Schools of Humanities, Social Sciences and Music

David Bunting BA (Archaeology) Graduate

Careers in arts
UWA Careers Centre 
Current UWA students only.

Student Services, 1st Floor
Social Sciences South
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Tel: (+61 8) 6488 2258

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David Bunting is the Principal Community Improvement advisor for BHP Billiton.  He commends his Bachelor of Arts degree as having provided him with the expert knowledge to work alongside industry experts on a variety of heritage and community issues. 

Tell us about your experience at The University of Western Australia?

I chose to study archaeology because I could merge my interests of history, geography and anthropology with the outdoors. 

I was drawn to UWA because of the archaeological training, the university’s strong reputation and because of the opportunities through UWA’s Centre of Archaeology – a group of industry recognised practitioners and researchers.

I had a great time learning with people who shared the same interests and we were lucky enough to be in the same classes all the way through to Honours; I still have friends from over ten years ago.

Tell us about your career to date?

My career started at the WA museum during my Honours year where I analyzed ancient bone artifacts from the world-renowned Devils Lair archaeological site  It was an amazing experience through UWA where I got to work alongside archaeological experts and get an understanding about how museums operated. 

My studies and experiences have led to a number of opportunities working with a variety of Aboriginal groups as a consultant archaeologist with a range of resources companies such as FMG, Rio Tinto, Main Roads, Newcrest Mining Ltd, various government departments and now with BHP Billiton.

I have worked at BHP Billiton for the past 7 years in a variety of heritage related roles including; Regional Heritage Advisor, Senior Heritage Advisor and Heritage Superintendent.  As a member of the heritage team, I was responsible for providing advice on how the company should best manage significant Aboriginal Heritage sites located near the mining operation. This involved coordinating heritage surveys, liaising with Traditional Owner groups and working with government departments.  As the Heritage Superintendent I was responsible for managing a team of archaeologists and setting company strategy.  I have since shifted to a broader role which involves community development and sustainability planning. 

How has your Archaeology major contributed to your career?

Apart from the archaeological knowledge and skills I gained from my degree, I also learnt from my studies to always have an open mind about how other societies operate which is a valuable attribute when working across diverse groups.  

In my particular industry there have been many examples where I have drawn on my general social sciences background to help make informed and considered recommendations to business.  A recent highlight was coordinating a Human Rights Impact Assessment for BHP Billiton Iron Ore to ensure compliance with international corporate commitments. 

What advice would you give to a future student considering this major?

Choose what you are passionate about because if you do what you are interested in and apply yourself then career opportunities will naturally flow.


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Last updated:
Thursday, 29 May, 2014 5:08 PM