Access Officer

Job No: 123660
Location: Canberra

  • Are you a 'people-person' with a genuine interest in supporting Indigenous Australians to reconnect with their cultural heritage?
  • Unique, customer-focused role supporting access to the world's largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander materials.
  • Attractive base salary circa $68,948 - $73,591 plus 15.4% super, salary sacrificing and on-the-job training, relocation assistance negotiable.

About the Opportunity

AIATSIS is currently looking for full-time Access Officers to join their Collections Services team in Canberra, ACT. There is currently one ongoing vacancy and one non-ongoing vacancy of up to 11 months available, however, additional opportunities, ongoing or non-ongoing may become available, and suitable candidates will be placed on a merit pool and may be considered for similar roles in the near future.

Reporting to the Senior Access Officer, this is a highly varied, customer-focused role that will see you responsible for processing requests for collection material, supporting clients to search the catalogue, and providing general reference and library services.

Your day-to-day responsibilities will include (but not be limited to):

  • Responding to incoming emails and phone calls related to access or information requests;
  • Supporting in-person visitors, including giving presentations to groups on the AIATSIS collection;
  • Contacting the relevant rights holders of collection items to assist clients to access and use collection material that they have requested;
  • Interpreting and meeting any deposit, copyright, Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property conditions relevant to items in the collection;
  • Assisting clients who are not familiar with navigating library catalogues to identify material of interest;
  • Participating in a rotating roster of phone and reference desk shifts; and
  • Contributing to the review and development of policy or procedure documents, and supporting staff as required.

About You

To be considered for this position, you will have a strong understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, including the impact of colonisation and forced removals on Indigenous Australians' social and emotional well-being, and how this relates to present-day issues affecting these communities. An understanding of the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and abilities to communicate sensitively will be key in providing service to and working with them.

With well-developed communication and interpersonal skills, you will be able to respectfully and sensitively communicate with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, from creators, clients, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, to researchers and other government organisations. With effective communication skills you will be able to explain to clients why processes are in place or how decisions have been made about their request for collection items. You will also need to demonstrate patience and compassion in order to help clients feel comfortable and supported in their research and access of material.

With your ability to operate as an effective member of a small, close-knit team, you will contribute to team planning and prioritisation and to motivate and supervise staff.

Whilst a qualification in a Library or Information related area will be highly regarded, this is not essential. You will need to be proficient in the use of computers and in undertaking research by using the internet, databases or collection catalogues, and support clients to do the same. You will have an excellent record keeping skills and be highly organised and detail orientated, capable of managing competing priorities and meet agreed service delivery targets.

Finally, you will have a demonstrated understanding of the importance of the AIATSIS collection, and the role of a major specialist collection in meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and researchers. You will be aware of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s rights over their cultural materials, and the complexities regarding access to these in accordance with copyright legislation.

For more information about AIATSIS, click here to visit their website.

About the Benefits

This is a unique and highly rewarding opportunity to support Indigenous Australians to reconnect with their cultural heritage, joining a passionate team that is genuinely invested in supporting clients and promoting better knowledge and awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.

You will be rewarded with an attractive base salary circa $68,948 - $73,591 plus 15.4% super and salary sacrificing options. Relocation assistance is negotiable depending on your needs.

AIATSIS offers thorough on-the-job training, as well as opportunities for further education, professional development and study assistance. You'll be working with the world's largest archive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage collections, and be at the forefront of Indigenous research and leaders in preserving and strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultures.

You'll benefit from flexible working conditions, competitive leave entitlements, and health and wellbeing programs, as AIATSIS understands their staff work best when they have a healthy work/life balance and the opportunity to attend personal or family commitments.

The institute is located on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, in the centre of Canberra, on the Acton Peninsula, in a purpose-built building first opened in 2001. Next door to the National Museum of Australia, you'll enjoy coming to work each day at a stunning location and site of international importance.

This is a unique opportunity to join a national institution and help create a world in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and cultures are recognised, respected, celebrated and valued. - Apply Now!


Please Note: Applications close Friday 10th of July at 11:30pm AEST. Candidates will not be contacted until after this date.

This is an identified position, which means that you will be required to have an understanding of the issues affecting Indigenous Australians and a proven ability to communicate sensitively with them.  

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply.

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Established in 1964, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is the only national institution focused exclusively on the diverse history, cultures and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. Tasked with preserving and providing access to an extensive collection of over a million items; including films, audio recordings, art, artefacts and more, their aim is to use this national collection to strengthen and promote knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.

With partnerships across the globe, they conduct and encourage research, and provide leadership on ethics and protocols related to collections and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, directly benefiting the communities that AIATSIS works with. Their publishing house, Aboriginal Studies Press, produces award-winning books, journals, and more to raise awareness and support people from around the world to engage with and be transformed by the richness and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, cultures and histories.

AIATSIS is an Australian Government statutory authority. The Minister responsible for AIATSIS is the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, Minister for Indigenous Australians, and they sit within the portfolio of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies