After over a quarter of a century on the Council, 17 years as its Chairperson, Professor Mick Dodson AM this week has stepped down from the helm of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Studies (AIATSIS).
“I step down confident the future of AIATSIS is in safe hands. The appointment of a new CEO, Craig Ritchie, recent funding allocation and passing of amendments to the AIATSIS Act 1989 provide renewed purpose for our 50 year old institution,” Professor Dodson said.
“It has been a privilege to serve the Australian people including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in my role, and an honour to witness and guide the growth of AIATSIS into the world renowned research, collecting and publishing institution it is today.
“AIATSIS is the custodian of knowledge, history and heritage of the oldest continuing culture on earth. It is intrinsic to our national identity.
“From language to dance, music to art, songlines to stories, AIATSIS has a central role in making sure that’s available not just to present generations but to future generations.”
Professor Dodson paid tribute to the staff at AIATSIS saying their dedication and professionalism never ceased to astound him.
“People entrust their knowledge, culture and language to this place because they know it will be looked after in an ethical and culturally appropriate way, because that’s the way we have done business for over 50 years,” Professor Dodson said.
AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie said Professor Dodson’s service to AIATSIS is unparalleled, his vision a guiding force for the Institute for almost half its life.
“Not only has Professor Dodson been a longstanding champion for AIATSIS, he is also a national icon and champion and for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“On behalf of everyone involved with AIATSIS, past and present, I say thank you Professor Dodson for your courage, your guidance and dedication.”
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