Ron Brunton

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Ron Brunton
Ronald Brunton

1945 (age 73–74)[1]
Alma materLa Trobe University[2]
Occupationanthropologist and author

Dr Ron Brunton is an Australian anthropologist. He is the Director of Encompass Research Pty Ltd and was a Director of the Board of the public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for a five-year term from 1 May 2003.


Prior to his appointment to the ABC Board, Brunton was a fortnightly columnist for The Courier-Mail from 1997–2003, a Senior Fellow at the right wing think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, from 1995–2001, and a contributor to the conservative literary and political journal Quadrant.

In his articles, Brunton was highly critical of the Bringing Them Home report on the stolen generations.[3] He has also written scathing criticisms of both the High Court's 1992 Mabo v Queensland decision and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. In addition, he enunciated the view that the "secret women's business" of the Ngarrindjeri women during the Hindmarsh Island bridge controversy was a fabrication, and came to the defence of the murdered Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn who called on Muslim immigrants to assimilate into Dutch society and culture. Prior to his appointment to the Board, he was a harsh critic of the ABC itself, accusing it of being part of the "left establishment" and of being a "sucker" for "brainless comment".

Given his conservative views, Brunton's appointment to the ABC Board by the government of John Howard[4] created controversy with left-wing ABC supporters.[5]

Encompass Research Pty Ltd is an organisation engaged in anthropological and socio-economic research, concentrating on native title, indigenous heritage, immigration and environmental issues.

Brunton has published a range of research papers and books on anthropological matters, and has lectured in anthropology at universities in Australia and at the University of Papua New Guinea. He has also appeared as an expert witness in a number of native title court cases across Australia, having been engaged by parties involved in native title litigation.


Brunton completed his Ph.D. at La Trobe University with a thesis on kava use in Melanesia.[2] In 1973, he completed an M.A. at the University of Sydney, with a thesis titled Social stratification, trade and ceremonial exchange in Melanesia.[6]


  1. ^ Ewin Hannan, (10 May 2003), Aunty gets more of the right stuff, The Age. Retrieved 5 October 2017
  2. ^ a b Brunton, Ron (Ronald) (1989), The abandoned narcotic : kava and cultural instability in Melanesia, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-37375-3
  3. ^ Wootten, Hal (1998) 'Ron Brunton and Bringing Them Home', the Report of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission into the removal of Aboriginal children from ... Indigenous Law Bulletin 44; 4(12): 12-12]
  4. ^ "Anthropologist gets nod for ABC board". ABC News. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2 May 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
  5. ^ "The usual suspects - Dr Ron Brunton appointed to the ABC Board" (Press release). Friends of the ABC. 2 May 2003. Archived from the original on 14 June 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2006.
  6. ^ Brunton, Ron (Ronald) (1973), Social stratification, trade and ceremonial exchange in Melanesia, [s.n.], retrieved 5 October 2017