School of Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics
Dee Michell is a feminist theologian and social researcher whose research interests pivot around the themes of lived experience, marginalisation and transformation.
Dee has a broad interest in gender, religion and spirituality, and a particular interest in the women dominated 19th century American traditions of Spiritualism, Theosophy, Christian Science and New Thought. You can hear Dee in conversation with writer James Boyce at Adelaide Writers' Week 2015 as they discuss his book, Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World.
Dee was made a Ward of the South Australian State in 1960 and remained in foster care for 15 years. She worked as an administrator for a multi-national corporation before going to university in her 40s, when she combined study with primary care for her three children.
Dee is the first in her families (family of origin and foster family) to go to university. She is a founding member of the Alliance for Care Experience People in Higher Education, an international support organisation for those who have been displaced from family during childhood and who are studying and working in universities.
Dee Michell was also on the Steering Committee for the inaugural Care Experienced History Month - April 2021 and with Rosie Canning in the UK, has designed a website, Care Experience and Culture https://www.careexperienceandculture.com/, which is a digital archive of literature, films and television shows about Care Experienced People, and a record of Care Experienced People who are artists and writers etc. Funding for the development of the website has been provided by The Welland Trust, UK. Video recordings of Care Experience and Culture events are available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2DEd29di4O07m4EgPkTw4g
From 2013-2016, Dee worked on a 3 year ARC funded project on the history of foster care in Australia (with Nell Musgrove, Australian Catholic University). You can hear Dee talk about this project on Housing Matters Radio and via Radio Adelaide's Searchlight program. A book based on the findings, The Slow Evolution of Foster Care in Australia. Just Like A Family? was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018 and launched by the Honourable Rachel Sanderson MP, Minister for Child Protection, on 21st June 2019 at Relationships Australia. A conversation about the book is available here: https://www.shcy.org/features/books/the-slow-evolution-of-foster-care-in-australia/
Dee is currently working on another 3 year ARC funded project with Nell Musgrove - Care Leaver Activism & Advocacy: From Deficit Models to Survivor Narratives.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
Dee has peer reviewed articles for the following scholarly journals: ACM Transactions on Computing Education; Australian Social Work; Colloquy Monash University; Depression Research & Treatment; Emotions: History, Culture, Society; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (USA); Life Writing; Outskirts Online Journal; International Journal of English and Literature; Journal of Gender Studies; Social Sciences; Studies in Higher Education (UK).
Invitations to speak:
- Guest Speaker, Rememberance Day 2022 Lotus Place, Brisbane, 7th September 2022. Paper title: Pouring in the Gold . Video here .
- Annual Sophia Feminist Theologies Day, Saturday, 29th June 2019. Paper title: "Gatherings from the Divine Storehouse: The Theology & Writing of Ella wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)"
- Women in STEM Society, University of Adelaide, 8th March 2019. "Women in Computer Science: Research Findings"
- WhoCares?Scotland Global Care Family Gathering, 27th October, 2018. The full event can be viewed here, Dee's presentation here.
- Women in STEM Society, University of Adelaide, 3rd August, 2018. "Towards a Socio-Ecological Framework to adress gender inequity in Computer Science.
- NTEU Universities & the Future of Workers & Work Panel Discussion, 2nd August, 2018.
- Uniting Communities, Youth Workers Training Day, Friday 26th March, 2018, "Real Life Super Heroes"
- Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (YACSA) Netfest 2018, Friday 16th February, 2108. "Real Life Super Heroes"
- Annual Sophia Feminist Theologies Day, Saturday, 12th August 2017. Paper title: "How to Ruin Your Reputation: Elizabeth Cady Stanton & The Woman's Bible"
- Mary Lee Exchange Theme: Home, Saturday 15th July 2017
- Adelaide Festival Writers Week, in Conversation with 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner, Hisham Matar, 29th May 2017
- Adelaide Festival Writers Week, Chair, On Family, Caroline Baum & Catherine De Saint Phalle, Tuesday 7th March 2017
- Adelaide Festival Writers Week, Chair, War Correspondent, Janine di Giovanni, Wednesday 8th March 2017
- SA Dept of Child Protection Residential Care Service Recognition Event, Adelaide Oval, Monday 20th February 2017
- Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants 7th National Apology Anniversary, 16th November 2016
- Plenary Rountable Discussion on Engagement and Impact in history of Childhood Research, Rexamining Australian Childhood Conference, Deakin Uni, Melbourne, 12-13th December 2016.
- Adelaide Festival Writers Week, "Dedication Brenda Niall", Monday 29th February 2016.
- Launch of Prayers for a Secular World at Dymocks Bookshop, 21st October 2015
- Adelaide Festival Writers Week, In Conversation with James Boyce, author of Born Bad:Original Sin and the Making of the Western World, 4 March 2015.
- Chair, 5th Annual SA Women's and Gender Studies Annual Public Lecture, 6 May 2014 - Lecture delivered by Professor Shurlee Swain, Australian Catholic University on the topic "Feminism and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse"
- Academic Women's Promotion Forum, University of Adelaide, 25 March 2014
- Adelaide Festival Writers Week, Chair, Faith Based Session with Diarmaid MacCulloch & Francis Spufford, 6 March 2014
- Keynote Address for IAP Forum, University of Adelaide, February 2012
- "In Bed with Tracey Emin" Public Forum - Invitation to speak and participate in a panel discussion at the Art Gallery of South Australia, 16 October 2011.
- Invitation to attend National Domestic Violence Conference for Mount Gambier - Weds 13 to Fri 15 July 2011- and conduct a workshop with Tony Tonkin (BSW) based on our 2010 article "The Reverse Role Play - An Innovative Way of Confronting Men" In Australian Social Work 63(4), 460-465.
- Creativity Forum, Sophia Ecumenical Feminist Spirituality Centre on May 7, 2011.
- Workshop facilitation at the 2008 Network of Women Students Australia (NOWSA) Conference, Flinders University, 8th July 2008.
Conversation over coffee with Tony Tonkin
Lisa Cherry Trauma Resonance Resilience Podcast, Series 3, Episode 6, Dee Michell & Rosie Canning on Care Experience & Culture
Nowhere Child by Caroline Overington, The Australian, Episode 6, and 'Bonus Material' for Episode 7.
- Life Matters, ABC Radio National, "Are we learning from our past foster care mistakes?", with Hannah McGlade, Curtin University
- Radio Adelaide Morning Juice, 25th October 2018 7.35am "Children in foster care" with Nell Musgrove, ACU
- Afternoons with Alan Hickey, FIVEaa, 1.05pm on 7th June 2018, contributing to the conversation on changes to the Miss America competition.
- Afternoons with Alan Hickey, FIVEaa, 12.00pm on 16th August 2016, referencing a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommendation that Catholic priests become mandated reporters
- Jeremey Cordieux program, FIVEaa, 12.30pm on 20th July 2016, referencing the story about Cheltenham Girls School in Sydney requiring staff to cease saying ‘girls, ladies, women’
- June 2015 a number of radio interviews about foster care in Australia, including with 891ABC, Port Pirie ABC, Searchlight (Radio Adelaide) and National Radio News (Charles Sturt University Ballarat)
- Housing Matters Radio February 2014
Date Position Institution name 2013 - ongoing Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide 2011 - ongoing Lecturer University of Adelaide 2008 - 2010 Tutor University of South Australia 2005 - 2010 Educator Relationships Australia 2003 - 2010 Associate Lecturer Flinders University
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2003 Scholarship Overseas Field Trip Award Flinders University 2003 Scholarship Travel Grant Award Flinders University 2002 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award 2000 Recognition Chancellor's Letter of Commendation Flinders University 2000 Award Golden Key Award
Date Institution name Country Title 2008 Flinders University Australia PhD 2002 Flinders University Australia Bachelor of Theology (Hons) 2000 Flinders University Australia Bachelor of Theology 1998 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Arts (Major in Women's Studies)
Year Citation 2019 Michell, D. E. (2019). Oral Histories and Enlightened Witnessing. In K. Moruzi, N. Musgrove, & C. Pasco Leahy (Eds.), Children’s Voices from the Past New Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 211-231). Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. 2019 Jurczyszyn, R., & Michell, D. (2019). We Can Do It and So Can Our Future Care Leavers! Care Leavers at University. In P. McNamara, C. Montserrat, & S. Wise (Eds.), Education in Out of Home Care (pp. 255-266). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
2019 Jurczyszyn, R., & Michell, D. (2019). We Can Do It and So Can Our Future Care Leavers! Care Leavers at University. In P. McNamara, C. Montserrat, & S. Wise (Eds.), Education in Out of Home Care (pp. 255-266). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
2018 Michell, D. (2018). Academia as Therapy. In A. Black, & S. Garvis (Eds.), Women Activating Agency in Academia: Metaphors, Manifestos and Memoir. Oxon; United Kingdom: Routledge. 2017 Michell, D., & Petrilli, P. (2017). Similarities in Difficulties: Australians Raised in Out-of-Home Care. In S. Petrilli (Ed.), Challenges to Living Together: Transculturalism, Migration, Exploitation (pp. 413-424). Italy: Mimesis International. 2017 Michell, D., & Fraser, H. (2017). Using Feminist Memory Work with working-class women trying to complete social science degrees. In 0 (Ed.), Sage Research Methods Cases Part 2. Sage. 2017 Michell, D., & Fraser, H. (2017). Using Feminist Memory Work with working-class women trying to complete social science degrees. In 0 (Ed.), Sage Research Methods Cases Part 2. Sage. 2017 Michell, D. (2017). Systemic Familial Alienation and the Australian Foster Care System. In S. Petrilli (Ed.), Challenges to Living Together. Transculturalism, Migration, Exploitation (pp. 395-412). Italy: Mimesis International. 2016 Michell, D., & Scalzi, C. (2016). I want to be someone, I want to make a difference: Young care leavers preparing for the future in South Australia. In P. Mendes, & P. Snow (Eds.), Young People Transitioning from Out-of-Home Care (1 ed., pp. 115-133). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
2016 Michell, D., & Scalzi, C. (2016). I want to be someone, I want to make a difference: Young care leavers preparing for the future in South Australia. In P. Mendes, & P. Snow (Eds.), Young People Transitioning from Out-of-Home Care (1 ed., pp. 115-133). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
2015 Michell, D., Wilson, J., & Archer, V. (2015). Introduction: A Working-Class World-View. In D. Michell, J. Wilson, & V. Archer (Eds.), Bread and Roses: Voices of Australian Academics from the Working Class (1 ed., pp. vii-xvi). Netherlands: Sense Publishers. 2015 Michell, D., Wilson, J., & Archer, V. (2015). Introduction: a working-class world-view in an academic environment. In D. Michell, J. Wilson, & V. Archer (Eds.), Bread and roses: voices of Australian academics from the working class (1 ed., pp. vii-xvi). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. 2015 Michell, D., Jackson, D., & Tonkin, C. (Eds.) (2015). Against the odds: Care leavers at University. In . Elizabeth, South Australia: Peoples Voice Publishing. 2015 Michell, D. (2015). Up from the lowest rung. In D. Michell, D. Jackson, & C. Tonkin (Eds.), Against the Odds: Care Leavers in Higher Education (1st ed.). Elizabeth, South Australia: Peoples Voice Publishing. 2014 Michell, D., Tonkin, C., & Eate, P. (2014). Kane & Edgar: playing with age in film. In I. Whelehan, & J. Gwynne (Eds.), Ageing, popular culture and contemporary feminism: Harleys and hormones (1 ed., pp. 219-232). Houndmills, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.
2014 Michell, D. (2014). Traces of a feminist protest: Kylie Tennant's novel Tell Morning This. In P. Ashton, & J. Wilson (Eds.), Silent system: forgotten Australians and the institutionalisation of women and children (1 ed., pp. 193-208). Melbourne, Victoria: Australian Scholarly Publishing. 2014 Brook, H., Fergie, D. J., Maeorg, M., & Michell, D. (2014). Introduction. In H. Brook, D. Fergie, M. Maeorg, & D. Michell (Eds.), Universities in transition: Foregrounding social contexts of knowledge in the first year experience (Vol. -, pp. 1-9). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press.
2014 Bletsas, A., & Michell, D. (2014). Classism on campus? Exploring and extending understanding of social class in the contemporary higher education debate. In H. Brook, D. Fergie, M. Maeorg, & D. Michell (Eds.), Universities in transition: Foregrounding social contexts of knowledge in the first year experience (pp. 77-96). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. 2014 Brook, H., & Michell, D. (2014). Knowing students. In H. Brook, D. Fergie, M. Maeorg, & D. Michell (Eds.), Universities in transition: Foregrounding social contexts of knowledge in the first year experience (pp. 229-244). Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. 2012 Michell, D. (2012). Divine horizons: religion and social class in the lives of two leading Australian women, Betty Archdale and Kylie Tennant. In R. Francis, P. Grimshaw, & A. Standish (Eds.), Seizing the Initiative: Australian Women Leaders in Politics, Workplaces and Communities (1 ed., pp. 185-197). Australia: Australian Women's Archives Project. 2011 Michell, D. E. (2011). Two Mothers. In D. Michell, & P. Taylor (Eds.), Recipes for Survival: Stories of Hope and Healing by Survivors of the State 'Care' System in Australia (pp. 33-42). Elizabeth, South Australia: Peoples Voice Publishing. 2011 Michell, D. E. (2011). Woman Suffrage in Australia (1908): Vida Goldstein. In T. K. Wayne (Ed.), Feminist Writings from Ancient Times to the Modern World A Global Sourcebook and History. ABC-CLIO. 2011 Michell, D. E. (2011). The Female Eunuch (1970): Germaine Greer. In T. K. Wayne (Ed.), Feminist Writings from Ancient Times to the Modern World A Global Sourcebook and History. ABC-CLIO. 2010 Michell, D. (2010). Apology excepted: a response to the SA government's apology. In R. Hil & Branigan (Ed.), Surviving care: achieving justice and healing for the forgotten australians (pp. 151-172). Bond University Press. 2010 Michell, D. E., & Noble, J. (2010). Introduction. In D. E. Michell, & J. Noble (Eds.), Women Journeying with Spirit (pp. 7-10). Port Adelaide: Ginninderra Press.
Year Citation 2022 Michell, D. (2022). Care Experienced History Month 2022. Find & Connect web resource blog. 2021 McGeary, K., & Michell, D. (2021). CEHM, what's been and what's to come. Find & Connect web resource blog. 2021 McGeary, K., & Michell, D. (2021). CEHM, what's been and what's to come. Find & Connect web resource blog. 2021 Michell, D. (2021). Careless by Kirsty Capes. Care Experience & Culture. 2021 Michell, D. (2021). Letters to Gil by Malik Al Nasir. Orphans & Care Experience in Literature. 2021 Michell, D. (2021). A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler. Care Experience & Culture. 2021 Michell, D. (2021). Beyond the Orphanage by Deborah Dzifah Tamakloe. 2020 Michell, D. E. (2020). The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman. Orphans & Care Experience in Literature. 2020 Michell, D. E. (2020). Parragirls: Reimagining Parramatta Girls Home Through Art and Memory. Orphans & Care Experience in Literature. 2020 Michell, D. E. (2020). The Orphan Collector. Orphans and Care Experience in Literature. 2019 Michell, D. E. (2019). Book Review: Jae-Dee Survives the Home of Many Mothers by Jae-Dee Collier. Orphans & Care Experience in Literature. 2019 Michell, D. (2019). Book Review: Burnished: Burnside Life Stories, compiled by Kate Shayler. 2019 Michell, D. E. (2019). Book Review: Shaped by Silence: Stories from the Inmates of the Good Shepherd Laundries and Reformatories by Rie Croll. 2019 Michell, D. E. (2019). Book Review: No One Was Watching by Annie Horner. Orphans & Care Experience in Fiction. 2019 Michell, D. (2019). Book Review. Burnished: Burnside Life Stories, compiled by Kate Shayler. Orphans & Care Experience in Literature. 2018 Musgrove, N., & Michell, D. (2018). Why children in institutional care may be worse off now than they were in the 19th century. The Conversation. 2018 Musgrove, N., & Michell, D. (2018). Why children in institutional care may be worse off now than they were in the 19th century. The Conversation. 2017 Michell, D. (2017). Book Review: Oi You F*cker by Snowball. Orphans & Care Experience in Fiction. 2016 Michell, D. E. (2016). Beyond Ourselves: Dee Michell launches 'Prayers of a Secular World' edited by Jordie Albiston and Kevin Brophy. Rochford Street Review.
2021-2022 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant
- Research Team: Nell Musgrove (Australian Catholic University), Dee Michell (University of Adelaide)
- Project: Care Leaver Activism & Advocacy - From Deficit Models to Survivor Narratives
2021 Welland Trust UK - Grant
- Research Team: Rosie Canning (Southhampton University), Dee Michell (University of Adelaide)
- Project: Care Experience & Culture Digital Archive
2018 Consultancy, Uniting Communities
- Research Team: N. Greenland (Uniting Communities), V. Wise (Uniting Communities), D. Michell (University of Adelaide
- Project: Jo's Evaluation - Evaluation of Therapeutic Residential Care
2015 - 2017 Industry Funding - Google Australia
- Research Team: K. Falker, C. Szabo, A. Szorenyi & D. Michell,
- Project: Pathways to Computer Science: Enabling Equity and Diversity, Google Australia
2015 University of Adelaide Interdisciplinary Research Fund
- Research Team: Dr Katie Barclay (Humanities), Dr Dee Michell (Social Sciences) & Dr Clemence Due (Psychology)
- Project: Dis/Located Children: Children in/and Care
2013-2015 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant
- Chief Investigators: Dr Nell Musgrove, Australian Catholic University (ACU), Melbourne; Dr Dee Michell, University of Adelaide
- Project: A Long history of foster care in Australia: hidden stories of growing up in foster care in the nineteenth and twenthieth centuries
2013 Humanities & Social Sciences Faculty Research Grant
- Chief Investigators: Dr Dee Michell, Universityof Adelaide; Mr Rob Martin, CREATE Foundation
- Project: Care Leavers in Higher Education: Aspirations, Pathways and Outcomes
2013 Flinders University Faculty Research Grant
- Chief Investigators: Dr Heather Fraser, Flinders University; Dr Dee Michell, University of Adelaide, Ms Michele Jarldon, Flinders University; Dr Liz Beddoe, University of Auckland
- Project: What helps and hinders women from low socio-economic backgrounds complete social science degrees?
2012 Fay Gale Research Centre Fellowship
- Project: On The Edge: Kylie Tennant's Representation of Adolescent Girls in State Care
Dee is an enthusiastic teacher. Her aim is to excite students about their studies through well-constructed courses which connect theory and contemporary research, to enable them to befriend each other as well as to have many ‘light bulb’ moments through working together in small groups, and to prepare them to make a tangible and positive difference in the world as employed, engaged and socially just citizens.
- Qualitative Research Methods in Social Sciences
- Consumption, Work & the Self
- Public Scandals & Moral Panics
- Sociological Contentions
- Taking it to the Streets
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2019 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Punishing Disability: The Lived Experience of Incarcerated Women with Cognitive Disabilities in Australian Prisons Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Julie-Anne Toohey 2013 - 2019 Co-Supervisor ‘I feel like my luck's going to run out soon’: Youth Citizenship and Housing Responses to Homelessness in South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sharyn Leanne Goudie
Date Role Committee Institution Country 2015 - 2015 Member Fay Gale Centre Research Program Committee, 2016 Conference 2015 - 2015 Member PASS Reference Group University of Adelaide 2015 - 2015 Member Learning & Teaching Committee School of Social Sciences, University of Adelaide 2014 - 2015 Member Bachelor of Health Sciences Management Committee University of Adelaide 2014 - ongoing Member Rachael Romero's 'Enslaved' Adelaide Exhibition Launch Committee 2010 - 2011 Member Reference Group, Social Work Education Project: Curriculum Mapping for Content on Forgotten Australians Alliance for Forgotten Australians (AFA)
Date Role Membership Country 2014 - ongoing Member Alliance for the Study of Adoption & Culture 2012 - ongoing Member Education Research Group of Adelaide (ERGA) 2011 - ongoing Member Australian Women's and Gender Studies Association (AWGSA) 2004 - ongoing Member Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) 2002 - ongoing Member Sophia Ecumenical Spirituality Centre Australia
Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country 2016 - ongoing Board Member Peter Lang Series: Reflections on Signs and Language
Date Office Name Institution Country 2018 - ongoing Student Support Academic Mentor, Faculty of Arts University of Adelaide Australia 2015 - ongoing Honours Coordinator Dept of Gender Studies & Social Analysis 2014 - ongoing Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Social Sciences University of Adelaide Australia
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