Professor Michele Grossman

BA (SUNY-Purchase), MA (CUNY-Queens), PhD (Monash)

Director and Research Program Leader, Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing (CCDW)

Professor Michele Grossman (PhD, MA, BA) earned her doctoral degree in Cultural Studies from Monash University. Her current research expertise lies in cultural diversity and community engagement, particularly in the context of countering terrorism and violent extremism.

Michele’s research has a strong focus on questions of cultural identity, resources and strengths in harnessing community resilience to contemporary social challenges, including racism and discrimination, refugee resettlement, youth-police relations and social violence. She is also interested in the cultural dimensions of new communication technologies, including multimodal analysis, visual semiotics and the role of transcultural meaning-making.

Michele’s recent research has produced a series of projects, articles and reports addressing:

  • community perceptions of radicalisation and extremism
  • the role of cultural identities in fostering community-based ‘resilience capital'
  • thresholds for community reporting to authorities 
  • the role of women and families in influencing both support for and resistance to violent extremism.

These and related projects are supported by a range of government and community partners and funding organisations including:

  • Victoria Police
  • Australian Federal Police
  • Australian Multicultural Foundation
  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Victorian Arabic Social Services
  • Defence Science and Technology Group, and others.

In addition to these areas of interest, Michele has over 20 years’ research experience in Australian Indigenous studies with a special focus on orality-literacy intersections in Aboriginal writing. Her book in this field, Entangled Subjects: Indigenous/Australian Cross-Cultures of Talk, Text and Modernity (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi/Brill, 2013), was awarded the biennial Walter McRae Russell Prize for outstanding scholarship in 2015 by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.

Michele is an active supervisor of PhD students working on various projects relating to cultural diversity and community wellbeing. Before joining CCDW she served as Associate Dean (Research and Research Training) and as Acting Director of Postgraduate Research at Victoria University.

She has published widely in her fields of interest in journals including Cultural Studies, Meanjin, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Journal of Australian Studies and Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism.

She also engages actively in service to her profession and the broader community through membership of:

  • the Expert Reference Group, Research Institute on Social Cohesion (Victorian Dept of Premier and Cabinet)
  • the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner’s Human Rights Strategic Advisory Committee and External Education Committee
  • the Victorian Government Ministerial Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs
  • the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s pool of experts on radicalisation leading to violence

She also serves the Australian Research Council as an Excellence in Research (ERA) and Discovery Project assessor.

Michele holds an Honorary Professorship at the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society at Australian Catholic University.

Recent publications


Grossman, M (2013) Entangled Subjects: Indigenous/Australian Cross-Cultures of Talk, Text and Modernity (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi).

Grossman, M (2003, coord. ed.), Blacklines: Contemporary Critical Writing by Indigenous Australians (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press). Reprinted 2006, 2012.

Refereed chapters

Grossman, M (2014) ‘Resilient multiculturalism? Diversifying Australian approaches to community resilience and cultural difference’ in Boulou Ebanda de B’beri and Fethi Mansouri (eds), Global Perspectives on Multiculturalism in the 21st Century, (London: Routledge), in press.

Grossman, M (2013) ‘What language is Nuba? Translocative identities in the Sudanese Nuba Australian diaspora’, in J Marlowe, A Harris and T Lyons (eds). South Sudanese Diaspora in Australia and New Zealand: Reconciling the Past with the Present. Newcastle-on-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

Refereed articles

Grossman, M (forthcoming 2014) ‘Disenchantments: Counter-terror narratives and conviviality’, Critical Studies on Terrorism.

Grossman, M (2010) ‘We are all learners now’, Griffith REVIEW Edition 29, August 2010, pp. 137-147 (shortlisted as a finalist for a 2010 Australian Human Rights Commission Award, long-listed for the Australian Book Review Calibre Prize for Outstanding Essay in 2010, broadcast on ABC Radio National’s ‘First Person’ series in November 2010 and on Radio Australia’s Indonesian-language ‘Multikultural Australia’ in June 2011).

Research reports

H Tahiri and M Grossman (2013) Community and Radicalisation: An examination of perceptions, ideas, beliefs and solutions throughout Australia, Counter-Terrorism Coordination Unit, Victoria Police, Melbourne.

M Grossman, Bruck, D, Stephenson, P, Dwyer, R, Roose, J (2013) Learning to Engage: A Review of Victoria Police Cross-Cultural Training Practices, Centre for Cultural Diversity & Wellbeing, Victoria University.

Postgraduate research students and fellows


9 PhD students (8 as Principal Supervisor, 1 as Co-Supervisor), 3 Masters by Research students (2 as Principal Supervisor, 1 as Co-Supervisor), 4 Honours students (all as Principal Supervisor).

Current supervision

Principal supervision of 4 PhD students, co-supervision of 1 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, co-supervision of one PhD student.

Research grants

M Grossman, D Bruck (CIs) and P Stephenson (AI) ‘Victoria Police Cross-Cultural Training Practice and Procedures: A Research-Based Review for the 21st Century’, Victoria Police, $15,000, 2013.

M Grossman and H Tahiri (Victoria Police), CIs, ‘Harnessing resilience capital in culturally diverse communities in the context of countering violent extremism’, Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee, Countering Violent Extremism Sub-Committee, Attorney-General’s Dept. (Australia), $195,000, 2012-2013.

M Grossman and C Fry, CIs, ‘Police Social Connectedness: Implications for Front-Line Policing of Youth in Culturally Diverse Communities’, pilot project, Victoria Police, $5,241, 2013.

K McDonald and M Grossman, ‘Evaluation of More than a Game – An Australian "Building Community Resilience" Program’, Western Bulldogs supported by a CVESC/Attorney-General’s Department program grant, $12,000, 2012.

H Tahiri (Victoria Police) and M Grossman, CIs, ‘Community and radicalisation: an examination of perceptions, ideas, beliefs and solutions throughout Australia’, National Counter-Terrorism Committee, Countering Violent Extremism Sub-Committee, Attorney-General’s Dept. (Australia), $233,922, 2010-11.

M Grossman and C Sonn, CIs, ‘New Moves: The impact of arts-based learning for young refugees’ sense of belonging, wellbeing and engagement with learning’, The Song Room/Macquarie Foundation, $118,000, 2010.

M Grossman and J Sharples, CIs, ‘Don’t go there: young people’s perspectives on community safety and policing’, Victoria Police, $99,060 (January 2008 –May 2010).

M Grossman (CI) and C Aguilera (AI), ‘Evaluation of Project 3019 – Improving relations between young people and the police in Braybrook, Melbourne’, DIAC, $5,000, 2009.

J Pyke and M Grossman, CIs, ‘Evaluation of the Victorian Refugee Brokerage Program’, Victorian Office of Multicultural Affairs, $75,000, 2008.

Professional memberships

  • National Countering Violent Extremism Research Panel (Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department
  • Reducing Race-based Discrimination Advisory Board, VicHealth
  • Cultural Studies Association of Australia
  • African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific

Appearances in the media

Grossman, M, Police say they're blind to race, but that's not how Melbourne youth see it, The Age (Melbourne), 18 August, 2010

Grossman, M, ‘Risk, roguery and revelation’ (review of Alexis Wright, Carpentaria), The Australian, 4 October 2006.


Areas of expertise

  • African-background refugee settlement experience in Australia
  • Countering violent extremism and community engagement
  • Indigenous Australian life-writing and textuality
  • Narrative and counter-narrative theory and practice
  • Policing and cultural diversity
  • South Sudanese culture and community

Michele Grossman

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