The role of Hawke’s Bay and East Coast women who served overseas in World War One is the focus of a fascinating public lecture at MTG Century Theatre on Sunday 5 July.

Professor Kay Morris Matthews will speak about her on-going research for regional museum exhibitions, such as MTG Hawke’s Bay’s current exhibition From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth:Hawke’s Bay at War 1914-18.

Her focus will be on the 64 Hawke’s Bay and East Coast women who served overseas in Egypt, France, Greece and England in WWI, and their lives before and after the war. Several later received New Zealand’s highest military awards.

Questions that will be addressed include; did any of the women from our region identify as Māori, did any of them die overseas, and were any of them told not to go but went ahead and did so anyway?

If you’d like to know the answers to these questions, you’ll have to come along.

What: What did you do in the war Gran: by Kay Morris Matthews

Where: MTG Century Theatre, Napier

When: 2pm Sunday 5 July

Entry: By gold coin donation

Biographical Profile

Professor Kay Morris Matthews was raised in Hawke’s Bay and during her career held academic positions at the University of Waikato, The University of Auckland and at Victoria University of Wellington, where she was Professor of Education. Kay returned to Hawke’s Bay in 2007. Widely published in the areas of women and higher education and Māori girls’ education, Kay’s recent and current projects focus on regional subjects, including Hawke’s Bay and East Coast women who served overseas in World War One. Her books include: In Their Own Right: Women and Higher Education in New Zealand before 1945 (2008); Who Cared? Childhoods within Hawke’s BayChildren’s Homes and Orphanages 1892-1988 (2013) and the forthcoming First to See the Light: EIT and 40 years of higher education on the East Coast (2015). Kay is Research Professor, Education and Social Sciences, at the Eastern Institute of Technology.

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