Professor Ian Anderson AO
Fellow 2011 - 2014
Ian Anderson AO is a Palawa man, born in Tasmania, but has spent the majority of his life in the First Nations community in Victoria, where he has extensive family and community networks. These connections are deeply rooted through the colonial history of the Bass Strait.
During his 25 years of working in Aboriginal (Koori) Health, Ian has been an First Nations health worker, a health educator and a general practitioner.
He worked as the Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service before becoming the Medical Adviser to the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.
Ian has been involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy development for a number of years. He was the chair of the National Indigenous Sexual Health Working Party that oversaw the development of the National Indigenous Sexual Health Strategy in 1997. He chaired a working group for the National Public Health Partnership, which developed its Guidelines for the development, implementation and evaluation of National Public Health Strategies in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. He was also a council member (2003–2006) for the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Chair of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Forum.
From 2003 to 2006, Ian was a member of the National Advisory Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Information Data. In addition, he was a board member of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (2006–2011) and a member of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Advisory Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (2006–2011). Ian Anderson was formerly Chair of the Indigenous Studies Sub-Committee and currently chairs the Indigenous Studies Sub-Committee for the Academic Board at The University of Melbourne. Ian was formerly the Director of Research and Innovation at the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (incorporating the CRC for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health).
In March 2017 Ian was appointed as Deputy Secretary of Indigenous Affairs at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, responsible for coordinating the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) response to the refresh of the Closing the Gap targets for Indigenous health and social disadvantage.
Ian was the most senior First Nations official in any government in Australia, and has previously served as the CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, the Medical Adviser to the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Car, chairs of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council, and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Higher Education Policy) at the University of Melbourne.
Ian became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2017 and was appointed a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, both in 2018.
Ian is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student and University Experience) at the Australian National University (ANU), a role he took up in March 2020. As DVC, Ian takes responsibility for delivering an ANU student experience equal to the best in the world.