Donald Simpson was born in Townsville in 1929, and went to school there. He moved to Brisbane to continue his education, and worked as a teacher and a headmaster, first in Queensland, and then in England. He retired in 1994 and came to live on Magnetic Island, a place much loved by him from many holidays there as a boy and a young man. Although mathematics was his subject, he has always been interested in things that grow (he was head of an agricultural school for some years), and this encouraged him to photograph and write a series of 17 volumes* of Some Magnetic Island Plants. These books are available on loan from any of the Townsville libraries (including the mobile library) and may also be seen at the Museum in Picnic Bay.
This website uses the material from the books, plus additional plants photographed since the last volume was published. In most cases, the website is able to show many more photographs of a plant than it was possible to show in the books.
Donald still lives at Picnic Bay on Magnetic Island, and constantly updates the website as he takes more photographs, either by replacing existing photographs with better ones, or by adding photographs of aspects of the plants that were not previously illustrated. New plants are added as they are photographed and identified.
Do please let us have your comments or suggestions, using the contact us page. We should love to hear from you.
* Volume 17 was published in June, 2016
Photograph © Peter Abraham 2011
Page last updated 23rd April 2016