Michael is one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists working in all form of media. He works in private practice in Melbourne. He is a successful author, speaker, broadcaster and mental health advocate.
Michael has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Australian Jaycees Outstanding Young Australian of the Year (1987), the New Zealand Commemoration Medal for Services to the Community (1990), and named Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in recognition of his work in the prevention of youth suicide (1997).
Michael established the teenage cancer patient’s society (Canteen) in 1984 with 5 teenage cancer patients, for which he was awarded one of 5 Outstanding Young Australians of the Year, the UNSW Alumni Award (1987 and 2007) and became the first Australian psychologist to be featured on “This is Your Life” in 2000.
In 2016 Michael was appointed the Managing Director of the Young and Well CRC, an Australian-based, international research centre that united young people with researchers, practitioners and innovators from over 70 partner organisations, including VicHealth, to explore the role of technology in young people’s lives, and how those technologies can be used to improve their wellbeing. While there, he wrote and launched the world’s first ever Certificate in Young People’s Mental Health and Technology. He became a pioneer in the use of smartphone apps and web-based programs to enhance adolescent mental health, presenting workshop for psychologists in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In 2017 in collaboration with psychologist and opera singer, Greta Bradman, Michael helped develop (through the Arts Centre Melbourne) a new mental health initiative in the entertainment industry, designed to foster long-term, sector-wide transformation.
In 2018 he worked with Price Waterhouse Cooper to launch the Green Light to Talk initiative in Australia designed to reduce stigma, increase awareness about support options and positively promote the importance of conversations about mental health at work. He also became an accredited trainer in Mental Health First Aid and has subsequently worked with Westpac, AMP and COBA.
In June 2019, the NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes asked Michael to head a review in to the non-educational use of smartphones in schools, the first of its kind in Australia. The resulting report recommendations were taken up by Victoria, Tasmania and West Australia.
In 2019 Michael was appointed as the Federal Government’s representative on The Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
For 2020, Michael has collaborated with one of Australia’s leading executive coaches, best selling author, owner of consultancy Momentum First and mother of three, Brigitte Johnson – to co-create Breakfast at Epiphany’s – a talk to help people and organisations build mental and physical wellbeing for 2020. Find out more about Breakfast at Epiphany’s by emailing us here. Michael and Brigitte also provide Mental Health First Aid training for schools and organisations nationally and internationally. We also provide webinars to help school students, staff and parents manage the uncertain times that we live in.