Michael was born in 1955 and has lived all his life in Melbourne Ports. His father arrived in Melbourne in 1939 as a refugee from Nazi Germany. He was educated at Elwood State School, Mount Scopus College and Melbourne University, where he was president of the student union and joined the Australian Labor Party.
Before entering parliament in 1998, Michael worked as a journalist and editor, as an adviser to federal Labor ministers and as an industrial officer for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association and served in the Army reserves.
Since his election, Michael's main areas of interest have been foreign affairs, defence and national security, immigration, electoral matters, human rights and the arts. He remains committed to fighting for fair treatment of migrants, better human rights and to making sure everyone gets to exercise their right to vote in Australian elections.
"All my life I've been passionate about freedom and opportunity for all Australians and human rights around the world. I'm proud to represent a diverse and multicultural electorate where so many people share my passions."
Michael was recently appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts. He has had a life-long interest in the arts, dating from the time when he was manager of his mother's art gallery.
Michael is married with two adult children and lives in Elwood. He is a keen supporter of St Kilda in the AFL and Port Melbourne in the VFL.