Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Data Archive

ATSIDA Reference Group

Terms of Reference

ATSIDA is a specialised trusted research data management facility, and thematic archive within the Australian Data Archive for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research data managed by the UTS Library. ATSIDA provides a transformational research platform working at the nexus of researchers, communities and other stakeholders in preserving and ensuring ethical access to research data related to Indigenous communities. ATSIDA works with universities, government and other organisations to increase Indigenous student and staff research capacity, support Indigenous researchers and those working with Indigenous research data. It engages with communities to manage appropriate access and return of digital materials.


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Data Archive Reference Group is the principle advisory body to ATSIDA supporting the ethical and effective operations of ATSIDA through:

  • advising on the development and strategic direction of ATSIDA
  • assisting in building relationships with Indigenous communities, researchers, university partners and collections institutions
  • ratifying ATSIDA Protocols and associated policies
  • providing advice on ethical issues, particularly related to access to datasets, that present challenges under current ATISIDA Protocols
  • referring items for appropriate community consultation


The Reference Group seeks to provide broad representation, with members demonstrating relevant experience and knowledge across issues related to the ethical collection and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research data, and the conduct of research projects involving Indigenous populations and their data. As ATSIDA is a national data archive, composition of the Reference Group aims to ensure broad geographical representation from Australia’s states and territories.

The Reference Group membership shall consist of, as a minimum:

  • Ex Officio Members:
    • UTS Librarian or nominee
    • Director Library Resources Unit
    • ATSIDA Coordinator
    • a suitably qualified representative from the national/state museums, archives and/or libraries sector
    • Director of UTS Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research (JIIER) or nominee
    • AIATSIS Principal or nominee
  • Nominated Members:
    • 1 (minimum) representative(s) from the museums, archives and/or libraries sector
    • 1 Indigenous HDR student from any university
    • 2 Indigenous (research active) academics; 1 from UTS and 1 from another institution

Invited guests, experts and other members may be added at the instigation of the Chair in consultation with the reference group to ensure a broadly representative and suitably qualified Reference Group.

Terms of Office

Nominated members of the Reference Group will be appointed by the UTS University Librarian in consultation with the Chair.

TTerms of Office for nominated members will be two years, except for student representatives who will hold office for one year. Nominated members may be invited to extend their terms of office for an additional two years at the instigation of the Chair in consultation with the reference group.

Committee Chair

The University Librarian will call for expressions of interest for Chair at the expiry of the current Chair’s term of office. EOI’s may be received from within the Reference Group or externally. The Chair must be an Indigenous person. Where there are multiple nominations a ballot will be administered by UTS Library under its secretarial role to the Group, the results of the vote must comprise of majority Indigenous representation. Before calling for a ballot the University Librarian, ATSIDA Coordinator and an Indigenous committee member will review all nominations to ensure a suitably qualified/experienced Chair. Where there are no nominations or in other extraordinary circumstances the University Librarian reserves the right to extend the current chair and/or directly appoint an interim Chair. The chair will be appointed for a term of 2 years.

The chair is responsible for ensuring:

  • ATSIDA considers all matters raised by the reference group
  • ATSIDA remains true to the endorsed strategy
  • meetings are conducted in a timely and orderly manner


To address issues which may arise related to access requests to datasets where no record of permissions and access conditions exist (for older datasets) or where there are other potential issues related to requests to access datasets, a sub-committee of the Reference Group will be formed. This sub-committee will be chaired by the ATSIDA Coordinator and consist of two other members of the Reference Group plus agreed expert invitees as required. Members will be asked to nominate for membership of this sub-committee. The sub-committee will consist of majority Indigenous representation. The sub-committee will meet on an as- needs basis with minutes, actions and final recommendations formally escalated to the reference group for consideration. Other subcommittees e.g. thematic, will follow the same principles and processes. All subcommittees will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Reference Group is accountable for:

  • promote ATSIDA and its principles of ethical data management and engagement
  • ensuring ATSIDA’s strategic direction meets community expectations, and best practice in the management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research data and ICIP rights protection
  • ensure ATSIDA’s strategic direction is focused on meeting community expectations, and best practice in the management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research data e.g. application of ICIP rights protections
  • ensure deposit of, and access to, datasets held in ATSIDA is governed by suitable protocols
  • ensure access conditions are reviewed annually and remain current

The Reference Group members commit to:

  • reviewing and maintaining an understanding of the ATSIDA strategy and initiatives
  • assisting in building mutually beneficial and respectful relationships between ATSIDA, Indigenous communities, researchers and curatorial institutions
  • respecting the diversity of the communities they engage with and recognise the community as key stakeholders


To be held four times per year, with at least two of these meetings virtual. Members may attend any meeting virtually.

Quorum is achieved with attendance of 5 members where the majority are of Indigenous background. Where quorum is not possible informal discussions will be held and minuted, these will be circulated to the REference Group and added to any items circulated for consideration at the next meeting or any items presented out of session.

UTS Library will provide secretariat support. Agenda items, apologies and papers may be forwarded to the Office of Scholarly Communication, UTS Library up to one week prior to meetings.

The final agenda and papers will be distributed two weeks preceding the meeting. Minutes will be distributed no later than one week following the conclusion of the meeting.

Amendments and Variations

This Terms of Reference will be formally reviewed annually. It may be amended or varied in writing following agreement by a quorum of the Reference Group.

ATSIDA Reference Group Members


Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver


Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Services, University of Sydney

Michael Gonzalez


University Librarian, UTS Library

Charlotte Moar


ATSIDA Coordinator, UTS Library

Kirsten Thorpe (nominee of Prof Larissa Behrendt)


Director, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research (JIIER), UTS or nominee.

Lyndall Ley


Executive Director, Collections, AIATSIS



Research active academic

Rose Barrowcliffe


USC HDR student

Phil Gordon



Ronald Briggs


Indigenous Librarian, Indigenous Services, The State Library of NSW

Stephanie Gilbert


Associate Professor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, UQ