Western Sydney

Sheila Pham

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The SRB is an initiative of The Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University


In The Estuary: Felicity Castagna’s No More Boats

'In Felicity Castagna’s No More Boats, we are repeatedly reminded that the novel’s locale, Parramatta, marks the shifting aqueous site in Sydney’s Western suburban landscape where ‘saltwater meets fresh’. Historically, this is the place where Australia’s early colonial explorers, travelling up the Parramatta River from Sydney Cove in 1788, could take their boats no further. It is also one of numerous sites of resistance to European invasion by the Aboriginal warrior, Pemulwuy. In Castagna’s hands, this rich and multi-layered history of place is embodied in the topography of the Parramatta River and its intricate estuarine environment, creating a wonderfully nuanced metaphor.'

Felicity Castagna
Lachlan Brown
Winnie Dunn

Lebs and Punchbowl Prison

‘There were 1200 students at Punchbowl Boys High School in 1985. That year a brick was hurled at Mr Stratton’s head and a gradual process of expulsions began so that by the time I arrived at the school in 1998, there were only 299 students left.’

Dial-a-gun Daily Telegraph clipping
Luke Carman portrait
Penrith fencing


We are here and we are significant

Long before those postcards of Bondi Beach and Sydney Harbour co-opted our image of Sydney, Parramatta was its watery centre.

Bad Writer

The universality of bad writing

Michael Mohammed Ahmad boxing pose