Deidre (Dee) Michell was born in 1956. She, along with her 5 siblings, was made a Ward of the South Australian State in 1960. Deidre was in foster care for 15 years with one of her sisters; her other siblings she did not see for 30 years. Deidre 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. Deidre began publishing in academic journals in 2000 and from 2003 has worked in the university sector. She was awarded a PhD in 2008 and appointed as Lecturer at the University of Adelaide in 2011.