Gae Anderson grew up on her parents' farm at Matong, 80 kilometres from Wagga Wagga, NSW. She studied by correspondence at home until she went to boarding school. Listening to radio plays and serials during her childhood fired her passion for acting
In 1957, Gae started work in Wagga Wagga as a shorthand typiste with the New Zealand Insurance Company. She stayed three years and, with her sights set on an acting career, moved to Sydney. In 1962, she resigned from her job in the city's CBD to enrol as a full-time acting student at Kensington's National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).
After graduating from the two-year course, her first professional jobs included a tour of Henry V to the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1964, and a nine-month Arts Council tour around New South Wales with Julius Caesar and The Taming of the Shrew in 1965.
For the next 15 years Gae stayed dedicated to the theatre with featured stage roles in: The Currency Lass, A Tale of Two Cities, On Stage Oz Revue, Canterbury Tales, The Girl in the Freudian Slip, Antony & Cleopatra, Oedipus Rex, South Pacific, How the Other Half Loves, The Good Soldier Schweik, The Father, The Department, The Importance of Being Earnest, Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber, Absent Friends, and Deathtrap.
During this period she appeared in television's Homicide ('The Old Game' and 'Short Circuit'), People in Conflict, Contrabandits, Divorce Court, Motel, Behind the Legend, Minotti, Prisoner, Cop Shop, and Raw Silk. She also worked for ABC radio in their serials, Joe's Story, Robbery Under Arms, Over to You Mort, Blue Hills, Search for Elizabeth, and The Percy Pepys Show.
When Gae moved to Melbourne in 1981, she picked up parts in television and radio, and worked briefly for the Australian Bureau of Statistics as a Census supervisor. In 1982, she commenced her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Cinema Studies at La Trobe University, and German at Melbourne University.
After completing her degree in 1984, Gae spent the next two years as a freelance researcher; production office manager for Tim Tyler's, 'Mr PP at Home' at St Martin's Theatre, and assistant administrator for David Ross-Smith's Ensemble Dance Theatre at the Victorian Arts Centre, South Melbourne.
In 1988, she graduated from the Melbourne College of Advanced Education (MCAE) with a Graduate Diploma in Education. Soon after, she joined Adult Migrant Education Services (AMES) and taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in their day and evening programs of English in the Workplace, English on the Job and Advanced Reading and Writing.
The following year, Gae transferred to Sydne to join an AMES evening program teaching ESL at Cleveland Street Boys High School, Surry Hills, Later, she taught at their Kent Street College in the city.
In 1991, Gae joined forces with Sydney's well-known theatre designer, the late Arthur Dicks, and Paul Hastings Booth, actor and teacher, as a freelance director for their newly-formed 'In the Pink Theatre Company'.
Dicks, Hastings Booth and Anderson directed rehearsed readings of plays by gay and lesbian playwrights at the Belvoir Downstairs Theatre. Gae showcased Alana Valentine's Southern Belle; Campion Decent's On the Trolley, and Ian MacNeill's Breakfast with the Patriarch. She also co-staged The Pink Gig, six fund-raising cabaret spectaculars for In the Pink at Kinselas Theatre, Taylors Square.
In between jobs, Gae completed a two-year part-time Master's pass degree in Theatre and Film Studies at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and graduated in May 1992, scoring distinctions in three of her four subjects. A Doctor of Philosophy degree followed at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Arts. During her four years of full-time study, she tutored part-time at UNSW's Centre for Liberal & General Studies.
A month prior to her graduation in October 1999, Gae accepted a position as lecturer and ESL support at Macquarie University's Centre for International Communication (CIC), in their Master's degree program.
Gae resigned at the end of 2002 to concentrate on writing and research.
Gae's essay titled "Harry Rickards: The Singer and His Song" was published in Britain for the journal of the British Music Hall Society in the Summer of 2010. Throughout Gae's research program for her doctoral thesis, "Harry Rickards: A Performance-Centred Portrait from Music Hall to Vaudeville," she maintained strong links with Max Tyler, the historian of the British Music Hall Society. They first met in 1997 when Gae gave a paper at the Society's annual weekend conference in Hove, Sussex.
Later, copies of Gae's first book, "Tivoli King: Life of Harry Rickards Vaudeville Showman" were distributed in England by courtesy of Nick Charlesworth.