(Appointed member - from 2002 )
Dr Robert Anderson is a well-respected Ngugi Elder from Mulgumpin in Quandamooka, South East Queensland and currently lives in Brisbane. Since Native Title for the for Quandamooka Nation was recognised on the 4th July 2011 by the High Court of Australia, he has been a Family Representative on the prescribed body corporate, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, QYAC, established to progress the native title interests of the Quandamooka Peoples. Currently, he is a Co Applicant for the Mulgumpin and Coast Quandamooka Native Title claims.
He is well known for both striving to progress and protect the rights of workers through the trade union movement and for his efforts to maintain and promote the reconciliation process as an Aboriginal Elder and currently as a member and delegate of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples..
Known as Uncle Bob, he served as a trade union delegate and State Organiser for the Building Workers Industrial Union from 1951 to 1978 and has been recognised as an Honorary Member of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.
He retired in 1983 but continues to give much of his time to community and Government organisations:
- Member of the Queensland Council for Advancement for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in the 1960s
- First President of Quandamooka Lands Council
- President of Brisbane Indigenous Media Association (Murri Radio 4AAA) and President of Indigenous Information Service Association
- Committee member of the Aboriginal and Islander Independent School (Murri School)
- Vice-President of Foundation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Research Action (FAIRA) from 1988 to 1995
- Chairperson of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee to Queensland Museum Board of Trustees
- Deputy Chair of the Queensland Museum Board of Trustees
- Member of the Brisbane Council of Elders
- Member of the Minjerriba and Moorgumpin Elders in Council Committee of Stradbroke Island
- Chair of the Australians for Reconciliation Committee Queensland (now known as Reconciliation Queensland)
- Chairperson of Queensland Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee
- Chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Board to the Queensland Government
He has received a number of awards for service to his community:
- South East Queensland’s Indigenous Elder of the Year Award
- South East Queensland’s Indigenous Person of the Year Award - 1998
- Citizen of the Year ~ Brisbane - 2001
- Inaugural Queensland Greats’ Award – 2001
- Medal of the Order of Australia – 2001
- The Centenary Medal –2002 - For distinguished service in promoting reconciliation in Queensland
- Queensland Museum Medal – 2004
Quote from Uncle Bob: The vision of my country, the way I view or see my country, the way I talk or sing up my country, the way I talk of the stories of my country and the way I talk of my Elders & Ancestors, this is my cultural heritage. The way I call their names as I walk the sacred places of my country and the way I remember their brave deeds on my land is my cultural heritage. All these things are a part of my cultural heritage. History Life & Times of Robert Anderson Gheebelum, Ngugi, Mulgumpin, Uniikup Productions 2001.