This is the story of Sydney's much maligned western suburbs: how the city spread across the plains to the Blue Mountains, and why the 'westie' stigma haunts the people of the region.

Resourceful and innovative, the people of the western suburbs have created a culture of their own, defying the 'westie' stigma. Out West uncovers the intricate social and cultural networks that make western Sydney a dynamic and stimulating place to live.

Out West looks at how the land of the Darug people of the Cumberland Plain was first settled by whites in colonial times. It then traces the development of the 'westie' stigma from the time of inner-city slum clearances to post-war immigration and the more recent waves of moral panic about the youth of the region. It focuses in particular upon the way in which the media have contributed to the maintenance of the 'westie' image.

chapter 1|17 pages

The Westie image

chapter 2|18 pages

Social demarcations

chapter 3|16 pages

The west to World War II

chapter 4|16 pages

Reconstructing the city

chapter 5|19 pages

Moving out and moving in

chapter 6|18 pages

Menacing youth

chapter 7|22 pages

Mobs, gangs and pushes

chapter 8|21 pages

Into the imaginary

chapter 9|12 pages

Inside/outside— western Sydney today

chapter |18 pages

Afterword: Speaking (for) others