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Michelle Peterie

Research Fellow, Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, University of Sydney

Dr Michelle Peterie is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow and University of Sydney Robinson Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney. Michelle co-leads the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies' research themes on 'Work, Education and Welfare' and 'Migration, Im/mobility and Belonging'. She is an Associate Editor of The Australian Journal of Social Issues and a recent co-convener of The Australian Sociological Association's Sociology of Emotions and Affect thematic group. Michelle has previously held Postdoctoral Research Fellowships at The University of Queensland and The University of Wollongong.

Michelle’s research investigates the impacts of social policies and practices on individual and collective wellbeing. Taking a person-centred approach - and in close collaboration with research participants and third-sector stakeholders - her work seeks to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children, families and communities. Michelle is particularly interested in lived experiences of (under)employment, poverty and social security receipt, and in the reverberating impacts of immigration detention. Michelle is currently leading an ARC DECRA project about children's experience of parental detention and deportation, and an ARC Linkage Project about the long-term impacts of detaining children. She is also involved in a number of collaborative projects exploring the complexities of care across the life course.

Michelle’s research has been published in a range of Australian and international journals and books. She has been the recipient of both the biennial award for the best article in the Journal of Sociology (2017-2018) and the Mayer Journal Prize for the best article in the Australian Journal of Political Science (2022). Michelle is the author 'Visiting Immigration Detention' (BUP, 2022), the co-author of 'Compulsory Income Management in Australia and New Zealand' (Policy, 2022), the editor of 'Immigration Detention and Social Harm' (Routledge, 2024) and the co-editor of 'Emotions in Late Modernity' (Routledge, 2019). Michelle has been invited to give expert evidence to the Australian Senate, the AAT and the Crown Solicitor, and her research has received national media attention.


  • 2021–present
    Research fellow, University of Sydney
  • 2020–2021
    Research fellow, University of Wollongong
  • 2018–2020
    Research fellow, University of Queensland


  • 2018 
    University of Sydney, PhD

Professional Memberships

  • The Australian Sociological Association