About - The Westies


The Westies project is a deeply personal one, it’s about connecting with the community that I grew up in and capturing the stories that exist here in the west. It’s a platform that shows people who we are and then other than geographical differences our stories are the same as anyone living anywhere.

I am Katrina James a photographer, who grew up in South Penrith where I had a great childhood and didn’t become aware that Penrith was a less desirable place to live until I was 18 and going out in the city. When talking to people inevitably they would ask where I came from when I replied Penrith reactions ranged from “oohhh that’s a long way away….” to people stopping the conversation and walking away.

I was labeled a Westie by the rest of Sydney and filed under “don’t waste your time”. I found ways to cover up where I came from like saying “oh I come from the base of the Blue Mountains.” I have spent my adult life dodging the truth about where I come from, I spent several years abroad and now that I am back with a fresh perspective, I think it’s time to tell the real stories of where I actually come from. A beautiful place with a great community of people, through this project I hope to redefine what it means to be a Westie  and bring some positivity to it’s meaning.


Show your support for The Westies by purchasing a calico tote bag for $10.00. (including postage and handling) Perfect for shopping, carrying books and other items. Email: katrina@thewesties.com.au