News and Events

Speaker at the Australian Garden History Society Annual Conference

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25 October 2019

When The Australian Garden History Society holds their annual conference at the end of October (25th) I will be speaking on God, guns and gardens – missionary gardens in northern New Zealand.

This painting (the pa and mission station at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands) is from my presentation.

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Nationwide lecture tour for the New Zealand Decorative and Fine Arts Association

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10 June 2019

I am about to embark on a nationwide lecture tour for the New Zealand Decorative and Fine Arts Association!

Over the next three weeks I am giving 8 lectures, starting with Hawke’s Bay, Auckland, Hamilton this week, Wellington, Nelson and Blenheim next week Christchurch and Dunedin the following week.

My lecture is on Lady Painters – the intrepid flower painters of early New Zealand. This is most fitting as it is now exactly 20 years since Lady Painters, my first book, was published. It should be a lovely time.

The featured image on this page is Painting of a Chatham Island forget-me-not by Sarah Featon.

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The Plimmer Legacy – two wonderful book launches

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16 May 2019

The Plimmer Legacy – a family story from early Wellington to modern farming in the Rangitikei has now been published – my 18th book!

The Plimmer family had two wonderful book launches: one, on 16 May, in the woolshed on their Motukawa property near Taihape. This was a marvellous country affair, with about 250 family, neighbours and rural men and women of all persuasions assembling for a very fine woolshed lunch, a few drinks and some suitable speeches.

There was a second book launch at the Wellington Club the following week – a rather more corporate celebration (with a somewhat different dress code!) but no less enjoyable.

There’s an excellent writeup about the book on the Motukawa Land Co website and some photos of both book launches on the Motukawa Instagram page.

Overview of The Plimmer Legacy

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New Zealand’s contributions to botanical art

Cover of Australian Garden History vol 30 no 4 April 2019

I have an article on New Zealand’s contributions to botanical art in the April edition of the Australian Garden History Journal – AGH Vol. 30 No. 4 April 2019. The picture on the cover goes with the article so that’s rather good. Copies of the Journal can be purchased from the Australian Garden History Society website as a hard copy or a digital download.

My article is described as follows:

New Zealand’s contributions to botanical art by Bee Dawson

In the 18th and 19th centuries flower painting was considered to be a particularly desirable accomplishment for ladies. In New Zealand lady artists captured the beauty and the scientific details of the native wildflowers.

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Publication of The Plimmer Legacy

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My new book The Plimmer Legacy – a family story from early Wellington to modern farming in the Rangitikei is due to be released on 7 May 2019.

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The Plimmer Legacy – a family story from early Wellington to modern farming in the Rangitikei

The Plimmer Legacy – a family story from early Wellington to modern farming in the Rangitikei is shortly to go to print. It’s beautifully illustrated with a mixture of archival images and photographs by Wellington photographer Chris Coad. The book is to be published by Penguin Random House at the end of April 2019.

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Launch of A University for the Pacific – 50 Years of USP

A University for the Pacific book cover

29 October 2018

To mark the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of The University of the South Pacific this commemorative book, rich with stories and photographs from throughout the 50 year life of USP, has been produced. It is a must for anyone who has studied, worked or visited the University at any point in its long and fascinating history.

I have been on the editorial board for the book – which will be launched on the Laucala Bay campus in Fiji on 29 October.

Overview of A University for the Pacific

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A Career Less Ordinary – 75 Years of Women in the Royal New Zealand Air Force

A career Less Ordinary book cover

19 October 2018

A Career Less Ordinary – the book I wrote to celebrate 75 years of women in the RNZAF – has finally been published. It won’t appear in bookshops but will be sent to all schools and cadet forces.

Overview of A Career Less Ordinary

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Launch of book celebrating 75 Years of Women in the RNZAF

The launch of my new book celebrating 75 Years of Women in the RNZAF will be held within the next couple of months. Watch this space for more info.

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Launch of Sir Brother Patrick Lynch’s memoir

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2 May 2018

The launch of Sir Brother Patrick Lynch’s memoir will take place in the Grand Hall of Parliament on 2 May 2018.

Overview of Sir Brother Patrick Lynch’s memoir

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