Meet our achievers in the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle

Bachelor of Natural History Illustration


See a selection of work by students from the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration

Meet our achievers

Lee Dedman came from a long history in the health industry before she enrolled in the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration. As she progressed in her studies, Lee began working in the field of anatomical documentation after her first time in a UON anatomy lab.

"Most people recoil at the sight of anything confrontational, but I find it fascinating," she said.

After finding a niche in anatomical illustration, she won the 2015 Australian Geographic Natural History Illustration Award.


Bernadette DrabschBernadette Drabsch completed Natural History Illustration (Honours) in 2009. As a part of her honours project Bernadette travelled to a site called Pella in Jordan to work as a volunteer archaeological illustrator. While there Bernadette was introduced to a picture of the 'Star' from the fresco discovered at Teleilat Ghassul. 

This trip has led to Bernadette being the lead author of an article that appeared in the Cambridge based journal, Antiquity. Bernadette has also completed her PhD on 'Contextualising the ancient wall paintings of Teleilat Ghassul, Jordan', which she plans to publish.

Bernadette continues to work as an archaeological artist, travelling to Jordan every two years to work on the dig based at Pella.

Mike Burleigh completed his Bachelor of Natural History Illustration in 2014 and achieved First Class Honours, illustrating an identification guide to the agricultural beetle pests of Timor-Leste.

In 2015, he was published in the Australian Geographic documenting various varieties of Australian cockroach, focusing on their, often unappreciated, beauty and highlighting the striking appearance of the species.


"I am currently building up my business as a natural history artist in Newcastle. I provide illustrations for publications and galleries, organise and run plant drawing workshops in regional areas of NSW and Queensland, and have invented a few illustration tools for botanical illustrations.

This degree provided me with the answer I was searching for after school. I loved both art and science and this allowed me to do both.

The practical experience of the program was invaluable. I made contacts with outside institutions, which led to work opportunities after I had completed my studies at uni.

With the right attitude, a little guidance and contacts you'll discover the career opportunities are endless" - Christine.

"This program has a great reputation and Newcastle is the only university in Australia to conduct it. It was a great way to combine my love of nature and drawing" - Fiona.

"With a practical component, incredibly knowledgeable staff and great facilities, you can't go wrong when choosing this program" - Lauren.

"All the staff are so helpful. They are always there to offer support and encouragement" - Prue.

Career opportunities Handbook