He is a qualified Graphics and Industrial Designer and has designed several of Australia’s investment and circulation coins. His design of the fifty cent coin stuck to commemorate the Australian Bicentenary, was awarded the Best International Trade Coin in 1989 from 145 participating mints worldwide. He acted as the design consultant and historic adviser to the Australian Bicentennial Authority and the coinage and medallion designs accepted featured historical, folkloric and traditional Australian themes.
He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1983 and is an internationally acclaimed sculptor. Sculptural exhibitions presented from 1979 to 1988 depicted characters from Australia's history, traditional music, poetry and folklore. ‘Pioneers’, presented in London in 1981 was his first exhibition in the U.K. Michael has had considerable experience in lecturing, teaching and publication.
Personal Details Michael Tracey was born in Cairns, North Queensland and was educated at Our Lady’s Mount, Christian Brothers College Townsville and Mount Carmel College, Charters Towers, Queensland. He served in the Royal Australian Engineers Department of the Army at the School of Military Engineering as a Field Engineer and was honourably discharged from the Army in 1968. He continued private study in photography and fine art commenced during Military Service. Appointed to part-time position as sound technician for Baron Film Productions then to assistant camera operator and later head Cinemaphotographer. He was appointed consultant Graphics Designer for the North Queensland Electricity Board in the Marketing and Public Relations Department. Duties included: Graphics design for approval for press advertising, corporate brochures, public relations publications, annual reports, apprenticeship and safety training publications, corporate seminars and displays.
From 1979-1985 he was sponsored to present 16 exhibitions of sculptural works in Australia and overseas. Awarded and completed nine major public commissions in this period. Work is represented in State galleries, corporate and private collections. Australia's gold rush era is represented by this sculpture 'I've Got It', one of twenty sculptures presented at Michael MacLellan Tracey's London exhibition in 1981.
He was awarded a Churchill Memorial Fellowship in 1983, to study overseas, the use of laser technology for measuring, cutting and manufacturing high precision dies and moulds.
From 1984-1988 he acted as a Design Consultant and was commissioned by the Royal Australian Mint and the Australian Bicentennial Authority following sculptural exhibition in London, to design the official medallion collection for the Australian Bicentenary. He was also Commissioned to design and sculpt the 1988 Bicentennial fifty cent coin, which subsequently won the 'Best International Trade Coin' from 142 participating mints in 1988. The award was presented at the International Numismatic Board in London in 1990 on behalf of Krause Publications.
From 1988-1990 he was retained by the Perth Mint and GoldCorp (WA) to design three years of platinum investment coinage for those organisations, including the proof and investment circulation of the Australian Koala. The Australian Platinum Koala, 1989 became the world’s largest selling and first international tradeable investment coin, and continues to hold this recognition.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with first class Honours in Archaeology with a major in Religious Studies from the Australian National University. His PhD research was conducted on the industries associated with wooden ship building. The title of his thesis is: Wooden Ships, Iron Men and Stalwart Ladies ~ The TSS Douglas Mawson Saga. His doctorate in Archaeology and Paleoanthropology from The School of Archaeology at the Australian National University was conferred in 2007.