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Roland Harvey

Author, Illustrator

Roland Harvey writes and illustrates highly detailed, funny and slightly educational books using pen ink and watercolour. He has won a number of awards including the Dromkeen Medal. He demonstrates his craft in an entertaining manner to all ages.

Where were you born?

Melbourne, Victoria.

What other jobs have you had?

I worked in Advertising then did a Bachelor of Environmental Science and B. Architecture, then formed publishing companies Roland Harvey Studios, The Five Mile Press, Periscope Press, and Roland Harvey Books.

What themes are recurring in your work?

There is a recurring environmental slant, a fair bit of science, medicine, history… oh, and a certain amount of humour. I am a great fan of watercolour and pen drawing, and a keen student of design.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Awards are very satisfying, but I think the real buzz comes from getting a response from a difficult subject such as The History of Medicine, or Philosophy. The highlights are often small or subtle, or only apparent twenty years later when someone takes the trouble to tell me what my books meant to them.

Where have your books been published?

Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, USA, Canada, Germany, The United Kingdom.

What are you passionate about?

Design, The Environment, music, art, travel, cooking, outdoor sports, kids and creativity.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Probably at the Preston Market or one of the live music gigs around Melbourne. Could have been sitting on my bum in the snow, though.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I had a lecturer in History of Architecture. He brought to life every era, every country, every culture. showed us the inter-relatedness (!) of all things. Art, architecture war, religion, science, creativity, politics… It was fabulous and remains the inspiration for the style of my work.


Roland Harvey was thoroughly entertaining (a little toilet humour goes a long way with primary school kids) and carried on while we tried to sort out some ‘technical difficulties’ involving a computer cable. He is such a nice man and we could’ve listened to him for at least another hour.
I’ve had great feedback from out staff about how their students have taken on some of the things that they learnt from Roland which is really wonderful.

—B. Ransome, Sunshine Heights PS, August 2017

I just wanted to let you know that our students really enjoyed Roland Harvey’s visit last week. Visiting Authors are always a highlight of our school year, and Roland’s presentations were very engaging  and inspiring for the students. They especially enjoyed his comic faces and the simple additions that portrayed mood and feeling. His books in our library will be in hot demand in the immediate future!

—F.Greenough, Nunawading Christian College, August 2014

Thank you for suggesting Roland Harvey for our Story Time Night. He was a big hit with the kids and parents. We will be going it all again next year in Literacy/Numeracy Week. Please pass on our thanks again to Roland.

—S. Turner, Mill Park Primary School, September 2012

Roland’s relaxed and entertaining presentation to local school children was appreciated and was particularly enjoyed by the primary aged children. I also thoroughly enjoyed your presentations and humour.  The event was a great success and we received a lot of positive feedback.

—D. Southwell, Maitland City Council

Students and teachers really enjoyed the session as Roland was able to tailor it neatly. His work is so enormous that the students were inspired.

—C. Hickey, St Francis of Assisi PS, August 2017.

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