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Shifting pace of Western Australia explored in new book

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A new book exploring the unique place and perspective of Western Australia was officially launched last night in the Perth Town Hall.

The new publication, Griffith Review 47: Looking West focusses on the shifting pace of change in the West and reappraises what makes WA distinctive, and also speculates on how WA’s future may unfold.

Looking West, is a collaboration between Curtin University and Griffith Review, and sees 42 contributors provide rich insights into the history; environment; politics and creative impulses that inform the State.

The book features renowned writers including Carmen Lawrence; Brooke Davis; Kim Scott; David Whish-Wilson and Tim Winton (in interview), contributing to a mix of essays, memoir, reportage, short fiction and poetry.

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Anna Haebich, from Curtin University and Looking West co-editor said the new publication will challenge readers’ views as to what they think about WA.

Looking West features an eclectic range of essays exploring the development and the dispossessed; immigrants and Indigenous; corruption and conservation; creativity and isolation all the way through to WA’s iconic Christmas trees; AFL football and sharks,” Professor Haebich said.

Through some of the State’s most talented writers and commentators Looking West examines WA’s past, present and future.

Griffith Review Editor, Professor Julianne Schultz said: “WA is central to national prosperity, and Perth has grown into a boomtown the likes of which Australia hasn’t seen since the 1850s, so it is important to try to understand the complex dynamics of the State, beyond the headlines.”

“In 2013 Griffith Review published Tasmania – The Tipping Point?, which went on to become our bestselling edition to-date, it made sense of Tasmania to locals and others, and we expect the interest in Looking West to be just as strong.”

The Governor of Western Australia, Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson launched Looking West on Wednesday 11 February.

Griffith Review 47: Looking West is on general sale across Australia, for $27.95 (print), digital editions are available from Griffith Review online.


Notes to Editor

Interviews with the contributors and co-editors can be arranged on request.

  • A full list of Looking West contributors and chapter outlines can be supplied.
  • Images from the launch are available.

Contributors include:

  •  Crime author Dr David Whish-Wilson looks at the history of police and government corruption underlying Perth’s ‘manufactured innocence’.


  •  Professor Peter Newman, looks at how Perth has set national benchmarks for sustainable urban development.


  • Dr Sean Gorman, examines the importance of Aboriginal players, particularly, Noongar men, to the development of the AFL.


  • Novelist Professor Kim Scott describes his involvement with the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project, and its efforts to gather the stories and sounds of Noongar ancestral tradition.
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