Makers and the Burgeoning New Freo Economy

On Sunday we took five days old Aoife on her first outing just down the street from our house in White Gum Valley to visit Stackwood’s “Made Local Market”.

Stackwood which is not surprisingly on the corner of Stack and Wood Streets is a great little space in the emerging arty Knutsford Precinct. It’s a space for creative entrepreneurs, emerging businesses and makers.

Last weekend they had an open market focused on local makers, and had stalls selling locally made gifts and wares such as ceramic planters, artist prints, textiles and jewellery

It was great and it reminded me of the emerging creative economy that Fremantle has built up over recent years of locally made, bespoke and unique goods.

It’s not just happening in Stackwood but at MANY 2.0 and MANY 000 new spaces in the old Spotlight and the Old Police complex, at Common Ground on High Street, at the Fib on Blinco Street etc etc.

Freo has become a hub for makers, for those who want authenticity and sense of passion that can’t be replicated.

There is growing demand for locally made and authentic products. High quality authentic businesses are performing exceptionally well and can get away with charging a premium versions of a product, simply for the buyer experience and quality on offer.

As high street guru Gilbert Rochecouste says:“It’s the whole slow food, slow cities, slow concepts; it’s all built around handmade, hand curated…” I’d add to Rochecouste’s approach words like bespoke/distinctive/local/layered/unique…you get the picture. The future of Freo is doing well at what the big box shopping malls will never be able to match.

Freo’s always about doing it a bit different and glad Aoife got to have this as her first outing  – although she did sleep through a lot of it!


This week we bought some art in our favourite way: from a Freo artist at a Freo gallery.

John Teschendorff’s excellent exhibition at PSAS is well worth a look.

This exhibition, his first in WA for five years, includes twenty one works on paper and canvas selected from the artist’s studio & family collection, and thirty new drawings made at the Can Serrat International Arts Centre El Bruc Barcelona Spain (2013), the NES Residency Skagastrond Iceland (2016) and in Fremantle. John Teschendorff has used The History of Ideas project to examine aspects of border conflict, war, religious bigotry, democratic process & guilt…even terror, torture and death are interrogated beneath deceptively seductive abstracted surfaces. A small collection of collaborative works with Annette Seeman (WA) and Stephen Spurrier (Qld) will also be exhibited.

29 July – 25 August (Closed Sat 12 Aug) Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm, Sat, 10am-2pm

PS Art Space | PSAS
22 Pakenham Street, Fremantle

(We bought the yellow one below BTW)



Delivering Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives (SHAC)

This morning was one of those special mornings that captured so much about what I love about Fremantle.

Today, affordable housing, promotion of the arts, sustainability and community all came together in the SHAC Housing project official opening today in WGV, Fremantle.

I still remember when the original SHAC artists came to visit me at the City of Fremantle about their out of the box idea for some affordable housing in Fremantle that was specifically for artists. Housing and studios in perpetuity that Freo artists could live and work in.

It was a bold idea. One without precedent in WA. But the hard work of the SHAC crew along some great support from Landcorp, Access Housing, CODA, JBA, Donaldson and Warn, Peter Tinley, CUSP, City of Freo and others saw this crazy, bold idea become a reality today.

Resident artists have now moved into some of the 22 nicely designed, affordable rental units and artist studios that sit in a sustainable medium density building (with 20kw of solar PV and 40kw of batteries) all among some wonderful native landscaping.

I suspect there was barely a dry eye in the crowd as Michelle who was one of the co-initiators of the project explained its importance to the Freo arts community in her wonderful speech (see below). This is an exceptionally good example of density done well.

This is a project I feel extremely proud to have played a small part in helping it come to reality. I feel even more proud to part of community that can bring bold idea to reality because we care and have a vision for the kind of diverse and inclusive community we want to be.

It was a special day – love Freo


‘KRAKEN – A mid winters blaze’: an activation of the Bathers Beach Art precinct

Blazing Swan and the City of Fremantle are proud to present ‘KRAKEN – A mid winters blaze’ an activation of the Bathers Beach Art precinct providing a free community event for Fremantle residents and the wider community. Bathers Beach and surrounds will host a sunset sculpture burning of the Kraken, as well as a series of family friendly art workshops and activities.

What to expect –

  • 12pm – 5pm Acoustic music at Bathers Beach boardwalk gazebo
  • 12pm – 7pm Fashion and craft markets on Bathers Beach boardwalk
  • 3pm – Welcome to Country by Reverend Sealin Garlett (Bathers Beach Gazebo)
  • 5.30pm – Effigy burn on the beach at sunset accompanied by fire twirling and drumming
  • 12pm – 11pm Food and theme camp activities at J-shed
  • 3pm – 11pm DJs at J-Shed grass
  • 12pm – 7pm Food trucks in front of Kidogo
  • 12pm – 9pm Pop up bar at Kidogo
  • 12pm – 5pm J Shed and Mrs Trivett’s place residents hosting workshops
  • 12pm – 9pm Photography and light exhibition in the Whalers Tunnel

Hidden Treasures Week 2 – Packed with Talent (and a DJ)

Hopefully see you all at Hidden Treasures – Fremantle’s Winter Music Series tonight. There is lots of amazing talent on but that may not apply to my DJ skills…

The “Missing Tooth” in Invisible Cities Fremantle

A few weeks ago I flagged the launch of the Invisible Cities Fremantle participatory art project.

Based around an app that triggers audio at locations on a virtual map, this ‘auditory treasure hunt’ invites people to hear stories about the significant, poignant, every day or unusual relationships people have with their special places in Fremantle.

This week I got to add my little story to Invisible Cities Fremantle. It is about why I think the “missing tooth” on High St masks a significant but almost invisible Fremantle story.

The free Invisible Cities mobile app is available for iPhone and Android from

People wanting to submit memories and stories can do so at

Freo launch of Ray Glickman’s new book “Frenzship”

You are invited to a special gathering of frenz, the Freo launch of Ray Glickman’s new book “Frenzship”.

I was lucky to get an early copy and am already a few chapters in and really enjoying it. I have already recognized a few of those weird and wonderful Freo characters!

Monday 24 July 2017
5.30 pm for the launch
Orient Hotel, Freo
Launch by Mayor Brad Pettitt, aided and abetted by Richard Utting