2019 Rona Bailey lecture: Dean Parker – Two Tickets to Barbarism

  • Date: Thursday, 17 October, 2019
  • Time: 5:30pm refreshments, 6:00pm lecture
  • Cost: Donations welcome. You don’t need to book. 
  • Location: Taiwhanga Kahau — Auditorium (lower ground floor), Corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Wellington. Entrance on Aitken Street.
  • Contact Details: ATLOutreach@dia.govt.nz
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For the 2019 Rona Bailey lecture, Dean Parker will talk about growing up in Napier, what he learnt in London from Trotskyists and Irish republicans, joining the Socialist Unity Party back in New Zealand, the formation of the NZ Writers’ Guild and its affiliation to the Federation of Labour, and then the politics of writing and the writing of politics.

The biennial Rona Bailey Memorial Lecture commemorates activist Rona Bailey (1914-2005) whose papers are now held in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

About the speaker

Dean Parker is a New Zealand screenwriter, playwright, journalist and political commentator based in Auckland. Dean has worked as a writer for much of his life and been prominent in his union, the NZ Writer’s Guild.

His plays include ‘The Man That Lovelock Couldn’t Beat’, ‘Baghdad, Baby!’ and an adaptation of Nicky Hager’s expose ‘The Hollow Men’. Amongst his screenwork, he has won awards in New Zealand for tele-play ‘Share the Dream’ (starring Joel Tobeck), and co-writing successful big-screen comedy Came a ‘Hot Friday’, adapted from the novel by Ronald Hugh Morrieson.

Parker also wrote Federation of Labour play ‘The Feds’ (with Rena Owen as Jock Barnes) and co-directed the documentary ‘Shattered Dreams’, alongside journalist Francis Wevers. The film examined industrial conflict in New Zealand in the years before the 1951 waterfront lockout.

‘Johnson’, Dean Parker’s first novel, was published in 2017. In this book Parker imagines the future of the protagonist of John Mulgan’s classic novel ‘Man Alone’. In October 2013 Parker was presented with a prestigious Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation.