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Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
Position Level: 
APS Level 6
$76,459 to $86,968
Acton ACT
Job type: 
Closing date: 
16 June 2021
To event remaining 2 days

AIATSIS is leading a program to secure the return of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultural heritage held overseas to its original custodians and owners or appropriate cultural institutions.

Returning material to country for purposes of cultural revitalisation is a key aspiration of Indigenous communities. The Return of Cultural Heritage (RoCH) program supports the cultural resurgence of Australia’s First Nations peoples. This initiative will strengthen the signal both to the nation and globally that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is respected, celebrated and valued.

The Senior Researcher will be culturally competent (with practical experience with Indigenous engagement or demonstrated capacity to develop this experience), a clear and effective communicator, with emotional intelligence and self-awareness, and a creative thinker with research experience or qualifications in research or repatriation.

Key duties

The Senior Researcher is responsible for the preparation and production of high-quality research, developing reports and other correspondence, assisting with the preparation of official return requests, policy papers and other outputs. The position supports the Assistant Director and Director to ensure the successful facilitation and negotiation of return requests. 

This officer will work in partnership with peak representative bodies and identified communities to understand their requirements in relation to their cultural heritage held overseas, and to build ongoing relationships.  The Senior Researcher supports the Assistant Director and Director to engage with communities to identify relevant material for return, organise return logistics and assist with the organisation of any events or ceremonies to welcome and celebrate returned material.

This role will assist in the development of productive and mutually respectful relationships with international collecting institutions, governments and private collectors. 

In addition the successful applicant should have the ability to:

  • show respect for the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, knowledge and material when designing and undertaking research, and
  • engage and negotiate in good faith, with the intent to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities


Note: The position requires reasonable amounts of domestic and the possibility of international travel.

Indigenous job seekers are encouraged to apply for this vacancy. If the job is 'Identified', then part or all of the duties impact on Indigenous Australian communities or their representatives.The filling of this vacancy is intended to constitute an affirmative measure under section 8(1) of the 'Racial Discrimination Act 1975'. This vacancy is only available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people.

For more information: 
Ophelia Rubinich
(02) 6129 3903
Position number: