Fremantle home to Australia’s best public boat harbour

Good to see the media release from Rita Saffioti (Minister for Transport; Planning; Lands) celebrating the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour takes out  national award as Australia’s best public boat harbour in the prestigious Marina of the Year Awards. Here are some excerpts from the release:

The iconic harbour has a rich history that began as a single jetty where fishermen landed their catch in the early 1830s and became world famous in the 1980s as the stage for Australia’s defence of the America’s Cup.

Today the harbour attracts more than 1.5 million visitors a year, who enjoy the unique atmosphere created by the operation of licensed fishing vessels alongside restaurants, a boutique brewery, retail outlets and family friendly public facilities.

The integrated activities of the harbour currently employ more than 1,000 people.

Award judges highlighted the Department of Transport’s management of the facility contributed to the overall experience and attraction of the harbour. There is strong collaboration between the department and both marine and tourism-based traders to achieve their collective and individual goals.

Since 2009, 189 new and upgraded pens have been provided at the harbour as part of the department’s jetty replacement program.

Media Statements – Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour takes out national award… 30/05/2017


Fremantle’s 130 year old Town Hall new lease of life on 9 News

Woolstores in heritage win

At last night’s WA state heritage awards, Fremantle developments featured heavily in the shortlisted adaptive reuse projects from the MSC restoration to the commended Hillcrest in North Fremantle.

But there could only be one winner and well done to the Match and Sirona team on Heirloom Woolstores

Here is how The West reported it:

Woolstores in heritage win by Saturday, 27 May 2017

Three apartment blocks have been created within Fremantle’s woolstores.
Three apartment blocks have been created within Fremantle’s woolstores.

WA’s biggest residential redevelopment — the $70 million refurbishment of Fremantle’s derelict Dalgety woolstores — has been acclaimed as one of the State’s top heritage projects.

It won two categories in last night’s annual Heritage Council awards, less than a decade after there were calls for the 94-year-old building to be demolished.

Within the building’s brick shell, three apartment blocks have been created with 183 new units — some selling for as much as $1.4 million.

Award judges said the project heralded a new era for Fremantle.

They said the transformation was “testament to the dedication and financial commitment of its owners; extensive planning and collaboration with local, State and heritage authorities; flexibility and the use of innovative solutions”.

“The adaptive reuse … was a massive undertaking that required its owners to reach above and beyond to find innovative solutions to conserve and enhance original heritage fabric while satisfying building, safety and utility requirements, as well as customer expectations,” they said.

The woolstores were built between Queen Victoria and Beach streets in 1923 for £75,000. A floor was added in 1944.

From this floor, giant hoists (or “wool elevators”) were specially made to lift 160-240kg bales of wool from the basement.

As part of the restoration project, much of the original exposed brickwork, century-old jarrah beams and warehouse-style framed windows have been kept.

In fact, there has been minimal intervention to the structure of the four-storey building.

The wool stores project won the prestigious Gerry Gauntlett award for excellence in conservation and the adaptive reuse award.

Gallop House in Dalkeith and North Fremantle’s Hillcrest also received adaptive reuse commendations.

Other winners announced last night include Friends of Australian Rock Art, Engineering Heritage WA, the Shire of Murray, the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre in Geraldton and the Busselton Jetty Experience.

The Fremantle Town Hall is back in its original skin

Be there as we mark the completion of the Fremantle Town Hall external conservation, the most significant heritage project we’ve ever undertaken. Join us for this free event Friday 26 May 2017, 11:30am to 12 noon outside the Fremantle Town Hall. Part of the Fremantle Heritage Festival.

See the flag being raised onto the new flagpole on the refurbished tower for the first time in a decade, the town hall clock ceremonially restarted and the bells sound out after being silent for 12 months. This will be followed by a group photo outside the completed Town Hall to officially record this important event.

Also check out this great little article and the video on the clock below:



Artwalk Freo 2017

This weekend Artwalk Freo invites the public into the homes and studios of a group of recognised WA artists to see where the magic happens!

Come hail or shine this May, an independent group of professional artists in Fremantle and White Gum Valley will come together to open their home studios to the public for the third biennial Artwalk Freo for one weekend only.

If you have ever wondered HOW a highly creative person thinks, WHAT triggers their inspiration, WHERE the drive comes from, WHY they are compelled to express themselves in their own unique way, then the weekend of the 27 – 28 May, Artwalk Freo should be #1 on your to-do list!

Join us and view the home studios of Annette Seeman and John Teschendorff, Eveline Kotai, Ian de Souza, Trevor Richards, Penny Bovell, Jo Darbyshire and Michael Knight. Visiting their studios and experiencing how their living space relates to their art offers insight into the creative process.

27 – 28 may 2017  open 10am – 4pm daily

Also as part of Artwalk will be Snooker Boys 3 (see below)

Vale Rusty Christensen

Rusty Christensen was a Fremantle legend and sadly passed away last week. Rusty was 89. I always enjoyed my chats over the years with Rusty and he would often tell me stories about my own Father’s exploits in his youth.

The Fremantle History Society said it especially well:

 “[Rusty’s] Fremantle provenance was impeccable. His grandfather sailed into Fremantle on a square rigger and started the family. Famous for the Bush Poets – those of us who were at the Pub Lunch at The Rose Hotel in North Fremantle will not forget his story telling talents. Fremantle history owes him a great debt. His memory was extraordinary, his love of sharing infectious and his humour and wit always ready. We will never see his likes again

Rusty’s funeral will be at the Fremantle Cemetery, West Chapel on Thursday 25 May at 2pm

For a taste of his legendary story telling here is an piece he did on Radio National some years ago:



On The Pulse on Nine News

For some light-hearted weekend viewing, I had a lot of fun as a guest on The Pulse on 9 News with Brendan Foster this week. We even came up with an outlandish new tourist idea for Freo….