Michael is an Aboriginal man, a member of the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri Nation of Central New South Wales. His career in Indigenous higher education and record of service to the arts, culture and the community spans three decades.
Michael is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) and Director of Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney, where he is also a Professor in Indigenous Education. Michael is also currently Chair of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and serves on the Boards of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Australia) and Sydney Living Museums.
Michael is a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) and the World Indigenous Peoples’ Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). He is a former Board Director of the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) and of the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College. He has held a number of Federal and State Government appointments, having been a member of the Federal Minister for Education's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council, the National Native Title Tribunal, the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal, the NSW Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the NSW Guardianship Tribunal. He has also been a Commissioner with the NSW Land and Environment Court.
Michael has a strong commitment to the preservation of Wiradjuri culture, in particular the preservation and teaching of badhang wilay (possum skin cloak) making. His cloaks are in a number of private collections, with one being acquired by the National Gallery of Australia in 2008.
Michael joined the Bangarra Board in November 2011. In 2013 he was appointed Deputy Chair of Bangarra and became Chair in October 2014.