Aboriginal Heritage Collection Researcher Job Advert

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Job Title:               Aboriginal Heritage Collection Researcher
Location:               Museum of Central Australia, Alice Springs
Terms:                    Full time or Part time to be negotiated, three year contract
Package:                 $80,000pa + 10% super
Responsible to:    Central Australia Manager
Closing date:         Monday 15 November 2021

Note: Due to the genuine gender requirements of the role this position is open only to males and is identified as a Special Measures position under clause (42) of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1992. Aboriginal male applicants are strongly encouraged to apply and will be given priority consideration under clause (57.1) of the Anti-Discrimination Act.

How to apply:

  1. Provide a statement addressing the Selection Criteria;
  2. Provide a copy of your CV including three referee contacts (referees will not be contacted without prior consent); and
  3. Submit applications via email to careers@magnt.net.au by the closing date 15 November 2021.

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) is the Northern Territory’s premier cultural and scientific institution. It offers a dynamic and diverse arts, science and cultural program to more than 300,000 visitors each year.

We are the museum and gallery known for our collections and expertise in Aboriginal cultures, natural sciences, histories and arts across Northern and Central Australia and our neighbours to the north.

We connect people to the stories of the Northern Territory. Our collection drives curiosity, exploration and partnerships. Our physical spaces are destinations loved by locals and a must-see for Territory visitors. Our digital connectivity expands the reach of our collection. Our guests tell their friends about their distinctive Territorian experience.

MAGNT has seven venues: Bullocky Point, the Defence of Darwin Experience, Fannie Bay Gaol, Lyons Cottage, the Museum of Central Australia (incorporating the Strehlow Research Centre), Megafauna Central and the Alcoota fossil site. A new Art Gallery opening in Darwin’s CBD in 2023 will add an eighth MAGNT site.

The Museum of Central Australia and Megafauna Central offers the public and insight into natural history, the profound research into Indigenous cultures conducted by Pastor Carl Strehlow and his son TGH Strehlow and the megafauna found at the Alcoota Scientific Reserve.

Primary Objective:
The Aboriginal Heritage Collection Researcher will assist with the day-to-day collections care of MAGNTs Aboriginal heritage material and supports the implementation of operations as it relates to collections management, research, repatriation, digitisation, and access. The Aboriginal Heritage Collection Researcher is responsible for coordinating MAGNT’s Indigenous Repatriation Program (IRP) research. This position liaises with Indigenous clients of the IRP and provides cultural expertise and involves working with culturally sensitive material which may include ancestral remains and secret sacred material.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Undertake specialist research associated with the Indigenous Repatriation Program (IRP) including the preparation of supporting evidence, reports, and recommendations, to address repatriation requests.
  2. Consult with Aboriginal communities and traditional custodians, and coordinate cultural consultants, on matters related to the IRP and the Aboriginal heritage collection.
  3. Assist with the coordination of the return of ancestral remains and secret sacred objects from other institutions.
  4. Consult and negotiate with NT Aboriginal communities to arrange repatriation of ancestral remains, secret sacred objects, and associated knowledge from the Strehlow collection, to their Indigenous custodians.
  5. Contribute to the development of grant applications, provide detailed progress reports on the IRP for both internal and external use and assist with the acquittal of grants.
  6. In collaboration with the Aboriginal Heritage Officer facilitate culturally safe access to the Aboriginal heritage collection for custodians and researchers.
  7. Develop and deliver public programs where appropriate around MAGNTs Aboriginal heritage collection.
  8. Undertake collection management of MAGNTs Aboriginal heritage collection including: preventative conservation, documentation, copyright and provenance research, and storage.

Selection Criteria:

  1. Ability to work unsupervised under conditions of strict confidentiality and cultural protocols and maintain discretion when handling confidential or sensitive material.
  2. Demonstrated experience in engaging with culturally sensitive material and an understanding of collection management practices.
  3. Ability to work directly with Central Australian men’s secret sacred objects and associated resources such as written texts, film, photographs and sound.
  4. Proficiency to use Word and Excel, collection management databases and digitisation tools.
  5. High level written and verbal communication skills as well as a demonstrated capability to liaise with diverse stakeholders.
  6. Strong organisational skills to self-manage workload across concurrent projects, prioritising and completing tasks within scheduled timeframes.
  7. Ability to interact effectively with people from different cultures and ensure Work Health Safety system compliance.


  1. Ability to demonstrate participation in Central Australian Aboriginal men’s ceremonial practices.
  2. Ability to speak, read and write Arrernte.
  3. Degree in Anthropology or a related discipline.

Other relevant information:

  • This role statement is intended to provide an overall view of the role but in addition to this document, the specifics of the role will be described in business work plans.
  • MAGNT is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in the workplace.
  • MAGNT promotes flexible ways of working including part time. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the flexible working arrangements for this role.
  • A valid Australian Drivers licence is required.
  • MAGNT supports best practice cultural safety for all employees.

Further information:
For further information please visit our website at magnt.net.au or contact Central Australia Manager, Joe de Beer (08) 89511101 or josef.deBeer@magnt.net.au

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