Born in Sydney sometime last century, Graham Byrne did the usual school and university time, worked as an electrical engineer for years, then went into building houses and structures. The old back injury put paid to hard physical work. An interest in art as a creative adjunct to the practical nature of building led to formal education, work installing artworks at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and wonderings about other roads to explore. Wanting his art to have some “practical” useful purpose, to be illuminating, pointed Graham to illustration and design pathways. Explorations of drawing, painting, filling sketchbooks, making books for his grandchildren and illustrating short stories have combined to prompt his journey as a book illustrator. Big Red Kangaroo,
Graham’s first picture book, was a CBCA Notable for the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books and short-listed for the Griffith University Children's Book Award, part of the Queensland Literary Awards. In 2015 his second book Emu
was short-listed for the CBCA Book of the Year: Eve Pownall Award for Information Books and was a winner of the Environment Award for Children's Literature, nonfiction category.
Books illustrated by Graham Byrne