Time's right for return home

BY HANNAH NORTON
Last updated 05:00 15/09/2009
Brigid Gallagher
Photo: SHANE WENZLICK

ANCIENT TREASURES: Papatoetoe woman Brigid Gallagher was one of the archaeologists on Britain’s popular television series Time Team.

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Brigid Gallagher is a familiar face on British television after a seven-year stint as an archaeologist on Time Team, a series watched by more than four million people.

But you might see that face popping up in Papatoetoe. She’s returned home to bring up her children with her partner and Time Team graphic designer Raysan Alkubaisi.

Her firstborn Bella is now two. Ms Gallagher is six months pregnant with her second child. She reckons New Zealand is the best place to bring up children.

"I always meant to come back," she says. And shortly after landing here she’s already got big plans.

"I’ve noticed a large gap in the promotion and access of New Zealand history and archaeology to the general public.

"I’d like to be involved in promoting the awareness, care and pride in our multicultural history and I’m looking for methods to do this.

"It might be through television or writing books, for magazines, radio or through school and tertiary education. There are many options and it would be great to find the best method to suit New Zealanders."

Ms Gallagher grew up in Papatoetoe and studied archaeology and geography at Auckland University.

After working as an archaeological technician at Auckland War Memorial Museum she left for the United Kingdom. There she worked as a field archaeologist and got a degree in archaeological conservation at Cardiff University.

Then she was selected for Time Team. Her job entailed guiding machines, digging by hand and identifying and recording discoveries – all in front of the camera.

"The best part of doing Time Team was the general comradeship between the archaeologists and the crew.

"Then there were the places that I got to dig and all of the travelling. It’s great fun to do," Ms Gallagher says.

"I also liked being involved in a television programme that does so much to help educate people about archaeology – that’s really important."

Although she shies away from the term celebrity, she says most of the fans who contact her are inspired by her and ask for advice.

"And I don’t mind helping them out," she says.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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