The Australian National Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (ANITA) was established subsequent to a February 2001 meeting of astrophysicists who gathered at Mount Stromlo Observatory to discuss the the mid-term report of the astronomy decadal review “Beyond 2000: The Way Forward.” Recognising a need for the voice of the Australian theoretical astrophysics community to be heard, the concept of ANITA was embraced.
The first ANITA workshop was held at Monash University in February 2002. This workshop brought together Australian theoretical astrophysicists and showcased the variety of research being conducted around the country. The initial ANITA Steering Committee was formed from those present at the end of the first meeting. The ANITA Charter and steering committee elections followed.
In 2006 ANITA became a Chapter of the Astronomical Society of Australia.