Release type: Media Release


New funding to preserve Indigenous cultural materials


The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education and Training
Leader of the House

The Australian Government has today announced an additional $5 million in 2015-16 to strengthen the capacity of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to manage and preserve its collection.

Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the internationally significant AIATSIS collection is home to Australia’s pre-eminent collection of materials relating to Indigenous languages and cultural history.

“Today’s announcement is an important investment in building the capacity of AIATSIS,” Mr Pyne said.

“The significance of the Indigenous languages collection is indisputable, which is highlighted by its listing on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.

“We are committed to preserving these priceless elements of our national identity.

“This announcement will also benefit local and international researchers as AIATSIS receives hundreds of requests each year for access to its audio and visual archives.”

AIATSIS holds more than a million items within its growing collection, and has earned a global reputation for the way in which it develops and shares its collection of Australia’s Indigenous cultural materials.

Last year was the 50th anniversary of the establishment of AIATSIS by the Menzies government in 1964. Over the past 50 years, AIATSIS has played a central leadership role as a cultural and research centre for the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.