Chairman of the Indigenous Defence Consortium, Co-Chair of CareerTrackers and the CEO and a founding Director of Message Stick established in 2004, Michael’s career is inspiring. A road less travelled by others.
Michael is a member of Australia’s stolen generation and he is a Ngarrindjeri Monaro man from Southern NSW. Michael grew up on his own in State ward homes and foster homes. He first met his mother at his father’s funeral. By his mid-twenties, he was a chronic alcoholic and heroin addict. By his early thirties Michael was homeless and living on the streets of Sydney. A successful rehabilitation program has seen Michael clean and sober for over fifteen years.
A man of many talents, Michael is an accomplished artist and has participated in a number of exhibitions at the Art Gallery of NSW, the National Art Gallery in Canberra as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Exhibition in Darwin.
Michael’s future is aimed at advocating the need for Australian society (particularly the private sector and our Governments) to embrace, and support, the challenge Indigenous people face when his people begin the journey towards economic independence.
A thought provoking and powerful ethos, Michael firmly believes ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander businesses achieving financial independence can break the back of poverty amongst Indigenous Australians.’
IDC and Message Stick are a big part of Michael and they demonstrate that Indigenous and non-indigenous people can work together to achieve generic economic results – yet still fully support, and participate in, community growth.
Michael lives with his five cats, is an avid movie buff and loves playing video games.