About Dr Sue

I am a Brisbane-based marine ecologist, artist and writer who specialises in creative and visual communications as a Graphic Recorder (as per my animation below). I love to live my life in colour and believe in the power of positive visual storytelling. I combine my training as a marine scientist with my imaginative skills as an artist to help people, teams, schools and organisations to “Picture your ideas” through visual storytelling. As a graphic recorder I have worked with a wide range of people and groups from indigenous communities, schools, Governments, business and industry and scientists to draw out local, regional and international ideas and issues (find out more about my Graphic Recording Services).

My passion is making learning visual and FUN so I love visiting schools around Australia as my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish to bring our ‘Living Oceans’ into classrooms through the art of marine science (you can ‘sea’ more of my Creative Education). It is my hope that my creative approach to education and visual learning helps students to think in colour and use their imagination, as “Logic will get you from A to B, Imagination will take your everywhere” (Albert Einstein)! From my experiences in the classroom it’s important to give students the opportunity to “Just IMAGINE!!“, which gives them a sense of curiosity, creativity and critical thinking — which I hope helps kids to think in colour and to care. I also believe in sharing my life of ESTEAMME (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Maker Education) with our youth to show that you can turn something you love into something you live, like me!

I have over 15 years experience in research and development, marine conservation planning, natural resource management and strategic planning due to the varied roles I have held across Government and Research Organisations. I have led the development of public policies across numerous priority portfolios including agriculture, regional economic development and transport planning with specialities in Marine Park planning, aquaculture industry development and natural resource management. I have a PhD in Marine Science from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where I am also an adjunct Research Fellow in the Centre of Biodiversity and Conservation Science.

I have always been drawn to the ocean

My science background and artistic capabilities provide people with a unique suite of creative services including:

  • Visual Storytelling through Graphic Recording & Sketchnotes
  • Working with Kids (Art-into-Science)
  • Kids Picture Books
  • Creative & Visual Workshops
  • Original Artworks
  • Science Communications (making a Comm-Ocean!)

My Vitamin Sea!

I was brought up in regional Queensland, Australia and have always had a deep love, fascination and devotion for the ocean. Beach time, snorkelling, drawing, doodling and creating quirky characters are my fondest memories growing up which probably led to my alter ego Dr Suzie Starfish, who shares marine art and science storytelling. So you could say I’m literally ‘drawn’ to the ocean!!

A drawing I did back in primary school showing I have always been ‘drawn’ to the ocean!

That’s ME swimming with the biggest shark in the sea!! What a BIG beautiful Blue Planet we have!

To be passionate about our Blue Planet and the world around us you also have to be passionate about genuinely engaging and communicating with people as it is people’s activities and impacts we manage and educate about, not ocean creatures and habitats. I believe through creative communication we can inform, inspire and illustrate how we can learn, live and love our ecosystems and “sea” the big picture. So my marine mantra for my Comm-Ocean is if you understand and love it you may be more moved to look after and protect it. You can dive in with Dr Suzie Starfish (by clicking the button below) to explore the wonders of the underwater world with me:

*Artists Impressum: Intellectual property and Copyright of the visual products, artworks and images on this website are retained by the artist and images may not be used or altered without written permission from the artist as per Australian Copyright Law. Copyright © 2017 Dr Sue Pillans.

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