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Black and white portrait of a man. - click to view larger image
Robert Anderson

1929 –

Robert Vincent Anderson, or 'Bobby', as he was known, to his trade union mates, is a descendant of the Ngugi clan of Mulgumpin in the Quandamooka area of Moreton Bay, south-east Queensland.

An apprenticeship in carpentry led him to join the Building Workers' Industrial Union (BWIU) in 1951 and in 1963 he was elected as one of the state organisers of the union.

He was a delegate to the Queensland Trades and Labour Council and state organiser of the BWIU for fourteen years.

Bob used his trade union connections and his membership of the Queensland Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders to work for Aboriginal people in a number of ways.

More recently Bob has held a number of positions. He was deputy chair of the Queenlsand Museum Board, chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee to the Queensland Museum Board and chair of the Queensland Reconciliation Committee.

His contributions were recognised in 2000 when he received an honorary doctorate from Queensland University of Technology.


Eve Christine Peacock, History, Life and Times of Robert Anderson, Gheebelum, Ngugi, Mulgumpin, Uniikup Productions Ltd, Brisbane, 2001.

Explore more on Collaborating for Indigenous Rights 1957–1973

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