How the West was One: Memoirs of Melbourne’s Western Suburbs (just released and launched)




How the West was One

Memoirs of Melbourne’s Western Suburbs

edited by Sue O’Brien and Karyn Howie


Purchase copies HERE


How the West was One is a heart-warming collection of memoirs about growing up in the western suburbs of Melbourne during the 1950s,’60s and ‘70s. Childhood shenanigans, pub music and picture theatres are all celebrated by 39 writers who tell about another time and about a much loved place. How the West was One will excite the storyteller in all of us.


Read about where Ted Whitten Junior got his start in sport.

Find out how Jon Conte gate crashed St Albans High School and videotaped an AC/DC concert.

Kerrie Soraghan tells all about her Deer Park days in “The land of the purple thistle”.

What does Michael Leunig think about his formative years in Footscray?

Why is Williamstown the home of Lacrosse?

What did Tony Leonard get up to in Gordon Street?

Mark Ferrie reveals his early musical influences which involve his grandmother!

Meet Vonny the barmaid and find out about life in the Rising Sun Hotel.

Read Rob Sitch’s thoughts on the heartland of the industrialised West.


Along with tales of daring escapades, these memoirs speak of the tough life of post-war migrants and of the hard physical work in the abattoirs, factories, kitchens and transport hubs. They remind us of the dignity and decency of lives well lived.


Childhood friends from the West, Karyn Howie and Sue O’Brien enthusiastically collected these memoirs. All the profits from this book go to Western Chances, which supports talented and motivated young people in the western suburbs of Melbourne facing barriers to fulfilling their potential by providing them with scholarships, opportunities and on-going support.


More info at

You can read our reviews from:

Vin Maskell

Neil Anderson

Kerrie Soraghan

Lucia Nardo

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