The illustrations in the book ‘Carmichael’s Journey’ have been created by a local artist, Samantha Metcalfe. Sam grew up in Port Macquarie and went to Hastings Public School (1991-1997) and Port Macquarie High School (1998-2003), now known as Hastings Secondary College-Port Macquarie Campus. In Year 11 and 12 Sam was inspired by studying Visual Arts to pursue a career which displayed her creative talents.

After leaving school Sam studied at the University of Newcastle from 2004-2006 to complete a Bachelor of Illustration (Natural History) and then continued on with tertiary studies at Macquarie University from 2010-2012 to complete a Masters of Museum Studies.

Some highlights of Sam’s working life include:

  • Gallery and Curatorial Assistant at the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre, Canada
  • Teaching ‘Drawn to Nature’ art classes with the Walter Phillips Gallery and Parks Canada
  • Development Officer at National Museum of Australia, Canberra, ACT
  • Database Administrator at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Wellington

As a member of Illustrators Australia, Sam was commissioned to illustrate ‘Carmichael’s Journey – Book 1 in the Eco-Awareness Series’. Since it was published, the book was shortlisted for ‘New Illustrator of the Year’ with The Children’s Book Council of Australia in 2019. In addition to this, the same book has recently been shortlisted for the WA Young Book Reader’s Award.

As a result of these amazing illustrations, Sam is currently producing other drawings for future publications.

This book has been donated to Hastings Secondary College – Port Macquarie Campus Library by Amanda Leach. It is hoped that Sam’s direction in life inspires other students to have the courage to pursue their dreams