aerial photo of reef

Corporate profile

Setting the strategic direction of the Institute

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is Australia’s tropical marine research agency. It is established under the Australian Institute of Marine Science Act 1972 (AIMS Act), which outlines the performance of AIMS’ functions and the exercise of its powers. AIMS is a corporate Commonwealth entity and as such the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 applies to the Institute.

AIMS is accountable to the Minister for the Environment and Water and is governed by a Council that reports to the Minister. The Council sets AIMS’ strategic direction and research strategies and oversees management of the Institute. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for managing the affairs of the Institute.

The Minister outlines how AIMS will exercise its functions in a Statement of Expectations.

AIMS mission

AIMS’ mission is to provide the research and knowledge of Australia’s tropical marine estate required to support growth in its sustainable use, effective environmental management, and protection of its unique ecosystems.

In achieving this mission, AIMS seeks to:

  • improve tropical marine health;
  • create national benefits; and
  • protect coral reefs from climate change.


The CEO is supported by the AIMS Leadership Team (ALT), which comprises key management staff with responsibility across the organisation for research, strategic and corporate activities.

An organisation chart

Statement of Expectations

On 13 December 2023 the Minister for the Environment and Water provided a Statement of Expectations to AIMS.

The AIMS Council responded with its Statement of Intent on 23 April 2024.


Audit Committee

The Audit Committee is a formal subcommittee of the Council that meets quarterly. It is responsible for providing independent assurance and assistance to Council on:

  • financial reporting
  • performance reporting
  • systems of risk oversight and management
  • systems of internal control
  • internal audit
  • external audit.

The Audit Committee Charter sets out the committee's purpose, responsibilities, authority and membership.