It wasn’t always pastries and roses for Sammii. After finishing high school in 2014, Sammii decided to enrol in TAFE to get her chef qualifications. In her third and final year, she volunteered at a local florist to get a foot in the floral industry.

As much as she loved working in a florist, Sammii said she’s always been drawn to graphics and anything art related and wanted to pursue something more in that context.

“The Bachelor of Visual Communication Design stood out to me because of the wide range of subjects associated with the program,” Sammii said.

“In my first year, I had the opportunity to do courses involving live drawing, painting, and ceramics, alongside my major of Graphic Design.”

Originally from Bathurst, Sammii said it was time for a sea change, and the University of Newcastle was the ideal place for her to study.

“I chose the University of Newcastle because it is home for some of the most beautiful beaches, and I wanted to move to the ocean, a happy place. Living at the beach was always my dream, so I am extremely grateful that I was able to live my dream whilst getting a degree,” she said.

Sammii says her skills and knowledge in the field have developed from both practical workplace experience and using the university’s cutting-edge facilities.

“At the end of my second year of my degree, I enrolled in the Studio Zed summer course. This enabled me to work with local businesses, giving me real-life experience in the design industry.

“As Visual Communication Design students, we also have access to a huge range of industry specific equipment, like RISO printers, laser cutters, 3D printers, and so much more,” she said.

In one of her first-year subjects, Sammii learned about sustainable fashion, where she presented to her class on the topic. Her presentation was so impactful, it inspired her lecturer to invest in a sustainable printer for the School of Creative Industries.

“This was the most inspirational moment for me at university. It made me realise how much of an impact just talking about sustainability can have on the industry. Learning this in my first year has completely shaped my entire design process and future prospects,” she said.

Upon graduation, Sammii hopes to jump in her van with her camera and capture the inspiring moments of her travels, which she then wishes to implement through employment in a branding, campaign or photography agency.

“While I do this, I would also love to grow my own brand and be the person that sustainable fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands come to for branding, photography and campaigns. All from a little studio on some land near the ocean,” she said.

Study a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design at the University of Newcastle

Sammii Downs

Sammii Downs

Country or coast, Sammii is committed to following her dream.

We also have access to a huge range of industry-specific equipment, like RISO printers, laser cutters, 3D printers, and so much more.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.