Structures and organisations

Structures and organisations

There are many organisations concerned with indigenous issues.

  • Government organisations
  • Indigenous representative organisations
  • Indigenous non-profit organisations
  • Other non-profit organisations

Australian Government Departments, Authorities, Programs

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is the world's premier institution for information and research about the cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, past and present.

AIATSIS is an Australian Government statutory authority established under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The Minister responsible for AIATSIS is the Hon Simon Birmingham MP, Minister for Education and Training. We sit within the portfolio of the Department of Education and Training.

The Lowitja Institute
The Lowitja Institute is a national health research institute focused solely on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Lowitja recognises that better governance can improve care and support the work of health care staff. The Institute’s research on governance and health systems explores the impacts of; contracting and funding environments on health service providers, relationship between government and Aboriginal community controlled organisations and practical methods to address overburden.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Collects relevant, high quality information and research about Indigenous health issues and treatment.

Closing the Gap
The Prime Minister’s annual report to Parliament on progress in Closing the Gap

The National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee organises events, and assists others to do so. NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

National Native Title Tribunal
Commonwealth Attorney-General
Seeks to assist in reaching timely and effective outcomes for native title claims, as well as arbitrating between parties over applications for land use or ownership.

Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation
Assists Indigenous people to acquire and manage land to provide cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits.

The Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations

The Registrar is an independent statutory office holder who administers the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). This Act guides how Indigenous corporations are run. The CATSI Act started on 1 July 2007.

The Registrar's office supports and regulates the corporations that are incorporated under the CATSI Act. It does this in a variety of ways: by advising them on how to incorporate, by training directors, members and key staff in good corporate governance, by making sure they comply with the law and by intervening when needed.
This website has been developed to share information, news, stories and events that are of interest to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians or people working in Indigenous affairs. The five programme streams of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy have been used to shape the navigation of the site, reflecting the key areas of focus for Indigenous affairs.


National Indigenous representative bodies

Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states: Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters that affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own Indigenous decision making institutions. A national representative body is a key mechanism to enable this contribution, through partnerships with government, the private sector and the Australian community. Over the past 50 years there have been four main national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ representative bodies in Australia:

  • the National Consultative Committee (established in 1973 - 1977)
  • the National Aboriginal Conference (1977–1984)
  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1989 – 2005)
  • the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (2010 - 2019)

Here is a quick guide to these and other Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian Government representative and advisory bodies.

Land Councils

Land councils represent Indigenous affairs at state or territory level. They aim to protect the interests and further the aspirations of Indigenous communities.

Australian Capital Territory

United Ngunnawal Elders Council (UNEC)

New South Wales

NSW Aboriginal Land Council:


North Queensland Aboriginal Land Council:
Central QALC: represented by North Queensland Land Council.
Cape York Land Council:

Northern Territory

Central Land Council:, covering the southern part of mainland Northern Territory.
Northern Land Council:, covering the Top End, the northern part of mainland Northern Territory.
Tiwi Land Council:, covering Bathurst and Melville Islands north of Darwin.
Anindilyakawa Land Council:, covering Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

South Australia

Anangu Pitjantjatjara Land Council:


Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council
Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Inc.:


Barengi Gadjin Land Council:, managing a few land parcels in western Victoria.

Western Australia

South-West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council:
Yamatji Bana Baaba Marlpa Land and Sea Council, covering the Murchison, Gascoyne and Pilbara Regions of Western Australia.
Goldfields Land and Sea Council: covering land from Wiluna (on the edge of the Great Central Desert), to Esperance on Australia’s southern coast.
Kimberley Land Council:
Ngaanyatjarra Council:, covering communities in the east of Western Australia, but also around Alice Springs, NT.



Other organisations

There are many organisations working directly for the well-being of Indigenous people, the following are a few of them. Their web sites also list other relevant organisations.

Reconciliation Australia
Reconciliation Australia was established in 2001 and is the lead body on reconciliation in the nation. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation which promotes and facilitates reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our ambition is to enable all Australians to contribute to the reconciliation of the nation. Our vision of reconciliation is based on five inter-related dimensions: race relations, equality and equity, unity, institutional integrity and historical acceptance. These five dimensions do not exist in isolation; they are inter-related and Australia can only achieve full reconciliation if we progress in all five dimensions, weaving them together to become a whole.

Australia for Native Tile and Reconciliation (ANTAR)
ANTAR's pPurpose is "To engage, educate and mobilise a broad community movement to advocate for justice, rights and respect for Australia's First Peoples." ANTaR has been working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and leaders on rights and reconciliation issues since 1997. ANTaR is an independent, national network of organisations and individuals working in support of Justice, Rights and Respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. ANTaR is an independent non-government organisation and is non-party-political.


Link-Up (NSW) Aboriginal Corporation was founded in1980 to assist all Aboriginal people who had been directly affected by past government policies; being separated from their families and culture through forced removal, being fostered, adopted or raised in institutions. Link-Up (NSW) supports the healing journeys of those removed; delivering professional, culturally sensitive and confidential research, reunions and Social, Emotional and Wellbeing services to those over the age of eighteen.