Professor Anderson was previously the Foundation Chair, Indigenous Higher Education; Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) at the University of Melbourne. He was previously the Foundation Chair of Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne and has held a number of academic, policy and practice roles in Indigenous health over a thirty-year period.
In this work he has been an Aboriginal health worker, general practitioner, Chief Executive Officer for the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service and Medical Adviser for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health for the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Health.
Other roles include the Director of Research for the Lowitja Institute and related Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health; Chair of the National Indigenous Health Equality Council, Council Member for the National Health and Medical Research Council and a Co-Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Council.
Professor Anderson was awarded the Order of Australia medal in 2017 for distinguished service to the Indigenous community, particularly in the areas of health equality, aged care and education, as an academic, researcher and medical practitioner, to policy reform, and as a role model.
His family are Palawa Trowerna from the Pyemairrenner mob in Tasmania which includes Trawlwoolway and Plairmairrenner and related clans.