02/16/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/15/2018 18:47
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) hosted the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, for a tour of the Institute to showcase AIATSIS' work on Sunday, 4 February, 2018.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Mrs Lucy Turnbull AO, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion and the Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP.
AIATSIS Chief Executive Officer Craig Ritchie and AIATSIS Chairperson Professor Michael McDaniel acted as tour guides for the evening.
The tour started with a brief history of AIATSIS covering the transformation from an academy to preserve the cultural practice and legacy expected to disappear through assimilationist policies, to a national knowledge and cultural institution led by Indigenous people with deep connections to Indigenous Australia.
The Prime Ministerial party then travelled through the technical and operational parts of the Institute, including the video suite, photographic studio, the engineers' workshop, and the art and objects vault.
In the Stanner Room staff gave an overview of the AIATSIS Collection, assessed as the most extensive and best contextualised collection of Indigenous Australian material in the world, highlights included:
The Prime Minister and his party were highly engaged throughout the tour, asking questions of staff as they worked their way through the building being introduced to the many aspects of the broad work of AIATSIS.
The party were accompanied by Council Members Jodie Sizer and Geoffrey Winters, the AIATSIS Senior Executive and the many staff who gave up their Sunday evening to speak to the work of AIATSIS.
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