Skip navigation
The Australian National University

Dr John Burton

BA (Hons)(Sheffield), MSc (York), PhD (ANU)
Research Associate, Archaeology and Natural History
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Corporate Governance And Stakeholder Engagement 150303
  • Anthropology Of Development 160101
  • Pacific Cultural Studies 200210
  • Social And Cultural Anthropology 160104
  • Environmental Impact Assessment 050204
  • Natural Resource Management 050209
  • Pacific Peoples Environmental Knowledge 050210
  • Family And Household Studies 160301
  • Demography Not Elsewhere Classified 160399
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History 210301
  • Pacific History (Excl. New Zealand And Maori) 210313
  • Business Ethics 220102

Research interests

Social mapping and land ownership in Melanesia; development in the Pacific; social impacts of mining; governance and traditional politics in Papua New Guinea; Native Title research in Torres Strait and among rainforest Aboriginal groups in North Queensland; genealogy in Australia and Melanesia.

Biography

Studied prehistory at BA level, acquiring field experience in England, France, Germany and Norway, followed by a masters degree in Biological Computation. At ANU as a Commonwealth Scholar, 1980-1984, for PhD project with Jack Golson on a topic in pre-contact (c1920-1933) mining and trade networks in Western Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea [ANU Digital Theses: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/49431]

Worked at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Papua New Guinea, 1985-1991. Taught courses in human origins, research methods, cultural ecology and economic anthropology. Worked on research topics in customary land studies, comparative ethnography, and census, and developed social mapping techniques on secondment to the Western Highlands Province government.

Worked as a consultant in Canberra 1992-2001, specialising in social mapping and the social impacts of mining at Ok Tedi, Kutubu, Lihir and Hidden Valley; development assessments in Papua New Guinea.

Senior Anthropologist for the Torres Strait Regional Authority, 2001-2003.

Fellow in the Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, 2004-2013. 

Independent consultant, 2014-.

Career highlights

  • Fellow, Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program, ANU, 2004-2013
  • Visiting Professor, Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l'Océanie, Aix-Marseille Université, November 2012.
  • Fellow, Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program, since 2004
  • Senior Anthropologist, Native Title Office, Torres Strait Regional Authority, Thursday Island, 2001-2003
  • Lecturer, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Papua New Guinea, 1985-1991

Researcher's projects

Projects in 2014

  • Ok Tedi Riverine Social Impact Assessment. Consultancy with Klohn Crippen Berger. Role: Field Team Leader. Contract duration: May-June 2014.

Projects in 2013

  • Women’s Development Planning – PNG Mineral Resources Authority. Research consultancy with ANU Edge. Role: Team Leader. Contract duration: March-December 2013.

Projects in 2011-2012

  • Hidden Valley / Watut River Villages Socio-Economic Baseline. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Research partner: Department of Communication and Development Studies, University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea. Commissioned by: Hidden Valley Services Limited. Number of contract days: 114
  • RMAP-CDS Communication for Development Curriculum Building. AusAID Public Sector Linkage Grant. Counterpart Organisation: Department of Communication and Development Studies, University of Technology, Lae. AusAID contract value: $204,489 over three years (2011-14).

Projects in 2010

  • Hidden Valley / Watut River Villages Socio-Economic Baseline. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Research partner: Department of Communication and Development Studies, University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea. Commissioned by: Hidden Valley Services Limited. Number of contract days: 70
  • Phase 2 Social Mapping of the Kokoda Track-Brown River Catchment Region. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Research partner: Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby. Commissioned by: PNG Department of Environment and Conservation. Number of contract days: 48

Projects in 2009

  • Warrungu Native Title Application: Supplementary Report. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Commissioned by: North Queensland Land Council. Number of contract days: 60
  • Kokoda Track-Brown River Catchment Region: Preliminary Social Mapping Study. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Research partners: State, Society and Governance in Melanesia, ANU; Pacific and Asian History, ANU. Commissioned by: PNG Department of Environment and Conservation. Number of contract days: 18

Projects in 2008

  • Muluridgi Native Title Application: Supplementary Report. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Commissioned by: North Queensland Land Council. Number of contract days: 60
  • Design of Wafi social mapping project. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Commissioned by: Harmony Gold. Number of contract days: 5
  • Genealogies for Torres Strait Regional Sea Claim. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Commissioned by: Torres Strait Regional Authority. Number of contract days: 20

Projects in 2007

  • Porgera Landowner Resettlement Action Plan. A research consultancy with ANU Enterprise. Commissioned by: Barrick Gold Corporation. Number of contract days: (Paid 11.5. In dispute: 85).
Hidden Valley draft beneficiary listing – commentary

Publications

Return to top

Updated:  19 April 2014 / Responsible Officer:  Pro VC (Research and Research Training) / Page Contact:  Researchers