Australian history

Ken Spillman writes history in a marvellously lucid style, one enhanced further by a keen turn of phrase, or sharp observation, at an appropriate moment in the narrative. Rod Moran, The West Australian

Identity Prized: A History of Subiaco

ISBN 0 85564 239 4
ISBN 0 85564 240 8

Ken Spillman’s first book, an enduringly popular work of social history, set a new benchmark in the genre and was the winner of a FAW National Literary Award and a WA Premier’s Award for Non Fiction.

Horizons: A History of the Rural and Industries Bank of Western Australia

ISBN 085564303X
ISBN 0855643048

Known for 50 years as the Agricultural Bank, the R&I Bank played a central role in the development of Western Australia’s agricultural industry. Ken Spillman’s history of the institution that became Bankwest is told in immaculate prose and given a human texture through the use of oral history material.

A Rich Endowment: Government and Mining in Western Australia

ISBN 1-875560-23-8

Western Australia is one of the richest mineral provinces in the world. This richly illustrated book offers a thoroughly researched account of mineral discoveries, mining people, and the operation and governance of an industry that is today worth billions.

Life was Meant to be Here: Community and Local Government in the Shire of Mundaring

ISBN 0 9592776 2 5
ISBN 0 9592776 3 3

The picturesque Shire of Mundaring, located to Perth’s east in Western Australia, offers a mix of urban, semi-rural and rural living. In this illuminating book, Ken Spillman reviews a remarkable half century of change.

Fifty and Counting: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital’s First Half Century

ISBN 978-1-74052-166-6

This is the story of a hospital and its people. Ken Spillman’s account traces the growth of a small chest hospital to its present status as one of the most significant general hospitals in the southern hemisphere.

Ken Spillman’s skills as a historian bring to life the story of ‘Charlies’ and the people who passed through its doors. — Emeritus Professor G.C. Bolton AO

Hands to the Plough: the Shire of Victoria Plains since 1945

ISBN 0646455877

A lively examination of Australian rural life across six decades, Hands to the Plough reaffirmed Ken Spillman’s reputation as a first-rate chronicler of human endeavour and the resilience afforded by community spirit.

Tales of a Singular City: Subiaco Since the 1970s

ISBN 0-9590016-6-2

A lavish celebration of one of Australia’s most charming and progressive urban areas. In re-examining an area he first wrote about in Identity Prized, Ken Spillman reveals the struggles behind the metamorphosis of an inner-city area and the redevelopment of derelict industrial land.

Raising Edith: The Transformation of a New Generation University: Edith Cowan University 1995-2005

ISBN 0-7298-0618-9

Between 1995 and 2005, Edith Cowan University underwent a remarkable transformation. It shed a lamentable public image and won recognition for enterprise and innovation. Ken Spillman’s book stands as a guide for leaders interested in strategic planning, organisational creativity and continuous quality improvement.

For the Good of Many: The Story of the Australian Pensioners’ League and Retirees WA


Founded in the 1930s, the Australian Pensioners’ League built a tradition of articulating the interests of seniors while facilitating the delivery of much needed services. This book tells the human story, and describes the growth of the league into a 21st Century organisation representing a diverse membership.

The Dreamkeepers: Tokyu Corporation’s First 30 Years in Western Australia


Japan’s giant Tokyu Corporation invested in a vast tract of land near Western Australia’s capital city in 1974. For over thirty years it pursued its vision of an idyllic seaside settlement and provided many thousands of people with memories to cherish.

The Meriwa Effect: A History of the Minerals and Energy Research Institute of Western Australia

ISBN 1876268921

In this book, Ken Spillman, Jasmina Brankovich and John McIlwraith tell the story of a unique statutory authority which has facilitated an enormous diversity of applied research projects, providing a nexus between academic research and mining and energy industry requirements.

Silver Celebration: 25 years of the Graduate College of Dance (WA) 1973-1998


Ken Spillman examines dance education in Western Australia through this study of the state’s foremost balllet school across a quarter of a century. The book celebrates the achievements of many international dance performers and teachers.