WA in Words

Article | Updated 3 months ago

Tim Winton, Joan London, May Gibbs, Albert Facey, Craig Silvey, The Triffids.

These are just a few of the writers people are telling us have captured the spirit of Western Australia.

This information is coming through WA in Words, an online portal for public to share their thoughts about works that paint a literary picture of our State. The submissions are being used to aid content for two New Museum galleries.

In the Connections gallery we are looking at the ways Western Australia has been portrayed both by local authors and those from outside our State, and what Western Australians feel about these representations.  In the Innovation and Creativity gallery, we are identifying writers, songwriters, artists, innovators and creatives to partner with so we can document and share their creative processes.

Hundreds of people have already submitted their ideas to the WA in Words website and we’ll be displaying them in an installation at the Perth Writers Festival 24 - 25 February at the UWA Club, Nedlands.

Caption: People reading at the Inflatable Museum.
Image copyright WA Museum 

Here are some of your submissions:

Dirt Music, by Tim Winton

It is in the people’s voices that the images of Western Australia come to life. Each person’s history tells a story of the great melting pot of humans that have made this State what it is. Look around you and see the languages written on cafes and shop fronts that tell how Western Australia is home to many nations who call it home. Go into a country graveyard, overrun with broken headstones, stand and read the histories, these pioneers who made Western Australia what it is. Tim Winton and all writers are the inheritors of their histories and that makes their writing a homage to their lives and to Western Australia.

Submitted by Mary from Sorrento


Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey

I've often heard Perth described as a large country town, a description that I passionately disagreed with until I first travelled outside of Western Australia as a teenager. Jasper Jones perfectly captures this claustrophobic feeling of living in a place where everyone knows everyone (but certainly not everything), whilst addressing universal ideas relating to race, youth and family in a distinctively Western Australian way.

Submitted by William from Cottesloe


Batavia, Peter Fitzsimmons,

This exquisitely detailed and morbidly fascinating account of the mutinous voyage of Batavia brought me back to a time when the West Australian Coast was an unspoilt and pristine landscape. The raw brutality of the Indian Ocean paled in comparison to the depravity on board that ship. I felt great empathy towards the plight of the women on board the ship, especially as my own great great, great grandmother was on board the first assisted immigrant ship to WA and married the Convict No.1 from the first convict ship to WA.

Submitted by Katheen from Manning


In the Company of Strangers, by Liz Byrski

The small details that make our daily lives are so well captured in Liz Byrski's works. We are in a time of many retirees, and their approaches to their lives and relations to families with all the diverse options are represented in her work. Layered over these details are the social issues that form the background of our culture here in the West. What better way to represent us in the now than small detail, life stories, and cultural issues. In the future, they will read her novels to see what life was like back then, and they will get it.

Submitted by Sandra from Torbay


Submissions are open until 28 February 2018.  One lucky winner will receive two nights accommodation at Hyatt Regency Perth with a $150 voucher to spend at Boffins Books and a gorgeous hamper of WA produce. Submit your ideas now