Professor Ian Anderson, one of Australia’s leading Indigenous health experts, is the Foundation Chair in Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne. The first Aboriginal Australian to hold a Chair in Indigenous Health, he is a strong advocate of Aboriginal-led health initiatives for Indigenous people. His family are Tasmanian and through his mother Palawa Trouwerner with links to Plaimairrerenner and Trawlwoolway clans.
Professor Anderson is currently the Director of Murrup Barak Melbourne Institute of Indigenous Development at the University of Melbourne. He has been a full-time research academic since 1998 when he established the university’s Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit with funding from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. He is also Director of Research and Innovation at the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research, which incorporates the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Health and has a majority Aboriginal board.
Professor Anderson chairs the National Indigenous Health Equality Council, which advises the Australian Government on its progress towards meeting its Close the Gap health targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and, in 2011, was appointed Fellow for Indigenous Leadership.
Professor Ian Anderson has worked in Aboriginal health for more than 25 years: as an Aboriginal Health Worker, in health education, as a general practitioner and as an academic. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, then the Medical Adviser to the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care and was the Chair of the working party that developed the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sexual Health Strategy in 1997.
“It is important for Aboriginal people to have a voice in the debate on Indigenous health and to contribute to the outcomes of that debate,” he says. “Sharing the knowledge we have about how to improve the provision of health services and policy is a valuable contribution those working in Indigenous health can make to Australian society.”