The Institute Times

2008 - AIATSIS launches the Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship program

Dave Johnston presenting a seminar at AIATSIS as an Indigenous Visiting Research Fellow.
Dave Johnston, Indigenous Visiting Research Fellow presenting a seminar at AIATSIS.

Established in 2008, the AIATSIS Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowship (IVRF) program has funded more than 20 Indigenous Research Fellows.  This program enables scholars to further their academic career and engage in current public policy debate in their chosen field.

The program is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants who have a good balance between relevant work experience and proven research ability or potential. Whilst academic qualifications can be an important indicator of capability to undertake research projects, they are not the sole determinant of suitability.

The program supports Indigenous people with relevant experiences and backgrounds who wish to contribute to knowledge about Indigenous societies and inform public policy, and those continuing their careers in Indigenous research.


2009 - Government announces support for Indigenous representative body – National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

2009 - Maralinga traditional owners get their land back

In celebration of the gathering at Ooldea on Wednesday 11 December 1991 to mark the return by the South Australian Government of 3600 square kilometres of unalloted Crown Lands including land areas at Ooldea, to Maralinga Tjarutja. The return of these Lands is in accordance with the Maralinga Tjarutja Land Rights (Additional Lands) Amendment Act 1991 as proclaimed by Her Excellency the Governor in Executive Council on 28 November 1991. The Hon Mike Rann, MP Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.
Courtesy of AIATSIS.

On Friday 19 December 2009, hundreds of people gathered in Maralinga Village for the official return of Section 400, just over 3000 square kilometres parcel of land located inside Maralinga Tjarutja Lands.

Section 400 was a spiritually significant site for the Anangu yet was developed as a permanent proving ground site for atomic bomb testing. The first atomic bomb was set off at the site by the British in 1956.

Fifty years later the Maralinga Tjarutja chairman, Keith Peters told ABC radio having their land returned would bring healing to the community.

“Our people fought, they fought so bad to get the land back, back in the past in the '80s, and they've finally made it, to get the land back.”

There to witness the historical moment, ABC Radio’s Nance Haxton said members of the Maralinga Tjarutja community, though they had mixed emotions about the hand-back cried as the South Australian Governor Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce handed over the deed, such was their relief at having the last parcel of their land back.

Source: PM with Mark Colvin, ABC Radio

2009 - Read With Me program kicks off

The Read With Me program - two men read a story book to a group of children.

AIATSIS Researcher Dr. Lawrence Bamblett started the Read With Me program in his local community, Erambie in NSW, after receiving a small Parental and Community Engagement grant from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

In December 2009, Yalbillinga Boori Childcare Centre hosted 150 students, parents and school staff at Read With Me day. The goal was to share an interest in reading. Parents learned from Koori teachers what they could do to support reading development in children. Books by Wiradjuri authors Isobel Coe and Anita Heiss were promoted. Anita ran writing workshops with the children.

The community and the schools were keen on the idea of a project to promote reading and celebrating Wiradjuri achievement.

Read With Me program on Facebook.

2010 - Australian Government appoints expert panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

2010 - Noongar man Ken Wyatt becomes first Indigenous Australian in the Australian Parliament’s House of Representatives

2011 - AIATSIS establishes Centre for Australian Languages

2011 - AIATSIS research informs Native Title 'reversal of the onus of proof' debate

Robert French, Chief Justice of the High Court, has publicly promoted the idea of a reversal of the onus of proof of connection from the native title applicants to claim respondents. Other proposals in relation to proof and continuity have also been put forward by a range of native title practitioners.

The AIATSIS Project will consider the implications of these proposals, including, analysing the effects of an inference or reversal of onus on the conduct of proceedings, assessing the impact of changes on the approach of respondent parties to the settlement of claims, implications for the management of disputes amongst native title groups; and consideration of options and challenges for implementation.


2011 - Act of Recognition passes

Australia moves closer to constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with the Act of Recognition passing the House of Representatives on Wednesday 13 February 2013.


2013 - First Aboriginal person to lead a government in Australia

Adam Giles, a Gamilaroi man from NSW, becomes Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the first Aboriginal person to lead a government in Australia.

2013 - Australia's Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs

"Australia will have a Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs and a dedicated Indigenous Affairs Minister" announces newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Tony Abbott, MP.

Nova Peris - the first Aboriginal woman to enter Federal Parliament.

2013 - First Aboriginal woman enters Federal Parliament

Nova Peris becomes Senator for the Northern Territory and the first Aboriginal woman to enter Federal Parliament.