How the Westies Won

Presented with Griffith REVIEW

11 September

It has been ten years since Australia's leading quarterly journal of ideas and analysis, Griffith REVIEW, published its first edition, Insecurity in the New World Order. To help celebrate the tenth anniversary edition, Now We Are Ten, join Julianne Schultz, the founding editor of Griffith REVIEW, as she leads a discussion with journalist Kathy Marks, UWS Chancellor Peter Shergold, and Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane on How the Westies Won.

Western Sydney will be a key battleground in this year's federal election, but its significance goes far beyond that. As Australia's most ethnically diverse region, it offers a glimpse of how radically Australian society is changing – and a foretaste of how the rest of the country will look in decades to come. It is also where a new cultural identity for Australia is being forged, based on the suburbs and the rich blend of people who call them home. The "New West", with its growing regional pride and its increasingly prosperous and well educated residents, is set to absorb much of the country's population growth in the coming years. How can we best understand this complex and fascinating region?


Julianne Schultz

Julianne Schultz is the founding editor of Griffith REVIEW. She is on the boards of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Grattan Institute. She is the chair of the Australian Film Television and Radio School, the Queensland Design Council and the reference group on the National Cultural Policy, and on advisory committees with a focus on education, media and Indigenous issues. She has been a judge of the Miles Franklin Award, Myer Foundation Fellowships and Walkley Awards. She is the author of Reviving the Fourth Estate: Democracy, accountability and the media (1998), Steel City Blues (1985) and the librettos Black River and Going into Shadows.

Kathy Marks

Kathy Marks is The Independent's Asia-Pacific correspondent, reporting on major stories in Australia and around the region. In Australia, she has contributed to publications including The Monthly, Good Weekend and Griffith REVIEW. Her book on the Pitcairn child abuse case, Pitcairn: Paradise Lost (2008) won the Ned Kelly prize for true crime-writing and was shortlisted for the CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature. Her most recent essay, ‘How the Westies won: Wandering through Australia’s heartland’, is published in Griffith REVIEW: Now We Are Ten.

Tim Soutphommasane

Tim Soutphommasane iTim Soutphommasane has recently been appointed Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner, for a five-year term to start on 20 August 2013. He has worked with the Institute for Human Rights and Democracy at he University of Sydney and his research interests as a political philosopher include patriotism, multiculturalism, citizenship and social democracy. His publications include Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From (2012), The Virtuous Citizen (2012), All That’s Left (co-editor, 2010) and Reclaiming Patriotism (2009). Dr Soutphommasane has been a lecturer at the National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University. He is a fellow of Per Capita and St James Ethics Centre, and a chief investigator on an ARC Linkage project studying the history of Anzac Day.

Peter Shergold

Peter Shergoldwas from 2003-2008 the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the nation’s most senior public servant. Today he is the Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney and a member of the Parramatta Partnership Forum. He serves on a wide range of private, government and community sector boards. He also continues to write on how it might be possible to transform public administration in Australia.