Dr David Lawrence is an anthropologist who has worked in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands and Finland. He has academic qualifications in Asian history, political science, languages and in museum curatorial practice and librarianship.
David’s doctoral research examined the traditional and contemporary aspects of economic ties between Torres Strait Islanders and coastal Papuans.
In Australia he was Coordinator of the Torres Strait Baseline Study for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and later was commissioned to write on the nature and development of Aboriginal joint management in Kakadu National Park.
Among his publications are: Customary Exchange across Torres Strait (Queensland Museum 1994) Kakadu: the making of a national park (Miegunyah Press 2000); The Great Barrier Reef: finding the right balance (Melbourne University Press 2002) and most recently, Gunnar Landtman in Papua, 1910 to 1912 (ANU Press 2010).
Between 2005 and 2007 David was Research Coordinator on the Community Sector Program Community Snapshot: a national survey of 300 rural communities across the Solomon Islands. The final reports, Hem nao, Solomon Islands, tis team, were presented to AusAID in 2007. In 2005 he was a Frederick Watson Fellow at the National Archives of Australia and in 2010 he was Scholar-in-Residence at the National Film and Sound Archive.
He is currently a Resident Visiting Fellow at the Resource Management in Asia Pacific program at ANU and a consulting anthropologist on the 2010 and 2011 RAMSI People’s Surveys in the Solomon Islands.