Teaching and Research in Economics in Western Australia, 1935-1963: Overcoming the Constraints of Depression and War


Edward Shann finally resigned his professorial post at the University of Western Australia after a period of disquiet about his frequent absences. Satisfaction evaporated at the appointment of his replacement, A. G. B. Fisher as Fisher moved on after two years. Economics was left rudderless for almost four years as financial constraints and the onset of war further depleted the academic staff. The appointment of F. R. E. Mauldon as professor in economics in 1941, heralded a gradual improvement in staffing. In the immediate post-war period a pool of talented students was recruited through war service schemes and from younger matriculants. Many of those in the early post-war cohorts made their mark as original researchers and in academia. After several false starts the Faculty of Economics was established in 1954 under the stewardship of Mauldon and in 1961 the Faculty of Economics and Commerce was established under the leadership of Mauldon’s successor, Ivor Ian Bowen. Interaction with the business and the wider community was mainly instigated by the professors but was never as close as in the Shann era. Participation in the Economic Society of Western Australia by the academic staff was sporadic and in the post war era only a minority of the staff were especially active.


Published in Full


The conference was sponsored by The University of Notre Dame, Australia, the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation and the WA Branch of the Economic Society of Australia, and further information may be accessed here