Anthony Zwi grew up and was schooled in South Africa where he also studied Medicine (MB BCh Witwatersrand), occupational health (DOH Wits), and tropical health (DTM&H Wits). Prior to migrating from South Africa he worked actively with progressive anti-apartheid health organisations, both as a student and medical practitioner. He studied further in the UK where he completed an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and qualified as a specialist in public health medicine. He completed his PhD in occupational health (Wits) and after working in health policy, international health and development, based in London, he migrated to Australia in 2001. He was the first Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney and is now Professor of Global Health and Development in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW. He coordinates the Masters in Development Studies at UNSW.
Anthony focuses on global health and development policy and has interests in their interface with equity, social justice and human rights. He seeks to promote partnerships between Australia, the Asia-Pacific, and Africa and to promote capabilities in global health, development policy, and disaster risk reduction and response. Many of his projects and contributions have focused on conflict or other emergencies, and on the health policy, systems and development responses. He has researched with colleagues in a wide range of countries including Timor-Leste (East Timor), Sri Lanka, the Solomon Islands, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. He seeks to enhance the use of different forms of evidence in health and development policies and to build links between humanitarian relief, development agencies and academic institutions. He is especially interested in health and development-related interventions in countries that have experienced disasters and conflicts, and the need for development funding to be sensitive to culture, conflict, and to rebuilding trust and social cohesion.