Professor Ian Anderson

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Professor Ian Anderson
Director of the Centre for Health and Society, and of Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit


Professor Ian Anderson is the Director of the Centre for Health and Society, and of Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit. He is also currently the research Director for the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and Deputy Head of the School of Population Health at The University of Melbourne.

Ian has worked in Aboriginal (Koori) Health for twenty-two years. During this time he has been an Aboriginal health worker, health educator and general practitioner. He worked as 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. Ian has had involvement in Aboriginal health policy development for a number of years: he was 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 peoples. He was also a council member (2003–2006) for the National Health and Medical Research Council and 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 is a board member of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (2006–) and a member of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Advisory Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (2006–). Ian also chairs the Indigenous Studies Sub-Committee for the Academic Board at The University of Melbourne.


Ian was born in Devonport Tasmania and his family are Palawa with connections to Trawlwoolway and Plairmairrener clans. He has grown up in the Koori community where he has many family connections through the history of the Bass Strait Islands. He has a professional background in medicine and social sciences, and has written widely on issues related to Aboriginal health, identity and culture. Ian also has a broad interest in the sociology of health and illness, related policy analysis, and theory development in the social sciences.

Professor Anderson completed a medical degree at The University of Melbourne in 1989 and has a PhD in Sociology and Anthropology from La Trobe University.

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Commonwealth of Australia 2008