held by some Aboriginal activists that the AIAS was engaging in ‘tokenism’ in the extent to which Aboriginal people were involved in the administration of Aboriginal Studies.[28]

The changes to the Institute that would take place in the following decade were also influenced by the shifting social and political landscape in Australia.[29] The Aboriginal rights movement was growing[30] and Aboriginal people were demanding a voice on Council, consultation with communities and an increased focus on projects relevant to the needs of Indigenous people.[15]

In 1972, the Whitlam government was elected. Their policy of Self-determination for Aboriginal people echoed calls for greater Aboriginal involvement in the administration and functions of the AIAS.[31][32] The new government was also responsible for a significant boost to AIAS funding.[33]

The appointment of Peter Ucko in 1972 as Principal of the AIAS has since been described as the beginning of an increase in involvement of Aboriginal people in the workings of the Institute.[34]

In his time as Principal, Ucko was responsible for implementing a policy later labelled “Aboriginalisation”, which was aimed at opening up the Institute to Aboriginal involvement and representation.[35] This policy was influenced by a document circulated in 1974, called the Eaglehawk and Crow letter, which criticised the current model of academic research.[36] Its authors called for increased participation of Aboriginal people in the running of the Institute and for training of Aboriginal people to be researchers in their own right.[37]

The policy and structural changes to the Institute continued throughout the 1970s.

The Aboriginal Advisory Committee was established in 1975, and consisted of the six Aboriginal members of the AIAS Council.[38] Early recommendations including increased representation of Aboriginal people on committees and the AIAS Council as well as employment at the Institute.[35] The committee was renamed in 1978, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.[39]

In 1975-1976, a category of research grants for Aboriginal researchers was introduced.[30] The emergence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people filling the role of ‘cultural practitioner’, travelling to the AIAS to provide advice on projects and research being undertaken, was also documented from around 1976 onwards.[40]

The time Peter Ucko spent as Principal of the AIAS saw a phase of “rapid expansion”[34] for the Institute.

The AIAS Film Unit that had operated in Sydney until 1973 was re-established in Canberra in 1975. Prominent American-born ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall was appointed as the Director of this new AIAS Film Unit. With his wife and filmmaking partner Judith, and Kim McKenzie, the Film Unit operated until 1988 when its functions was absorbed back into the Institute.[33]

During the MacDougall/McKenzie era, a new style of ethnographic film was explored.[41] One that moved away from film as a scientific record in favour of telling the story of individuals lives.[33] The filmmakers also practiced a more collaborative approach to their films, and chose to use translations and subtitles to give direct access to the subjects voice and thoughts rather than the dominant ‘voice of god’ narration style.[41][42]

One of the most notable films produced towards the end of this period was Waiting for Harry, a prize-winning film[43] directed by Kim McKenzie with anthropologist Les Hiatt and now considered to exemplify the “style of collaborative filmmaking” the Film Unit favoured in their work.[41]

The power of film to “influence opinion”[33] was becoming increasingly recognised and with this, the lack of representation of Aboriginal people telling their own stories. In 1978, a meeting chaired by prominent activist and academic Marcia Langton expressed these concerns, arguing for greater access to film and video in Aboriginal communities, and training in film production by the AIAS.[33]

By the following year, the AIAS Film Unit had begun to implement a training program[33] and had started employing trainee Aboriginal filmmakers on productions by the early 1980s.[44]

Another notable milestone of this period was the Aboriginal Studies Press first publication of a book written by an Aboriginal person. This happened in 1977, with the release of the book The Two Worlds of Jimmie Barker: the Life of an Australian Aboriginal, 1900-1972 by Jimmie Barker and Janet Mathews.[45][46]

The AIAS began presenting a biennial Wentworth Lecture in 1978, named as a tribute to W.C. Wentworth for his role in establishing the Institute.[30] The lecture is presented by prominent person with knowledge or experience relating to issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia today. The purpose of the lecture series is to 'encourage all Australians to gain a better understanding of issues that go to the heart of our development as a nation.'[47] Prominent Aboriginal people have presented a number of the lectures.[47]

The expansion of the Institute continued into the 1980s. The Aboriginal Studies Press began publishing the Australian Aboriginal Studies Journal in 1983, a peer-reviewed journal aimed at “promoting high-quality research in Australian Indigenous studies.”[48]

In 1982, the AIAS established a task force that identified the prevailing need for further ‘Aboriginalisation’ of the Institute’s workforce. At the time, there were four Aboriginal staff members, making up around 7% of the total staff.[49] This was followed in 1985 with the creation of the role of Aboriginal Studies Coordination Officer within the AIAS, whose responsibilities involved improving access for Aboriginal people to the research and resources of the Institute.[30]

The ‘After 200 Years’ project was launched in 1985, aiming to fill some of the gaps in the AIAS photographic collection; particularly images of daily life in the southern, urban parts of Australia. Aboriginal involvement in selecting subject matter, photographing and documenting the collection was a major part of the project. The three year project culminated in the publication of a book containing hundreds of photographs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and selected by them to represent their community.[50]

The Rock Art Protection Program (RAPP) commenced in 1986 following a request for such an initiative by the then Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Clyde Holding. The aim of the RAPP was to protect Australian Indigenous rock art. Grants were approved by the Institute to fund various projects related to rock art protection.[51]

The collections were also expanding, and by 1987 the AIATSIS library encompassed the print collections, a special Bibliographic Section and the Resource Centre (which contained the Institute’s audiovisual materials).[30]

Between 1987 and 1989, the survival of the AIAS as an independent statutory body was tied to a proposal for a new statutory commission that would take over all aspects of the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio.[52] This commission would become the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), conceived in an Act of Parliament in 1989.[32][53] The AIAS would not be folded into this commission; instead it would be recreated under a new Act with a new name.[54]

AIATSIS (1989—now)[edit]

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Act was passed by parliament in 1989, replacing the AIAS Act.[55] The newly established AIATSIS had a reduced Council consisting of nine members,[56] with the AIATSIS Act specifying that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people hold a minimum of five of these Council positions.[57]

The new Act also established a Research Advisory Committee,[58] to assess research applications and advise the Council.[59]

The Aboriginal Studies Press published their bestselling Aboriginal Australia map in 1996,[60] based on research conducted for the Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia.[61]

In 2001, the Institute launched a two year Library Digitisation Pilot Program (LDPP). Among the items digitised, catalogued and made available online were 267 volumes of the Dawn and New Dawn magazines held in the AIATSIS collection.[62][63] AIATSIS also distributed over 2000 free copies of these magazines on CD-Rom, to Indigenous organisations, schools and libraries in New South Wales.[64]

Throughout this period, AIATSIS continued to undertake projects focused on the digitisation of collection materials, including their holdings of the complete back catalogue of Koori Mail. This involved scanning over 35,000 pages from 500 editions of the newspaper,[65] with searchable copies launched on the AIATSIS website in partnership with Koori Mail in 2011.[66][67]

As part of their research functions, AIATSIS also initiated a number of public programs and research related events during this time that are still run today.[68] The Institute has convened the National Indigenous Studies Conference every two years since 2001 and the National Native Title Conference every year since 2002.[69]

The ‘After 200 Years’ photographic project was revisited in 2014 with an exhibition of images at Parliament House, to coincide with AIATSIS’ 50 year anniversary.[70]

Governance[edit]

The Act[edit]

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989 is a Commonwealth Act of Parliament that establishes the purpose and functions of AIATSIS.[71][72]

The main functions of AIATSIS under the Act are:

(a) to undertake and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies;
(b) to publish the results of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies and to assist in the publication of the results of such studies;
(c) to conduct research in fields relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies and to encourage other persons or bodies to conduct such research;
(d) to assist in training persons, particularly Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders, as research workers in fields relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies;
(e) to establish and maintain a cultural resource collection consisting of materials relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies;
(f) to encourage understanding, in the general community, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies.[73][74]

The AIATSIS Act 1989 also established a Research Advisory Committee[75] and sets out the framework for the AIATSIS Council; specifying the number of members and the minimum representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members on Council.[76][77]

Other legislation that governs the operations of AIATSIS are the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997,[78] the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Regulations 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999.[76]

The Minister for Education is responsible for the Institute, as AIATSIS is part of the portfolio of the Department of Education.[78]

Council[edit]

The AIATSIS Council is a governing body designed to oversee and steer the functions and direction of the Institute. The role and responsibilities of the Council are mandated in the AIATSIS Act 1989[79] and detailed in the AIATSIS Council Charter.[80]

The Council consists of nine members, four are elected by the Institute's membership and five appointed by the Minister.[81]

According to the AIATSIS Act 1989, one person appointed by the Minister must be a Torres Strait Islander and the four other people appointed by the Minister must be Aboriginal persons or Torres Strait Islanders. The four Council members elected by the Institute’s membership must be members themselves.[82][83]

Current AIATSIS Council Chairperson:

The first Aboriginal Chairperson of AIATSIS Council:[85]

The first Aboriginal woman to be Chairperson of AIATSIS Council:

  • Professor Marcia Langton AM, a descendant of the Wiradjuri and Bidjara nations, served as Chairperson of the AIATSIS Council from 1992 – 1998. She is the first Aboriginal woman, and the only woman of any descent, to have held the position of AIATSIS Council Chairperson.[87]

Research Advisory Committee[edit]

The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is responsible for assessing and advising on AIATSIS research projects and programs, including research grants.

The functions of the Research Advisory Committee are established in the AIATSIS Act, 1989. They are:

(a) to assess applications for research grants made to the Institute and to make recommendations to the Council in relation to such applications;
(b) to advise the Council in relation to research matters; and
(c) to advise the Council in relation to applications for membership of the Institute.[88][89]

There are twelve members of the RAC. Three Council members are appointed by the Council and eight members of the Institute are elected by the members. The final RAC member is the AIATSIS Principal.[90][91]

Research Ethics Committee[edit]

The Research Ethics Committee (REC) is responsible for advising AIATSIS on the ethics of the research proposals by staff or grantees of AIATSIS, as well as research carried out through the Institute’s external collaborations.[92]

The roles in the Research Ethics Committee are based on based on guidelines published by the National Health and Medical Research Council.[93][94] There are eight members appointed by the AIATSIS Council, with at least four being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, as follows:

  • a chairperson
  • a lay man and lay woman
  • at least two members with knowledge of, and current experience in, the areas of research that are regularly considered by the Committee
  • at least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counseling or treatment of people
  • at least one member who is a minister of religion or a person who performs a similar role in the community such as an Indigenous elder
  • at least one member who is a lawyer[95]

The functions of the REC are governed by the AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee Charter.[96]

Native Title Research Advisory Committee[edit]

The Native Title Research Advisory Committee (NTRAC) was established by the AIATSIS Council to oversee the work of the Native Title Research Unit and provide advice to the AIATSIS Principal.[97]

There are ten members of the NTRAC, appointed by the AIATSIS Council for a term of two years.[98] Positions on the NTRAC are held by people fulfilling the following categories:

The NTRAC shares oversight of the quality, independence and ethical research of the Native Title Research Unit with the AIATSIS Council and the Research Ethics Committee.[100]

Publishing Advisory Committee[edit]

The Publishing Advisory Committee (PAC) is responsible for making recommendations to the AIATSIS Principal on the selection of manuscripts for publication by the Aboriginal Studies Press.[101]

Manuscripts are first submitted to and read by Aboriginal Studies Press staff and are then subject to peer review by scholars and professionals[102] before being assessed by the PAC.[103]

The PAC members contribute the following range of skills: academic credentials; Indigenous community and language knowledge; and writing and publishing expertise.[104]

Indigenous Caucus[edit]

The Indigenous Caucus is a working group within AIATSIS providing a forum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to meet and discuss workplace issues.[105] The Caucus also provides advice to the AIATSIS Principal,[106] as well as the broader Institute and its Committees.[107]

Caucus also has representatives on the AIATSIS Consultative Committee, a forum for staff and management of the Institute to discuss issues.[108]

The Indigenous Caucus was ‘revitalised’ in 2003-2004 and contributed to the development of policies and procedures in that year, notably AIATSIS’ Indigenous Training and Career Development Plan.[109]

In 2013, the Indigenous Caucus developed a formal Service Charter and elected an Executive consisting of three members.[110]

Ethical research[edit]

AIATSIS is a leader when it comes to research ethics.[111] "Ethical research is about ensuring responsible conduct in research." Originally written in 2000, the AIATSIS guidelines for ethical research were updated in 2010. Many changes have occurred in the last 10 years, particularly in the area of intellectual property and the rights of Indigenous people. It is important that research projects include appropriate rights management.[112]

Family history research and the Biographical Index[edit]

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index had its beginnings in 1979 as a Biographical Names Register. The AIAS Council agreed to a proposal that Library staff commence work on a biographical names register. The aim of the register was to provide a record of the achievements of Aboriginal people and it was hoped that it would be seen as a "source of pride for generations to come".[113]

Today the index continues to be updated, using references from both historical and contemporary works held by the AIATSIS library.[114] Knowing who you are, where you come from and how you fit in is an important part of identity. The index is used as a research tool for people conducting family history research.

Due to funding changes the Family History Unit at AIATSIS is no longer able to answer requests for detailed family history searches from the public.[115]

The AIATSIS Access and Client Services Unit can assist with searches of or accessing an item in the AIATSIS collections.

AIATSIS produces the Family History Research Kit as a resource to guide users on tracing their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.

The Native Title Research Unit (NTRU)[edit]

The NTRU began in 1993 after an AIATSIS Council decision, following Mabo v Queensland in 1992.

The role of the NTRU is to provide advice and assistance on native title claims and to conduct research into the issues surrounding native title in general. Initially funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), currently the NTRU is funded through the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia).[116]

The NTRU runs an annual conference on native title and related topics. Current projects of the NTRU include The Commonwealth minimum connection threshold project. Where research is being conducted into policy, law and attitudes of stakeholders towards the government connection tests for negotiating native title consent determinations.[117]

2012 is the 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision, the first successful native title claim.

The Collections[edit]

It is the collections at AIATSIS that grab your attention. Foremost of the world's collections of materials relating to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, are held within the Library and the Audiovisual Archives. More than 500 Australian Indigenous languages and/or dialects are referenced in the collections. The collections are a result of and support research in the fields of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.[118]

Open to the public, the Library holds in its collections, printed materials in a range of formats. Including, manuscripts, journals, readers in language, dictionaries and grammars, books, rare books, maps, posters kits, microforms and CD ROMS.

A collection close to the heart of many Indigenous people is the Australian Indigenous Languages Collection. The collection includes material in Aboriginal languages across Australia and also contains Torres Strait Islander publications in Meriam Mer, Kala Lagaw Ya and Creole. It is calculated that prior to 1788, over 250 separate languages with 500 dialects were spoken by Australia's Indigenous peoples.[119] The collection, along with the Sorry Books have been cited in the register for the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World. In 1998, thousands of Australians, the famous, to the everyday, wrote messages of apology to the Australian Indigenous peoples for past treatment and injustices.[120]

The Audiovisual Archives holds collections of moving image, audio and photographs. Currently the archives has in approximate numbers, 45,000 hours of recorded sound, 650,000 photographic images, 1000 artefacts and 6 1/2 million feet of film. "The Archive’s strength lies in the unique and irreplaceable nature of its audiovisual collections, and the immediate and emotional link they provide between past, present and future generations."[121]

Significant collection items in the Audiovisual Archives includes copies of an ethnographic wax cylinder recordings made in the Torres Strait Islands in 1898. The Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Strait, led by Alfred Cort Haddon, recorded songs and speech from Mer / Murray Island, Mabuiag / Jervis Island, Saibai Island, Tudu Island and Iama / Yam Island.[122]

Along with its own catalogue, AIATSIS adds records to other organisations search platforms such as the National Library of Australia’s Trove. Further enhancing discoverability of and access to its collections.[123]

Digitisation[edit]

Digitisation of material in the collections at AIATSIS is essential in preserving fragile unique items such as manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings and films. Access to the collections beyond the analogue formats is crucial for current and future generations.

2001 saw a pilot program for digitisation established in AIATSIS both for printed and audiovisual material. Originally funded by ATSIC, the program was extended with additional funding from Commonwealth agencies Department of Education Science and Training (DEST), and then Department of Innovation, Science and Research (DIISR).[124]

Ten years later, work continues on digitising, metadata, access, conservation and preservation. One of the aims of the project is to digitise and preserve all of the audiovisual collection currently in analogue formats by 2025.

Publishing[edit]

Aboriginal Studies Press[edit]

In keeping with its mandated functions,[125][126] AIATSIS publishes the results of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies through their publishing arm, Aboriginal Studies Press (ASP). The Institute began publishing in 1962 with A demographic survey of the Aboriginal population of the Northern Territory, with special reference to Bathurst Island Mission. This and other early publications were released under the imprint Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, the former title of AIATSIS.[127] The ASP publishing imprint was trademarked in 2002,[128] but was operating as the publishing arm of AIATSIS as early as the publication of Helen Ross’ Just For Living in 1987.[129]

The AIATSIS Research Publications became an imprint in 2011 and its stated purpose is to publish scholarly research that is derived from the AIATSIS Research Program.[130] With the Research program, ASP also publishes the Australian Aboriginal Studies (AAS) journal.[131] All Aboriginal Studies Press-branded titles are peer-reviewed[132] and the majority are published concurrently in print and several ebook formats.[133] he first phone app was published in 2013, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Mobile Awards.[134]

Titles published by ASP have included research reports, monographs, biographies, autobiographies, family and community histories,[135] and children’s books[136] Since 2005 the list has aligned more closely with the Institute’s research focus.[137] Most publications derive from academic research, some funded by AIATSIS.[138] ASP publishes books by both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous authors who are writing in the field of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. In some cases Aboriginal authors, like Doreen Kartinyeri[139] and Joan Martin,[140] have chosen to write in collaboration with non-Aboriginal oral historians.

Cleared out (2005) won two WA Premier’s Book Awards and inspired the multi-award winning documentary film, Contact.[141] The creation of both the book and film reflect strong family and community engagement.[142]

The Little Red Yellow Black Book (updated 2008, 2012)[143][144] was shortlisted with its companion website in the Australian Publishers Association Educational Awards,[145][146][147] and is a widely recognised as an educational and cross-cultural training resource.[148][149][150][151]

Another widely used resource published by Aboriginal Studies Press is the Aboriginal Australia map.[152][153][154][155] The Aboriginal Australia map represents the general locations of larger groupings of Aboriginal people, using research that was conducted during the development of The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia,[156]which was another significant ASP publication.[157] Previous milestone publications included the book After 200 Years, a collaboration showcasing photographs and stories of Aboriginal people as selected by members of those communities.[158]Both books are now out of print and only available in libraries.[159][160]

ASP also publishes the Stanner Award winner for a manuscript by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, which recognises the importance of being published to emerging academics. The prize includes mentoring and editorial support by ASP, as well as publication of the manuscript.[161]

The Publishing Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the AIATSIS Principal and Aboriginal Studies Press about which manuscripts to publish from those submitted.[162][163]

Aboriginal Studies Press has relationships with distributors and resellers for both national and international print and ebook distribution.[164]

Publications[edit]

The building on Acton Peninsula[edit]

The west wing of the AIATSIS building designed by Ashton Raggatt McDougall, is a black replica of Le Corbusier's iconic Villa Savoye

The architect, Howard Ragatt of the firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall designed the building for the National Museum of Australia and also the building for AIATSIS. Both buildings reside on the Acton precinct. Controversy also surrounds this building with the claim that part of the rear of the building is a copy of pioneer architect Le Corbusier's 1920's Villa Savoye. The building cost $13.7 million.

The building was officially opened in September 2001 with the Honourable W.C. Wentworth and Mr Ken Colbung, in attendance. A smoking ceremony was performed by the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the land the building stands upon. As part of the celebrations, a friendship ceremony, known as Rom, was performed by the Anbarra people who came from Central Arnhem Land to participate in this important ceremony.[165]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Heine-Geldern, R (1959), 'The International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research', American Anthropologist, 61: 1076–1078. doi: 10.1525/aa.1959.61.6.02a00130
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  6. ^ a b c d e f g Bryson, Ian (2002), ‘Aborigines, film and science’, Bringing to Light: a history of ethnographic filmmaking at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, pp 9-17
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  14. ^ 'Interim Council for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Agency Details', National Archives of Australia website, www.naa.gov.au, retrieved 28 October 2014.
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