Michelle’s early research experience was in biological anthropology, focusing on the behaviour and social systems of primates. When she returned to research in 2004, she worked in the areas of consumer-focused research and the use of technology for the self-management of mental health problems. Her PhD explored mental health consumers’ priorities for research on depression and bipolar disorder in Australia.
Michelle's research interests include effective services and policy for mental illness. In 2015, Michelle commenced an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) fellowship looking at service access and navigation for people with serious mental illness. She also heads ACACIA: The ACT Consumer & Carer Mental Health Research Unit at the Centre for Mental Health Research. ACACIA aims to increase the involvement of ACT mental health consumers and carers in the research process and conduct research relevant to their needs.
As part of her commitment to active consumer participation, Michelle is also developing strong connections with consumer organisations and representation. In 2012 Michelle was appointed to the National Mental Health Consumer Reference Group and became a member of the Health Care Consumers' Association of the ACT (HCCA) Executive Committee. She is now Vice President of HCCA and also a member of the Board of the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network. Through these roles, she hopes to foster strong ties between the consumer and research communities.