AIATSIS is Australia’s premier national institution for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. We house the world’s most important and extensive collection of cultural and research material, and we promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and culture through access to our collections and including publishing through Aboriginal Studies Press. We engage in a broad research program, covering areas of social and cultural wellbeing, country and governance, and including the Native title Research Unit. AIATSIS works to enhance the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to enable a better understanding of Australia and its people by all Australians.
According to recent significance assessments the AIATSIS collection is the “most extensive and best contextualised collection of Indigenous Australia in the world”. As a major national keeping place for Indigenous knowledge, it is also key research infrastructure and a source of information and knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and histories for Australia and the world. The Collections program encompasses all aspects of collection development, management, preservation and access.
Curators are members of the Collections program which is responsible for both the development, preservation of and access to the Institute’s collections. The curatorial team researches and documents collection materials and also presents and publishes results including the preparation and presentation of journal articles, blog articles, tours, media appearances, statements of significance, provenance reports and collection assessments. This position will be involved in the development of exhibitions, both online and physical, and also contribute to the prioritisation of materials for digitisation. At times curators may be called upon to answer specialist public enquiries on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history and assist where required with other reference desk duties
Successful candidates will have experience working with Indigenous materials in a museum, library or gallery context and a proven understanding of collection management practices, including a high level understanding of content description, have a proven research interest and record and capacity to identify and negotiate appropriate collection development sources and opportunities.
Under limited direction
Carry out research on the AIATSIS collection, provide high-level documentation of materials held in the collection in a timely and accurate manner, and present and publish on the results including the preparation and presentation of journal articles, blog articles, tours, media appearances, statements of significance, provenance reports and collection assessments.
Contribute to the process of prioritisation of materials for digitisation.
Carry out bibliographic documentation of items in the collection including annotation and analytic cataloguing.
Advise on the purchasing of items for the collection and areas of collection growth and development.
Answer specialist public enquiries on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history and assist where required with other reference desk duties
Provide high-level management assistance and contribute to policy development through the provision of advice, written reports, submissions and more complex correspondence.
Communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders on a range of complex matters
Supervise and train staff as required and identify and act on own development needs.
Contribute to the achievement of AIATSIS goals and objectives as a member of the Collections Program
Be aware of, and work to the capability clusters outlined in the Australian Public Service Commission Integrated Leadership System applicable to APS 6 employees.
Indigenous jobseekers are encouraged to apply for this vacancy. This position is 'Identified', which means that part of or all of the duties impact on Indigenous Australian people and/or involve interaction with Indigenous Australian communities or their representatives.
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Demonstrated commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the demonstrated ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This commitment will be shown by their capacity to:
understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures;
identify issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today; and
Demonstrated understanding of the role of a major specialist collection in meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and researchers, and the particular demands of such a collection,- including understanding of the challenges posed by Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights and the concerns of Indigenous peoples when facilitating discoverability of material which contains Indigenous cultural heritage.
Demonstrated record in a field related to Australian Indigenous studies, including: arts, history, political, cultural, colonial and social history, contemporary issues, cultural studies and/or a background in another relevant subject discipline, with a demonstrated ability to research, analyse, interpret and publish information to a high academic standard.
Demonstrated ability to respond positively to change in a flexible manner.
Demonstrated ability to identify broader factors, trends and influences that may impact on own and team’s work.
Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a variety of formats and adapt key messages to different audiences.
Tertiary qualifications in a relevant subject field are essential preferably at a post graduate level.
Prior experience as a curator in, or working in a cultural heritage collection is desirable.