Dawn Peel lives and works in Colac. She has had articles published on the history of old age, housing and the elderly, Federation, soldier settlement, the home front during the Second World War and the role of death in community formation. While Colac’s history is drawn on in all of these, it is always used to illuminate wider historical themes and to demonstrate the potential and broad relevance of local history in this regard. Oral history projects have been carried out for the City of Colac and for the Australian War Memorial.

Her books include Quality Community Care (2003) - a history of the Colac District Hospital, Year of Hope: 1857 in the Colac Districtand a biography - Anna’s Journey: A British Lady in West Africa and Colonial Australia.

Dawn Peel has taught Australian history at senior secondary level and as a tutor at Deakin University. She gained a doctorate of philosophy for her study of old age in nineteenth century Victoria, focussing on people living in Colac district.