Our organisation is governed by a Council of nine members. Four are elected by AIATSIS members, while five are appointed by our Minister and must be Aboriginal persons or Torres Strait Islanders.
The Council is responsible for setting our policies and ensuring we perform properly and efficiently across all of our functions.
The AIATSIS Council Charter outlines Council’s responsibilities.
Professor Michael McDaniel (Chair)
Professor Michael McDaniel is a member of the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri Nation of Central New South Wale. He has a career in Indigenous higher education and record of service to the arts, culture and the community spanning almost three decades.
He is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) and Director of Jumbunna at University of Technology Sydney.
He has held a number of Government appointments including the Minister’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council, National Native Title Tribunal and the NSW Land and Environment Court.
He is currently Chair of the Board of Bangarra Dance Theatre, a Director with the Australian Major Performing Arts Group, a Director with the Museum of Contemporary Art (Australia), Chair of the MCA (Australia) Indigenous Advisory Group and Chair of the Sydney Living Museums Aboriginal Advisory Committee. Michael is also a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (NATSIHEC) and as a NATSIHEC delegate has on a number of occasions participated in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and through NATSIHEC is a member of the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC).
Mr Stephen Kinnane
Stephen Kinnane is a Marda Marda man from Miriwoong country in the East Kimberley.
Stephen has been an active researcher and writer for more than 20 years as well as lecturing and working on community cultural heritage and development projects. His interests are diverse encompassing Aboriginal history, creative documentary (both visual and literary), and tensions surrounding the ideals of sustainability and the relationships between individuality, community, country, economy and human development.
Stephen has lectured at Murdoch University in Australian Indigenous Studies and Sustainability; completed a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberra, and was currently Senior Researcher for the Nulungu Research Institute of the University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome. He remains involved with Nulungu as an Adjunct Research Fellow.
He co-wrote and produced The Coolbaroo Club (1996) an ABC TV documentary, awarded the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Human Rights Award for the Arts, and collaborated with Lauren Marsh and Alice Nannup on the completion of When the Pelican Laughed, (1992) the story of Mrs Alice Nannup (Fremantle Arts Centre Press). His book, Shadow Lines was awarded the WA Premier’s Award for Non-Fiction 2004, the Federation of Australian Writer’s Award for Non-Fiction 2004, The Stanner Award 2004, and was short-listed for the Queensland, South Australian Premier’s Awards.
Stephen is currently a member of the boards of; Magabala Books, the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ANU), Indigenous Community Stories WA, and the AIATSIS Research Advisory Committee.
Ms Donisha Duff
Donisha Duff is of Torres Strait Islander descent from Moa and Badu Islands and the Yadhaigana and Wuthathi people (Cape York).
Donisha was awarded a Roberta Sykes Fellowship to Harvard University and she is currently a Board Trustee of the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation. She is a Board member of the Stars Foundation to empower the educational development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women and is also appointed to the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA) Indigenous Working Group.
Donisha completed a Master of Business Administration (ANU) and is National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year 2014.
Doctor Myfany Turpin
Dr Myfany Turpin is a linguist and ethnomusicologist at the University of Sydney. She holds an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to investigate the relationship between words and music in Aboriginal songs in central Australia. She has been conducting research with Aboriginal communities since 1994. Her research focuses on Aboriginal song-poetry and Arandic languages.
Her research on the Kaytetye language resulted in a co-authored encyclopaedic dictionary, picture dictionary and collection of stories with Kaytetye speaker Alison Ross. She has written scholarly articles in the areas of semantics, music, phonology and ethnobiology and produced audio-visual publications of Aboriginal songs.
She supports school language and culture programs in central Australia and works with local organisations to produce resources and provide opportunities for Aboriginal people to assist them in their struggle for cultural and linguistic survival.
She is a member of the Musicological Society of Australia and the Australian Linguistics Society and is a member of the organising committee for the 2017 Linguistics conference.
Ms Rachel Perkins
Director, Blackfella Films P/L, Sydney, NSW (Photo by Leon Mead)
Rachel Perkins’ is a member of the Arrernte nation whose lands surround Alice Springs and the Kalkadoon people from the MT Isa region.
Rachel has served on a number of federal agencies including Screen Australia, the Australian Film Commission, and the Australian Film Television and Radio School. She was a founding board member of NITV, which she was instrumental in establishing. She has also served on the boards of various Aboriginal organisations and industry associations, including Bangarra Dance Theatre. She currently serves on the board of the Australian Heritage Commission.
Her company Blackfella Films, established in 1993, is a leader in the creation of Indigenous content, including the series First Contact, Redfern Now, First Australians, Ready For This and its latest production DNA Nation. Her work as director includes documentaries such as Freedom Ride and the more recent Black Panther Women as well as movies Bran Nue Dae, One Night the Moon, Mabo and the upcoming film Jasper Jones.
She also works in the cultural sector, directing festivals, such as the Yeperenye Festival for the Centenary of Federation. She researched and published The Black Book, a director of Indigenous people working in the cultural sector. In more recent times she has focussed on the development of Arrernte culture, the first project being an Arrernte Women’s Camp, which recorded and revived the repertoire of Arrernte women’s traditional musical heritage.
Professor Cindy Shannon
Professor Cindy Shannon is a descendent of the Ngugi people from Moreton Bay. In 2011 Cindy was appointed as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Education) at The University of Queensland and is also currently the Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, which was established in late 2014.
Cindy was previously the Director of the Centre for Indigenous Health at The University of Queensland and guided the development and implementation of Australia’s first degree level program that specifically targeted Aboriginal health workers. Professor Shannon has contributed to Indigenous health policy development and implementation nationally and undertaken a number of independent primary health care service reviews, including a major report for the 2003 interdepartmental review of primary health care service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Cindy was a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council, and chaired its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Advisory Committee from 2005-2012. She is currently also:
- Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Member, Health and Hospital Fund Advisory Board
- Chair of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation
- Member, Greater Brisbane Metro South Medicare Local Board
- Board member, Lives Lived Well
Ms Jodie Sizer
Ms Jodie Sizer is a Djap Wurrung/Gunditjmara woman, and part of the Framlingham Community of South West Victoria. Jodie was previously the Principal Consultant and Director of Ingenuity Australia, a consulting group that provides leadership, development and project management skills to Indigenous communities.
Jodie was named as Victorian Aboriginal Young Achiever in 2000, when she was working as an auditor at a big four accounting firm, and has maintained a prominent role in the Indigenous space and across broader society.
Jodie has also worked in Indigenous organisations and government. She was an ATSIC Regional Councillor, a finalist in the Telstra Business Women of the Year award, listed in the Australian Women's Who's Who publication, inducted on the Victorian Women's Honour roll, recipient of the Prime Ministers Centenary medal and listed as one of the Australian Financial Review's 100 Women of Influence.
Geoffrey Winters is a proud Kamilaroi man who’s family is from Walgett in north-west New South Wales. He is currently a director and lawyer at Chalk & Behrendt, Lawyers & Consultants in Sydney where he practices in the areas of Aboriginal land rights, native title, administrative and government law. He was previously the judicial associate to the Hon. Justice Basten of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales and the Hon Justice Wright of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
In addition, Geoffrey is a member of the Board of the New South Wales Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network and in 2017 was awarded the Sister Allison Bush Medal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement by the University of Sydney.