Michael is Bardi from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia and is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Indigenous Health and Alcohol, based at the University of Sydney. This Centre is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. Michael has worked towards improving the health of Aboriginal people since he began his career as an Aboriginal Health Worker in 1997 in his remote home community of Djarindjin. He predominantly worked in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service sector for the first 10 years of his career before moving into research.
In 2008 Michael began working in the alcohol and drug research field as a Research Associate at Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute. He then worked at the University of New South Wales’s (UNSW) Kirby Institute in 2011. Over his 10 years in academia, Michael completed a Graduate Diploma of Indigenous Health Promotion from the University of Sydney, and was the first Aboriginal person to graduate with a Master of Public Health from the University of Western Australia. Michael submitted his PhD thesis in February 2018 to UNSW. He is continuing to conduct research into work alcohol and other drug treatment for Aboriginal men in prison, work which he commenced during his PhD.
Michael has continued to be involved within the Aboriginal community on both a professional and personal level. His work has been recognized with a Community Service Award from the AIDS Council of Western Australia in 2009. Michael is a member of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW’s Human Research Ethics Committee, which is Australia’s oldest Aboriginal Ethics Committee.