Finding Her, Australia’s first state-wide women’s commemorative tour (Her Place Women’s Museum)

Michelle Sheppard

Radio Personality

“I ended up hosting the show I came in to be interviewed on.” [1]

Michelle Sheppard, affectionately known as “Mama” mish is a highly respected presenter, advocate, and trainer in the gender equity space.  As a transgender woman, she appreciates the difficulties within the grey created by the gender divide, traverses them herself, and willingly takes others on the ride with her.

As a radio presenter and gender equality and transgender advocate Michelle has created and hosted productions including Transpositions, Family Matters, and Trans POV (Transgender point of view)

Michelle brings her lived experience of being a trans woman into her work, running diversity, equity, and inclusion training, mentoring colleagues, and providing extra support to anyone transitioning or affirming their gender.

Michelle lays out the sobering statistics around violence and discrimination against transgender people, unemployment, financial troubles, and mental health issues but mixes them with anecdotes and funny stories from her life.

She embodies dignity, grace, and the change needed to make a positive difference in others’ lives, empowers women and challenges barriers to inclusion, discrimination, and harassment.

Her productions carve space for meaningful conversations, breaking down barriers and successfully bringing Transgender stories, voices, and issues to the fore of national discussions.

Michelle’s radio show Transpositions has been translated into podcast form, immortalising transgender voices and issues of our time for future generations.  Family Matters remains one of the most listened-to programs on JOY94.9.

Michelle sees her work, and its success, as a culmination of self and community discovery that radio has facilitated for her.

Michelle has also moved her digital work into more analog forms through her provision of diversity and inclusion guidance, public speaking appearances, and consulting work.

Finding Her, Australia’s first statewide women’s commemorative tour starts here but will only end when the past is complete and the stories of people of all genders are equally told in public places and celebrated in every corner of what’s now known as Victoria.

Commemorative places provide an important link between present and past generations and are a permanent marker to recognise the people, events and stories that make this place what it is.

In the narrative of Victoria, permanent markers of women and gender-diverse people’s impact are scarce and more so for First Nations women who went largely unseen in Australia, and due to the silencing of their stories many have not been preserved. But hidden amongst the public landscapes of Victoria, a hint of their contributions and achievements can be found.

Finding Her shines a light on women and gender-diverse people and the places where their life and times have been commemorated. These sites provide inspiration for what was and what can be. They remind us of the power of public place naming, truth-telling and commemoration in creating equitable, respectful and creative spaces for future generations. Finding Her is a catalyst for visitation, conversation and activation. Our aim is to see Victoria adorned with the stories and achievements of people of all genders immortalised in public places from Mildura to Melton and Mallacoota to Millicent and everywhere in between.

Finding Her is just the start. Our hope is that by shining a light on the existing commemorations, more will emerge. More statues, more public art, more place naming, new policy and improved practice. You can help. Come journey with us, find her, talk about her, identify more sites and start your own advocacy and projects. There’s something for everyone to help Put Her Name on It.

Her Place Museum is a not-for-profit organisation that celebrates the social, civic and entrepreneurial achievements of all Australian women and their role in shaping our nation.

The vision for Her Place is to create a public space that honours the achievements of women, through exhibitions, public programs, education resources and an archive.


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