Rachel Roberts is an Australian illustrator who creates images using a combination of traditional and digital techniques. Rachel’s illustrations are published in various print and online products, and her larger works on paper are exhibited in Australia. Her interests include art, culture, storytelling, politics and walking.  

Check out Rachel’s work at www.pencilpusher.com.au or via Instagram @pencilpusherpix


In some parts of the world, when a girl dares to speak up, she challenges those who benefit from her silence. She places herself in harm’s way by daring to choose courage over fear. This is a choice that Malala Yousafzai made.

As a mother of school-age daughters, Malala’s plight offers an awe-inspiring example of courage, perseverance and strength. True grit. At a time and place when it was dangerous to speak up, Malala advocated for her personal right – and the right of all girls and women – to an education. And, despite being shot in the head at point-blank range for doing so, she still stands up for the right to an education.

Malala is a recognisable champion for change. It is for this reason that she features in my illustration, ‘Sowing dangerous seeds’. Here, she is calmly, resolutely pouring seeds that bear beautiful, but dangerous foliage.

The seeds represent Malala’s ‘dangerous’ idea – that girls have a right to an education – and the foliage represents the dangerous environment that this idea can (and does) create.

Malala represents what it means to me to be a dangerous woman; a woman determined to realise a powerful and positive idea even in the face of danger.

Malala Yousafzai
© Rachel Roberts