Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic

Professor Ian Anderson is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Tasmania.

Professor Ian Anderson is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Tasmania. As an academic and public servant he has made significant contributions to Indigenous health and education. His extensive background in research, including public health and the social and cultural determinants of health, has enabled him to provide invaluable insights into program and policy development in these fields.

A palawa man, Professor Anderson was born in Devonport and is deeply connected to his traditional culture and community through his ties to Tebrakunna country in northeast Tasmania. He has an unwavering dedication to preserving and honouring his heritage. His non-Aboriginal family are largely of convict descent from across lutruwita/Tasmania.

Professor Anderson graduated from the University of Melbourne as a medical doctor in 1989 and was later awarded an honorary Doctor of Medicine. He was also awarded his PhD in Sociology and Anthropology in 2006. He is currently a public health physician and member of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine in the Royal Australian College of Physicians.

He was the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed as Deputy Vice Chancellor of an Australian University, and founded the Murra Indigenous Business Masterclass program at the Melbourne Business School, which has helped to increase the number of Indigenous people in senior leadership roles in the business sector.

Professor Anderson has been a national policy leader in Indigenous affairs, and higher education policy and programs. During his more than 20 years of working in higher education, he has promoted access to higher education for Indigenous Australians and for Australians from regional areas and educationally disadvantaged communities.

Through his exceptional leadership skills, extensive research contributions, and dedication, Professor Anderson has made significant contributions to Indigenous education and health in Australia.

Some of his other past roles include:

  • Chair of the National Indigenous Health Equality Council; the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council and Co-Chair for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Council for the Australian Government .
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student and University Experience) at the Australian National University (ANU) from March 2020 to 2022.
  • Deputy Secretary for the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at National Indigenous Australians Agency at a Federal Government level.
  • Foundation Chair of Indigenous Health, Foundation Chair of Indigenous higher education, Assistant Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Higher Education Policy, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) at the University of Melbourne.
  • Director of Research for the Lowitja Institute and related Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health.
  • Medical Adviser for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health for the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Health in the late 1990s

Professor Anderson was awarded the Order of Australia in 2017 and in 2018 he was elected a member of the Academy of Social Sciences Australian and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

As a highly respected figure, Professor Anderson has inspired countless individuals and left an indelible mark on Indigenous education and health. He hopes his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of Indigenous leaders and scholars, to follow in his footsteps and continue the critical work of advancing Indigenous education and health in Australia.