Sheila Natusch

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Sheila Natusch, MNZM

Naturalist, writer and illustrator, Sheila Natusch was an inspirational woman who approached everything with gusto and positivity. Whether it was swimming with seals at Red Rocks, publishing over 30 titles, or cycling 1,200 km from Picton to Bluff on a 1958-style bicycle, Natusch didn’t lose energy on negative ideas or disliking something or hating someone – she just didn’t have the time to waste. She thoroughly enjoyed everything! 

Born on Stewart Island, Sheila Natusch was shipped to the mainland to attend school at Southland Girls’ High and later moved to Dunedin to Teacher's College and Otago University where she became lifelong friends with fellow student Janet Frame (who is featured in the 'Luminous' women in this exhibition). 

Natusch lived most of her adult life in an austere cottage on Wellington’s South Coast, where she swam in the sea everyday – whatever the weather.

Watch the opening scenes from the 2017 feature documentary No Ordinary Sheila.

Find out more about Sheila Natusch:

Watch the No Ordinary Sheila trailer.  

Listen to RNZ Collections about Sheila Natusch. 

Read Bess Mason's, “Naturalist blessed with an inquiring mind".   

Image: Screengrab from No Ordinary Sheila.

Catalogue Reference F279529

Year 2017


Director: Hugh Macdonald
Producer/Script: Christine Dann
Talent: Sheila Natusch

Excerpt: 00:02:24

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