Who is “Mama” Mish?

Michelle Sheppard – Radio Personality

Michelle Sheppard is a *Transgender woman and proud parent of two amazing daughters. Born29695449_10156153711517557_3523722448447598953_n and raised in St Louis, Missouri USA and now calls Australia home.
Michelle is the former host, co-host and co-producer and driving force of Transpositions, JOY 94.9’s flagship Transgender weekly radio program which was on-air for over three years. Now Michelle is a co-host of JOY’s Family Matters radio show, a weekly program dedicated to rainbow families, as well as the host and producer of Trans POV (Transgender Point of View)

The radio work has provided the time and space for Michelle to discover herself and diversity of community radio. The powerful combination of self and community through the platform of community radio has seen her efforts raise the public profile and national dialogue of Transgender, Gender Diverse and Intersex issues on a national scale. Michelle’s dedicated work has explored such complex issues as transgender dating, parenting for rainbow families, domestic violence, sexual health and the political climate around marriage equality and what impact the plebiscite will have on the LGBTIQ+ community. Michelle and her young daughters were featured on national news & current affairs TV program ‘Insight’. She allowed cameras into her families’ life in the hopes that it would encourage others also live their authentic life.
Michelle has realized her true power, is beyond the microphone but with the microphone in hand. She remains firmly on mic with Family Matters educating, informing and spreading the love while taking it to the level. Michelle is hands-on with her approach to making the world a better place, she is reach the masses via the radio and reach those with real power to affect our lives with her advocacy and policy work; guiding big corporates and other organisations to develop best practices to support their workers and clients.


Transpositions ran as an hourly show every week exploring the many challenges faced not only by Transgender women but also as women in the wider community. Transpositions featured such guests as Senior Constable Gabrielle Tyacke the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO) for Victoria Police, Andrew Ives, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, as well as community members sharing their unique stories and notable personalities who make up the patchwork of a diverse life. The collection of Transgender stories and histories that has been collected as a result of the radio program being podcast has created an amazing resource for the community to access. This resource toolkit will stand the test of time, allowing generations to come to listen to and watch the video blogs of our Trans communities’ stories, experiences, views and news. Michelle has been a major driving force in making this community resource is of high standard and even possible. iTunes



Family Matters piloted in 2016 and Michelle has lent her breadth of experience to the ever growing family of Rainbow parents and children. Through many shows she has explored the adoption amendments, the ever growing opposition to Rainbow families by the ACL and the complexities of healthcare and custardy issues for those who identify as Transgender, Gender Diverse or Intersex. Family Matters continues to be one of the most listened to programs of JOY 94.9 and a strong favorite among listeners. iTunes


Now with Trans POV Michelle is taking what we learned from Transpositions further and getting back sharing stories of the community beyond the 101 introductory because the conversations involving the transgender community have gone beyond basic single answers.

As well a reoccurring guest on varies programs looking for a transgender perspective.

View podcasts at www.joy.org.au


Advocacy & Policy Work:
Through radio work, Sheppard is now a sought after public speaker and guest blogger and. Michelle uses her public profile to host seminars on LGBTI employment and work issues which has risen the awareness in employers within the Banking, Energy, Retail, Education and Health Care industries. Her Advocacy has led to Sheppard consulting working with corporate, universities, community organisations and secondary colleges by providing expert knowledge and guidance on the principles and best practices of diversity and inclusion.. Such companies Sheppard has presented to include ANZ Bank and AFL football to just name a few.

Supporting LGBTI Job Seekers:
Inspiring youth and adults alike through radio and speaking engagements; guest speaker for AFL Essendon FC Purple Bombers, Sheppard embodies her role as public speaker for rainbow parenting groups, employment forums for Transgender job seekers.
Through Sheppard’s own personal experience of discrimination and prejudice as a Transwoman, she saw there was a gap in the employment market for inclusive and specific opportunities for those who are Transgender, Gender Diverse and Intersex as well as Gay Lesbian and Bisexual.





” Mish, I was one of the guys that heard you speak at […] this evening, I was the guy in the red jumper at the front that asked about how the gay and lesbian world see you. You may not remember, I just wanted to say thank you. As a gay guy, I don’t really get to hear transgender people speak. You were an inspiration, and it gave me the courage to be OK that I am gay. Sometimes you need the reassurance. You gave it to me this evening. Keep up the good work, my Dad loved hearing you speak as well. 🙂 “


  • Winner of the ANZ Excellence in business in the 2016 GLOBE Community Awards which recognises excellence in our community.

Radio Personality: TransPositions | Family Matters | Trans POV

  • The LOTL Power List 2016
  • AU LGBTI Awards / Shortlisted for MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster & Presenter of the year 2017
  • AU LGBTI Awards / Nominated for Journalist of the Year 2018


*Male to Female Non-Op Bigender Transsexual:

Someone born Male but transitions to Female whom has medically transitioned to align their sex with their gender identity but does not intend to have sex reassignment surgery. There are numerous reasons for this decision from unsatisfactory surgical results to those that just wish to keep their original plumbing. Non-Op’s may or may not still have surgeries for other things such as facial feminization, breast augmentation or orchiectomy even if they do not get sex reassignment surgery.

Bigender is a related term of transgender.

The difference between bigender and transgender is that bigender is having two genders simultaneously, eg both male and female while transgender is having changed gender identity from male to female, or from female to male.

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