Michelle is an Anglo-Celt born on Gubbi Gubbi country who grew up on a farm on Gamilaroi Country (near what is now known as Narrabri). With a professional background as a social worker, Michelle continues to enact inclusive, developmental and decolonising processes developed during her Undergraduate and Master of Social Work studies at the University of Queensland.

Since 2006, Michelle has contributed to higher education as an Associate Dean, Research Education (2020-2022), supervisor of higher degree by research candidates (2017-current), researcher (2009-current), lecturer (2005-current) and field educator (2005-2009).

In her role as a public health researcher, Michelle facilitates qualitative and mixed methods research in partnership with groups and communities to promote health. Michelle works with Pacific Islander and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to:

  • Improve sexual and reproductive health,

  • Reduce transmission of infectious diseases, and

  • Strengthen health systems.

Michelle's NHMRC-funded PhD research, undertaken in the College of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University, was a transformational grounded theory study focused on HIV prevention with women in Papua New Guinea.

Current applied research co-led with Pacific partners includes:

  • Strengthening the role of women leaders in Papua New Guinea for improved sexual health and wellbeing,
  • Culturally situating menstrual health and hygiene responses for girls in schools in Solomon Islands, 
  • Exploring women's experience of menopause in Solomon Islands,
  • Developing culturally relevant strategies for tuberculosis prevention, detection and treatment in Solomon Islands, and
  • Documenting traditional knowledge about climate and food Security in Kwaio Solomon Islands Project, especially with women.

Michelle has a strong practical and theoretical track record in facilitating research capacity strengthening with grassroots communities, community-based organisations and tertiary insitutions, in Australia and a number of Pacific nations. This was evidenced during her service as Associate Dean, Research Education in the College of Medicine and Dentistry (2020-2022). Michelle centralises an 'All Teach, All Learn' approach to research capacity strengthening in her research and higher degree by research supervision. 

Michelle's work using arts-based research methods, specifically poetic inquiry, explores the potential of arts-based approaches for improved health. Poetic inquiry work has been recognised internationally, including in a recent TEDx talk, international collaborations with poets/poet- researchers, international conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications. In 2021, Michelle co-founded the Deadly Poets Society within the collaborative Primary Health Care researcher network (CRE-STRIDE).  

Michelle has contributed to the development of both social science and public health disciplines, having previously served as an Associate Editor of the SAGE journal, Action Research (edited by Professor Hilary Bradbury) and has peer-reviewed for almost 20 journals, including the American Journal of Tropical Health and Medicine, CSIRO Sexual Health, Culture, Health and Sexuality Journal, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, and a number of BMC and international social work journals.  

For more details about scholarly work, please visit the JCU Publications page, Google Scholar page or OrcidID.

  • RM8301: Research Planning in Tropical Health and Medicine (Level 8; CNS & TSV)
  • RM8302: Research Project in Tropical Health and Medicine (Level 8; CNS & TSV)
  • Participatory approaches to research
  • Social and cultural determinants of health
  • Decolonising research
  • Sexual and reproductive health of peoples in the Pacific
  • Health of people in Papua New Guinea
  • Health of people in Solomon Islands
  • Research capacity strengthening
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Poetic inquiry
  • Transformational Grounded Theory
  • 2022 to present - Principal Research Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2020 to 2022 - Associate Dean, Research Education, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2018 to 2022 - Senior Research Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2017 to 2018 - Research Fellow, Central Queensland University (Cairns)
  • 2008 to 2016 - Research Officer/Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2006 to 2009 - Casual Lecturer/Tutor, James Cook University (Cairns)
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2020 - Winner, Early Career Researcher category, 3MT College of Medicine and Dentistry, JCU.
  • 2016 - Distinguished Friend of Pacific Adventist University, Papua New Guinea.
  • 2016 - Dean’s List for Excellence, Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) 2015
  • 2013 - PhD Category Award winner (awarded $2,500). ‘So you think you can research?’ North Queensland Festival of Life Sciences
  • 2020 - Adjunct Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow, School of Health Science, Pacific Adventist University
  • 2019 - Fellow of ALARA (Action Learning Action Research Association)
  • 2018 - Fellow, The Cairns Institute
  • 2017 - Adjunct Academic, Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research, CQUniversity Australia
  • 2019 - Pacific Society for Reproductive Health
  • 2017 - Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • 2016 - Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies
  • 2010 - International Association for Community Development
  • 2009 - Reconciliation Queensland Inc
  • 2006 - Action Learning & Research Association, Australia and New Zealand
  • 2004 - Australian Association of Social Workers
  • 2017 to 2020 - Health Systems Global
  • 2012 to 2016 - Australasian Society for HIV Medicine
  • 2012 to 2015 - Tropical Research Network
  • 2009 to 2015 - Public Health Association Australia
  • 2012 to 2015 - Doctor of Philosophy: Implications of male circumcision for women in Papua New Guinea, including for HIV prevention. College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University
  • 2002 to 2007 - Master of Social Work (Community Development and Human Service Management), University of Queensland
  • 1990 to 1993 - Bachelor of Social Work (Major: Community Work), University of Queensland

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 75+ research outputs authored by A/PROF Michelle Redman-MacLaren from 2010 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Palladium Pty Ltd - Australia Pacific Climate Partnership

Traditional Knowledge about Climate and Food Security in Kwaio, Malaita, Solomon Islands

Indicative Funding
$95,000 over 1 year
This project will be implemented in conjunction with Baru Conservation Alliance in Malaita, Solomon Islands. Traditional Knowledge and experience of weather, the seasonal interaction of plants, animals and people will be explored and documented. The use of tradiitional 'disaster food' after natural disasters will also be documented. The local scale production of flour from locally grown fuits and vegetables will be piloted; usage and spoilage monitored, and dishes made from flour trialled for acceptability and feasibility with Kwaio tribal groups. The project links food security, health and ecological sustainability to inform local level disaster and climate resilience measures in Malaita, Solomon Islands.
David MacLaren, Karen Cheer, Michelle Redman-MacLaren, Colin MacGregor and Darren Crayn in collaboration with Tommy Esau, Esau Kekeubata, Dorothy Esau, Maasafi Alabai, Paul Flemons, Tyrone Lavery and Rebecca Johnson (College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Science & Engineering, Australian Tropical Herbarium, Baru Conservation Alliance, Australian Museum, Australian National University and Smithsonian Institute)
Solomon Islands; Baru Conservation Alliance; Climate Resilience; Food Security; Disaster Preparedness; Traditional Knowledge

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) - DFAT Administered (aid) Simple Grant Agreement

Community led development, climate resilience and conservation in East Malaita

Indicative Funding
$400,000 over 2 years
Baru Conservation Alliance (BCA) was established a registered Non-Government Organisation in 2019 by leaders from East Kwaio, Malaita, Solomon Islands to coordinate ecological and cultural conservation in their tribal lands. This includes the holistic health and wellbeing of plants, animals and people living in prescribed conservation areas. This project, funded by the Australian High Commission in Solomon Islands allows JCU and the Australian Museum to build sustainable scientific and management capacities with the fledgling organisation. The project will support a series of local JCU supported projects within conservation areas that include TB, water and sanitation, reproductive health, community education and reforestation.
David MacLaren, Michelle Redman-MacLaren and Tommy Esau in collaboration with Paul Flemmons, Dorothy Esau and Esau Kekeubata (College of Medicine & Dentistry, Australian Museum and Baru Conservation Alliance)
Conservation; Kwaio; Solomon Islands; Community Health; Tuberculosis

Massey University - contract research - Contract Research

Review of Tokelau's Clinical Health Services and Patient Referrals Sceme

Indicative Funding
$6,903 over 2 years (administered by Massey University)
The Tokelau Government has asked for an independent review of the Tokelau Patient Referrals Scheme (TPRS) and clinical health services. In partnership with the Tokelau Government, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has engaged a Massey University-led team to do the review. Our proposal is distinguished by three features in particular: the team is Pacific-led, the review design is bottom up, participatory and solutions-focussed, and our approach is grounded in a Tokelauan world view of health and wellbeing. This approach will allow for the co-creation of knowledge, will ensure that the review is inclusive of a diversity of views, including marginalised groups, and will enable us to undertake an in-depth review which reflects the social, economic, cultural and spiritual context. Methodological innovations such as use of the Systems Assessment Tool and particpatory co-design workshops will enable us to generate robust findings combining quantitative and qualitative data.
Tracie Mafileo, Sunia Foliaki, Tanya Koro, Helen Leslie, Michelle Redman-MacLaren and Caryn West (Massey University, Pasifika Health Service, Central Public Health Organisation, College of Medicine & Dentistry and College of Healthcare Sciences)
Health services, Pacific people's health

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Failing Feminism: Culture, Female Empowerment and Agricultural Development (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Perception and Practives of Utilizing Sexual and Reproductive Health Information and Services among Young People in Papua New Guinea (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Family planning service provision in Solomon Islands: A Case Study Approach (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Healthy Ageing in the Torres Strait: Developing and Implementing a Framework for Best-Practice Aged Care within Primary Health Care Centres (PhD , Primary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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