School of Arts

David Bannear

Position: Honorary Research Fellow
Location: SMB Campus E building


David is an archaeologist who has spent some thirty years working in Australia as a consultant and for various government departments. His work has focused on researching and recording historic heritage in regional areas to determine its meaning and appropriate levels of protection and management. David has investigated a wide range of historic themes from mining to forestry. Previously David excavated Iron Age and Roman sites in England.

Areas of expertise

Although trained as an archaeologist, David is best described as an all-rounder having worked across a range of heritage areas. From collecting oral history, through industrial and domestic heritage assessment, to cultural tourism, David has applied the same philosophy: that heritage must be understood in context. David's experience can be slotted into three categories:

* Historic heritage

David's starting point is that what lies beyond memory is not always lost: that passion, research and curiosity can bring lost things back. Focusing on regional heritage, David has dealt with all aspects of heritage development from pastoral to urban, from industrial to domestic, from civic governance to land management. Along the way David has produced hundreds of assessments and disseminated heritage information through the wider community.

* Education

David has a strong commitment to education. He has a great passion for telling stories, and introducing people to the layers of subtle heritage features that make up the pastoral and forested landscapes of central Victoria. He particularly loves the nature of the regenerating goldfields forests which he sees as the enduring backdrop to the Victorian gold rush. He has been involved with the development of heritage tourism initiatives and publications, including the Mount Alexander Diggings Heritage Trails, the Goldfields Track, and the Travellers Guide to the Goldfields.

* Victorian Gold Rush

David has researched and surveyed all the historic goldfields opened during the Victorian gold rush. He has recorded most of the known historic gold sites, many of which are now on the Heritage Inventory or the Victorian Heritage Register. David has worked with land managers, mining companies and other land users to reach a position where historic sites are protected through understanding and appreciation, rather than regulations.

Research interests

  • Archaeology
  • Heritage assessment
  • Heritage tourism
  • The nineteenth century



As a consultant and public servant David has produced many reports covering, but not limited to,* copper and gold mining in South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria

* forestry in Tasmania and Victoria

* built regional heritage in Tasmania and Victoria* management of heritage values on public land in Victoria

* heritage tourism and interpretation

Book chapters

Richard Everist (ed.) (2006), The Traveller's Guide to the Goldfields: History and Natural Heritage Trails Through Central & Western Victoria

Gib Wententhall (ed.) (2012), Goldfields Track Walking Guide

Promotional Films

Living Stories of the Victorian Goldfields: Short films and podcast tours for Bendigo, Castlemaine and Maldon

Goldfields Track

Bendigo Chinese Kiln

Oral Histories

Central Plateau Oral History Project (Tasmania)


Australia ICOMOS