A life of ESTEAM

Living life with ESTEAM

Dr Sue Pillans_Visual artist_2023

After a diverse career in marine research, Government and University I am now living my life with ESTEAM, literally through: Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (ESTEAM). I am passionate about creative education, sharing my professional experiences and helping others to turn something they love into something they live.

I wasn’t an A-grade student at school but I always tried my best and because I didn’t follow my heART I failed at a number of subjects. I was told that I was not smart enough to get into University and would probably need to repeat Grade 12, which didn’t help my self-ESTEAM. But I DID end up getting into University and I DID receive my PhD and I DID then have a diverse and interesting professional career! You can ‘sea’ more of my educational journey via my interview with The University of Queensland Alumni team at https://alumni.uq.edu.au/article/2019/08/picture-took-me-43-years-draw


I believe that the connections we make with people can be life changing and sometimes it only takes that one conversation to spark your imagination so you take that brave step towards your dream! It happened to me and I’m now following my heART!! And you can see how I went from frogs and failures to front page news via https://drsuepillans.com/2018/11/28/drawing-attention-to-climate-change/


Every time I visit a school or hold a kids workshop I get asked the same question, “How did you get your dream job!” and “How do you use art AND science in what you do?”. I think it is important to share our journey’s and experiences (both the good and the bad) with our youth to show them that they can also lead a life of ESTEAM! I don’t believe in this age of opportunity and technology that our kids have to wait until they are 40 to be living and loving their dream job.


Sharing my journey

I love sharing my creative journey and how I now live my life with ESTEAM with all students, parents and teachers. As a women-entrepreneur I truly believe that girls with dreams become women with vision so I’m passionate about encouraging our young girls to follow their dreams. I didn’t even know my job of graphic recording even existed eight years ago and never thought owning my own small creative business was something I could do, and be successful at! I’m part of the below STEM/STEAM programs so please Contact me if you would like to discuss me visiting your school or youth group to discuss my journey and life of ESTEAM. There are many ways to communicate these days so no matter where you live in the world we can make a connection, whether that be via email, online, Skype, Zoom, social media platforms etc.


Careers with STEM

I was thrilled to be profiled by Careers with STEM as a marine scientist, artist and visual storyteller. You can read more about my life of ESTEAM and my journey as a science illustrator.


I am a FabFem! FabFems are women from a broad range of professions in STEM. They are passionate, collaborative, and work to make the world a better place. Many girls have similar interests but aren’t connected to adults who exemplify the STEM career pathway. FabFems can expand girls’ career options, dispel stereotypes and spark their interests – just by being yourself! You can ‘sea’ my FabFems Marine Science profile and find out how to turn something you love into something you live!

Queensland STEM in action!

I am also part of the Queensland STEM Education Network (QSEN) and you can view my profile as a  Marine Ecologist & Artist and ‘sea’ what my career experiences have been and the advice I have for any budding marine scientist/artists!

if you would like to make a connection or chat about a life of ESTEAM.

*Please note my images, content and graphics need to be attributed to me and remain unaltered unless written permission is given as all graphics, content and images are Copyright © 2023 Dr Sue Pillans