Dr Michael Wright is a Yuat Nyoongar man. His family is from the Moora and New Norcia area of Western Australia, north of Perth. He has worked as a hospital-based social worker and as a mental health service manager. In 2010, Michael graduated with a PhD that investigated issues of access to services by Aboriginal families whose lives are affected by mental illness. Michael holds a Fellowship position at Curtin University in the Division of Health Sciences and is based at Curtin's National Drug Research Institute where he is leading a program of research into Aboriginal mental health and substance use.
This weekend I will... be going to a music festival, which I’ve attended for the last three years. I’m really looking forward to it.
I wish I'd never... I don't think of what I could have or should have done. As an optimist I think of I would like to do and then just do it.
The qualities I most value in my colleagues are... That’s a good question, honesty, humility and curiosity. And confidence in oneself and others.
I'll never forget... So many 'I’ll never forget' moments; too many to choose from, so best if I keep them to myself.
If I had more time, I'd... write a novel.
I'm most scared of... nothing really. Being afraid is so limiting, for life is full of opportunities.
For my next holiday... I’d like to do something that challenges and stretches me intellectually and in part, emotionally. Something that takes me out of my comfort zone. I’m thinking of a trip to Bhutan. I’ve always wanted to go there.
I can't get enough of... introspection – quality reflective time.
I'm really terrible at... being patient. I’d like to be better at it, as with patience comes wisdom.
Career wise, I’m most proud of... the work that we’ve been able to do with the Looking Forward Project and what we’ve been able to achieve. It’s been the highlight of my career. I’m overwhelmed by what we’ve done so far and am excited by what is to come.
My big hope for the drug and alcohol sector is... that there is continued support by government and politicians for what the sector does.
The sector's biggest challenge going forward is... as it is with mental health, the rapid change that we’re seeing and how we contend with stigma and discrimination that is always present. The ongoing question is how best the sector manages the tensions between community expectations and the government, research and service sectors with all their very different expectations.
Find out more about Dr Michael Wright's latest research here.