Kathleen Gallagher began writing plays after discovering how few women playwrights there were. Politicised by the kindness of (often poor) strangers met on travels overseas, she has gone on to write 15+ plays, poetry, and a novel. Gallagher has also directed a number of documentaries reflecting her interest in the environment, spirituality, and the peace movement. In 2009 she began her trilogy of Whisperer environmental films. In 2017 Gallagher and colleague Gaylene Barnes completed their Canterbury rivers film Seven Rivers Walking - Haere Mārire. It was invited to debut at the 2017 Christchurch Film Festival.
Kathleen’s work is often an expression of her life values. Janet Joyce in a Chrysalis Seeds Trust interview, June 2007
Seven Rivers Walking - Haere Mārire looks at the rivers that meander across and define the Canterbury Plains. With the cleanliness of Aotearoa's waterways being a contemporary talking point, the film looks at the impacts of farming and industry on the rivers that supply livelihoods and drinking water to the people of Canterbury. Co-directors Gaylene Barnes and Kathleen Gallagher follow a group of Cantabrians who hike and raft the length of the rivers, and talk to locals en route about the significance of the region's waterways. The film debuts at the 2017 Christchurch Film Festival.