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The history of Western Australia as missed by the media

It’s hard to imagine the history of Western Australia without productive industries such as nickel, iron ore, alumina and talc. These industries were all introduced and created by Western Mining Corp. This contributed to 11% of Australia’s population (in WA) producing 43% of the nation’s exported goods.

The launch of the remarkable book Mandarins & Mavericks – Remembering Western Mining 1933-2005in Perth, on November 27, 2017 was entirely missed or overlooked by the media (probably pre-occupied by the passing parade of ‘issues of the day’). They would have heard the inspirational stories of a small band of technologically advanced individuals. These people looked beneath Western Australia’s sand-covered rocks, making amazing discoveries and creating a solid legacy for Australia.

That small team set an example that inspired the many successful companies that followed. Many of these were operated by Western Mining Corp trained personnel.

Western Mining Corp set the standard for ‘how to do it’. The result is a healthy ‘economic engine’ driving our state. These remarkable achievements are often overlooked by those of a political leaning. You know the ones — those pre-occupied with over-spending the outcomes and running us into a brick-wall of debt.

I came away from the book launch with an after-taste of sadness. Where is today’s ‘language of leadership’ to encourage future role models who will inspire our next generation?


  • Thanks for your comments Ron. I can only agree with you. I’m not sure how you change the priorities of the younger and not so young people these days, although I reflect back on what Mannkal is achieving and can only thank you for doing it. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a copy of my own through Barry Patterson and am looking forward to enjoying it.

  • Spot on Ron. There should be more great observers and free thinkers like your good self and our part of the world may be a better place. Your contribution is profound and I’m very happy to have known you and been able to absorb some of your wisdom over the years. Keep on keeping on ‘mate’.

  • The can do attitude of the early WMC Mgmt certainly set the scene for the future Mgrs. I certainly learnt good Mgmt practices which helped me in my career.

  • I look forward to reading this book – I certainly agree that most of the current crop of polices should get their snout of the trough and show real leadership unencumbered by special interest business groups. Books on the history and innovation of mining companies are exceedingly rare (unlike some genres which are ridiculously overdone). Reminds me of the BHP Billiton book “The Big Fella”, which mostly neutral and factual, as well as the exceptional book “The Olympic Dam Story”.

  • Thanks Ron, on the ball as usual. quote “These people looked beneath Western Australia’s sand-covered rocks, making amazing discoveries and creating a solid legacy for Australia.’
    You are one of these people Ron. keep well mate.

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