The Executive Board of Management (EBM) ensures the transition of Council directives through to the business plans of AIATSIS programs. The Council appointed Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the organisation’s performance and advises the Council on all operational matters. Executive staff assist the Council, liaise with AIATSIS membership and develop the organisation’s public profile.


Craig Ritchie

Craig Ritchie, Chief Executive Officer (a/g)

Craig Ritchie was appointed to the position of Deputy CEO at AIATSIS in April 2016. Prior to joining AIATSIS Craig worked in other senior roles in the Australian Public Service, most recently in the Department of Education and Training 2011-2016. There he was the Branch Manager for International Mobility and before that, Manager of the Access and Participation Branch.

At Education, Craig led two major systemic reform initiatives in higher education: the first, in reframing the national approach to widening participation policy and programs; the second, in implementing the findings of the Review of Access and Outcomes in Higher Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

From 2002 until 2010 Craig worked for the ACT Government as the Manager for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Policy for the ACT. In that role he led the development of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Family Wellbeing Plan.

Craig also has experience in community sector, working at both the AWABAKAL Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative and then as CEO at NACCHO the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

Craig is one of a small cohort of Indigenous public servants who provide significant leadership in the broader whole-of-government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs particularly as a member of the Commonwealth Indigenous Reform Group.

Craig is an Aboriginal man of the Dhunhutti/Biripi nations. He was born and raised in rural New South Wales.

Craig’s first degree was from the University of Newcastle, Craig has a post-graduate qualification in management and is currently undertaking research into Aboriginal culture and public policy making for  a PhD. In 2006 Craig was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research models of Indigenous leadership in the USA and Canada.

Letitia Hope, Deputy Chief Executive Officer / Chief Operating Officer (a/g)

Letitia Hope is currently the acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer / Chief Operation Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).  

Letitia permanently holds the position of Assistant Secretary, Health & Community Service Programmes in the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). In this role Letitia is responsible for the programme development, delivery and management of $5.6b worth of health & community services to the veteran community nationally.

Letitia’s family share a proud linage of service in the Defence Force with her father, grandfather, and great grandfather all serving the Nation in various theatres and she is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander with kin ties to the Torres Strait Island of Mer (Murray Island) and Bundjalung country (northern coast NSW).

Letitia started her career in 1994 as a trainee APS1 at AIATSIS. In 1996, she moved to the NSW Department of Housing to work on strategic and specialist housing programs and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office in 1998.

She re-joined the Commonwealth in 2001, taking up a position in Centrelink where she worked across various portfolios including Indigenous Services, Rural & Remote Services, Third Party Partnerships and e-Services. During her time in Centrelink, Letitia was involved in several taskforces including the Northern Territory Emergency Response and formative work for the recent round of Human Services Service Delivery Reforms.

Letitia was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) in the APS in January 2010 where she took on the role as Assistant Secretary Primary Health Care in DVA. In this role she was responsible for the successful purchasing and provision of all health service delivery to the veteran community.  Letitia has undertaken various acting SES Band 2 roles in DVA including First Assistant Secretary Health & Community Services Division, Deputy Commissioner NSW & Deputy Commissioner WA.

Over the past 23 years, Letitia has had a varied career working across Commonwealth and State government in both mainstream and specialised social policy development, human service delivery, and more recently the health environment. She has undertaken policy development, program implementation and service delivery transformation roles and has been formally recognised across jurisdictions for her work.

Letitia holds an Executive Masters of Public Administration through the Australian National University (ANU) and a Graduate Certificate in Management (Public Sector) through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).  

She shares a keen interest in sports with husband Mathew and three daughters Nicola, Amy-Lee and Alyssa and when she is not working she enjoys playing music, singing, CrossFit and travelling with her family.

Lyndall Osborne

Lyndall Osborne, Executive Director, Collections

Lyndall has worked extensively as an executive manager in local government in Queensland and Victoria in the fields of community, arts and cultural development and services, libraries and corporate services. She is also a qualified librarian with years of experience in this field, especially at management level. The last four years she has been travelling, living and working overseas, primarily in Egypt as owner and part of the management team of a Class A tourism company, assisting clients from all over the world to enjoy the unique attractions of Egypt. Lyndall also works with Youth Impact Ethiopia, a local Ethiopian NGO based in Addis Ababa, assisting with strategic and financial planning and the development of a youth library.

Joining AIATSIS as the Library Director, Lyndall has special interests in strengthening access to the library's collections for all clients through online services and collections and in engendering increased support for the Institute and its collections through the opportunities offered by the digital world and social media.

Dr Lisa Strelein

Lisa Strelein, Executive Director, Research

Lisa is Director of Research Strategic Engagement. Lisa's research and publications have focused on the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the state, and the role of the courts in defining Indigenous peoples' rights. She has made a significant contribution to academic debate on native title in Australia, including her recent book Compromised Jurisprudence: Native Title Cases since Mabo, which was heralded by members of the judiciary and Indigenous community alike.

Lisa also writes for a wide variety of audiences and has worked with teams in creating a catalogue for a native title art exhibition and an award winning multimedia package on native title.

She maintains strong networks within the native title system, conducting research projects in partnership with or in response to the needs of native title representative bodies and claimants as well as government departments.

Lisa is the convenor of the annual National Native Title Conference, which remains the leading annual Indigenous policy conference in Australia. She has degrees in Commerce and Law and was awarded a PhD, for her thesis examining Indigenous sovereignty and the common law, from the ANU Research School of Social Sciences in 1998.

Marie Ferris

Marie Ferris, Director, Public Engagement

Marie has considerable communications and media production experience and has worked in Indigenous Communications for the past 17 years.

Marie came to AIATSIS from the Department of Environment, where she was responsible for Indigenous Communications. She is an accomplished film producer and director, producing numerous broadcast documentaries about, and with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in communities across Australia. She commenced her career in 1996, as a public affairs officer with the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and then as a senior producer with ATSIC TV.

Marie brings passion and commitment to the role at AIATSIS, leading a communications and media team to promote and strengthen the important place of AIATSIS.

Narelle Rivers

Narelle Rivers, Leadership development program

Narelle is the Manager of the Family History Unit, which works with Link-Up organisations and the general public to support their Indigenous family history research. Narelle has worked across the ACT Government for eleven years as a case manager, project manager and a practice leader. Prior to this, Narelle worked in the ACT community sector for seven years. Narelle holds a number of qualifications which include an undergraduate degree in justice studies and a post graduate qualification in community counselling. Narelle also holds qualifications in training and assessment, project management, family history research and community development.

Narelle grew up in Sydney and is a Darug woman, she has lived in Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country for 20 years.

Thaarramali Pearson

Thaarramali Pearson, Leadership development program

Thaarramali joined AIATSIS in February 2016, and is now working as a Research Officer within Native Title, Land and Water.

Thaarramali grew up in Cairns and Hopevale, in Far North Queensland. Thaarramali is a Bama Bagarrmuguwarra from the Kalpowar, Jeanie River and Lakefield National Park area and has family and cultural ties to Guugu Yimidhirr and Kuku Yalanji. Thaarramali is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts.

Rachel Ippoliti

Rachel Ippoliti, Director (a/g), Aboriginal Studies Press

Rachel is the Acting Director of Publishing at Aboriginal Studies Press where she has worked for the past fifteen years. Initially working in graphic design and production management roles, Rachel’s experience has traversed journals, magazine and book publishing.

Prior to joining AIATSIS, Rachel spent many years working in academic journal publishing before moving into magazine publishing for industry associations. She has spent the past fifteen years working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and communities to create books that showcase the richness and diversity of Australia’s first peoples.

Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creators and content has been, and continues to be, a space in which she never stops learning.

shane hoffman

Shane Hoffman, National Project Manager, Constitutional Recognition Indigenous Consultations

Shane Hoffman is National Project Manager of the Constitutional Recognition Indigenous Consultations Team. This team was established in May 2016 to organise the Indigenous consultations on constitutional recognition for the Referendum Council.

Shane proudly identifies as a Yiman man from Central Queensland and has family connections in Mount Morgan and Rockhampton. 

He retired from the Australian Public Service (APS) in June 2015 after a long period (1992-2015) engaged in senior executive positions with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), the Department of Education (DEETYA), and the Department of Human Services (DHS).

In his various senior executive roles with the APS, Shane managed either a branch or division with responsibility for strategic policy development and coordination, (ATSIC, DEST, PM&C, DEEWR), and development and implementation of an Indigenous servicing strategy aimed at improving services to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people (DHS).  

Between 2000 and 2002, Shane headed up a small team at ATSIC with responsibility for consulting with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people about a treaty. For 18 months over 1999-2000, he was engaged by FAIRA as an International Officer whose primary task was to facilitate lobbying by Australian Indigenous NGOs of the UN Human Rights Committees, particularly with regard to the amendments to the Native Title Act following the High Court’s Wik Decision and the lack of action to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.