Michelle Fitts

Senior Research Fellow


PhD, Queensland University of Technology, 2015; Postgraduate Diploma in Criminology, The University of Melbourne, 2008; Graduate Diploma in Criminology, The University of Melbourne, 2007; Bachelor of Science (Psychology), Deakin University, 2005;


Alice Springs


Michelle is an early career researcher in the Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Disease Division. She is a qualitative researcher and has worked for almost a decade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia. Her research experience is largely on multi-site projects examining alcohol, traumatic brain injury, disability and road safety.

Her community and service provider partnerships have led to the creation of important outcomes including traumatic brain injury resources and a community drink driving program. Michelle contributes to successful grants, attracting over $2.7 million. She also holds an Adjunct Research Fellow position at James Cook University.

  1. Fitts, M. & Soldatic, K. Who’s caring for whom? Disabled Indigenous carers experiences of Australia’s infrastructures of social protection Journal of Family Studies. (in press)
  2. Soldatic, K. & Fitts, M. Sorting yourself out of the system: everyday processes of elusive social sorting in Australia’s disability social security regime for Indigenous Australians. Disability and Society. (in press)
  3. Fitts, M.S & Soldatic, K. (2020). Why extended time on Newstart is unsuitable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with disability. Australian Journal of Social Work. 73(2), 191–203.
  4. Fitts, M.S., Bird, K., Gilroy, J., Fleming, J., Clough, A., Esterman, A., Maruff P., Fatima, Y. & Bohanna, I. (2019). The Transition Support Needs of Indigenous Australians Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Impairment, 20 (2), 137-159.
  5. Fitts, M.S., Condon, T., Gilroy, J., Bird, K., Bleakley, E., Matheson, L., Fleming, J., Clough, A.R., Esterman, A., Maruff, P. & Bohanna, I. (2019). Indigenous traumatic brain injury research: Responding to recruitment challenges in the hospital environment. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 19(1), 172-172.
  6. Bohanna, I., Fitts, M.S., Bird, K., Fleming, J., Gilroy, J., Clough, A., Esterman, A., Maruff P. & Potter, M. (2019). The Potential of a Narrative and Creative Arts Approach to Enhance Transition Outcomes for Indigenous Australians Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Impairment, 20(2), 1-11.
  7. Esterman, A., Thompson, F., Fitts, M., Gilroy, J., Fleming, J., Maruff, P., Clough, A. & Bohanna, I. (2018). Incidence of emergency department presentations for traumatic brain injury in indigenous and non-indigenous residents aged 15–64 over the 9-year period 2007–2015 in north Queensland, Australia. Injury Epidemiology, 5(1), 1-7.
  8. Clough, A.R., Fitts, M.S., Muller, R., Ypinazar, V. & Margolis, S. (2018). A longitudinal observation study assessing changes in indicators of serious injury and violence with alcohol controls in four remote Indigenous Australian communities in far north Queensland (2000–2015). BMC Public Health, 18(1), 1-12.
  9. West, C., Muller, R., Clough, A.R. & Fitts, M.S. (2018). Have Alcohol Management Plans reduced violence against women in Cape York, Australia? Violence against Women, 24 (14). 1658-1677.
  10. Robertson, J.A., Fitts, M.S. & Clough, A.R. (2017). Unintended impacts of alcohol restrictions on alcohol and other drug use in Indigenous communities in Queensland (Australia). International Journal of Drug Policy, 41, 34-40.