Dee Michell 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.
Currently Dee is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Criminology & Gender Studies at the University of Adelaide. Her research interests pivot around the themes of lived experience, marginalisation and transformation, and publications include examining university experience from the perspective of the once excluded, particularly those from working class backgrounds.
From 2013-2016, Dee worked - with Nell Musgrove, Australian Catholic University - on a 3 year ARC funded project on the history of foster care in Australia. 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.