Archaeological dig set to unearth Freo’s first church

An archaeological dig planned for Fremantle’s historic Kings Square early next year will shed new light into what life was like in Fremantle during the late 1800s.

The dig, taking place across four zones in Kings Square from 15-21 January 2018, will look for evidence of the 1840s-built predecessor to the current St John’s Church which used to stand in the centre of the square.

The archaeologists expect to unearth the foundations of the first church, which was demolished in 1882, as well as other historical material such as glass bottles, clay pipes; and fragments of ceramic bowls and plates from this period.

The City hopes to be able to showcase the findings as it upgrades public spaces as part of the Kings Square Renewal project, which began earlier this year.

“Kings Square has a lot of stories to tell and we’re really looking forward to seeing what will be uncovered, particularly given an earlier dig in June 1986 identified the foundations of the first church,” said Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

“As well as the church foundations, we hope to find artefacts in public spaces outside the former Myer building which were once the sites of buildings spanning the early-mid 20th century.

“We want to incorporate the findings into the upcoming Kings Square public space upgrades. To do this we’re looking at opportunities to include ground viewing areas to provide visitors to Kings Square with a real window into the past,” Mayor Pettitt said.

Archae-aus, a cultural heritage management consultancy based in North Fremantle, has been appointed by the City of Fremantle to undertake the investigations as part of the broader redevelopment of Kings Square.

Community invited to become archaeologists for a day

Archae-aus and the Museum of Moving Objects will be conducting public archaeology engagement programs and workshops in Kings Square alongside the excavations.

Archae-aus Executive Archaeologist Fiona Hook said the public will be invited to come and discover first-hand what it’s like to be an archaeologist.

“It’s a very exciting project and we want the whole community to share in the thrill of discovery,” said Ms Hook.

“Not only will the public be able to view the excavations as we uncover Fremantle’s history, but people of all ages can also participate in hands-on activities and events including lunchbox excavations, historical object drawing and sustainability workshops, as well as free on-site talks.”

For public safety and to protect the contents of the dig sites, areas of Kings Square will be fenced off during the archaeological investigations. (Map attached)

For more information and links to book workshops and activities through Archae-aus visit

Snap, Tag & Win Christmas Competition

The City of Freo is running a Snap, Tag & Win competition on Instagram through to 22 December. It’s already getting a great response from shoppers and businesses  and all the prize money is spent in Fremantle. So to get involved here is what you need to do:

  1. Visit your favourite Freo store, snap a pic of what you want from Santa this Christmas
  2. Share on Instagram & tag @fremantlestory, #FreoWishList & # (store name)
  3. Each week two lucky people win their #FreoWishList

Two prizes of $500 will be drawn each Friday up until Christmas.

T&C’s apply.

The Fremantle Network Returns Monday with a Focus on Community.

The final TFN event for 2017 welcomes two local speakers who are working on community initiatives that create vibrant, connected local communities.

Monday 6pm – Upstairs at the National Hotel 

Dean Cracknell – Town Team Movement

The Town Team Movement is an ‘under-arching’ non-profit organisation helping town teams to organise, engage and empower their communities and create better places.
Town teams are a model where businesses, residents, community groups and local governments work collaboratively to create great places. The teams are: independent; not politically aligned; and a positive voice and influence in their community.
Each team has slightly different priorities and focuses, but all share these principles.
There are currently 18 town teams in Perth and this number is growing quickly! Dean is a local resident who is keen to help this grassroots movement to grow and flourish in Fremantle.

Maureen Maher – Street by Street

Street by Street is a national project that aims to turn streets into communities and foster an Australia-wide network of neighbour groups. Maureen has been involved in a neighbourhood group in Hilton and wants other neighbourhoods to benefit from the initiative.
A strong sense of community, where you know the people that live near you, share experiences and help one another, makes life is richer. But for many neighbourhoods, this type of connection isn’t happening naturally.
The Street by Street Project helps people build better connections with neighbours, so that more of us can feel a sense of community. They see regular, informal social get-togethers as the pathway to creating community and are working for connected communities to become the norm across Australia, and for people to feel happier, safer and more supported as a result.

Come along, be inspired and get involved in making Freo an even better place through these great projects.

Burt Street Project EOI Released

The Housing Authority, which forms part of the Department of Communities, is seeking to collaborate with a private sector developer or consortium who embraces our Vision for the Burt Street Project, to create a new affordable community that enriches the unique character of Fremantle.

Reference #EOI HOU1450717
Closing Date and Time – 2:30pm WST Friday 16 February 2018


From the Council Chambers in November 2017 Edition 


Hilton town centre set for facelift

The Hilton town centre is set for a facelift after the Fremantle Council approved the plan for an upgrade.

The plan aims to make the section of South Street which runs through the Hilton shopping area feel more like a traditional town centre by slowing traffic and creating a safe and welcoming environment.

It also addresses a serious safety issue by preventing cars from turning right out of Paget Street and Victor Street onto South Street.

That stretch of South Street is very dangerous and the local community has been calling for something to be done to improve safety for a long time. In the past five years there have been 20 crashes involving cars turning right into South Street and a lot of near misses for people using the pedestrian crossing.

These improvements will make the area a lot safer, while also creating a much nicer community space.

The improvements will also include enhanced signage and lighting to make drivers more aware of the pedestrian crossing on South Street, new ramps at Paget Street and Victor Street to make it easier for people with prams and wheelchairs, a different colour asphalt roadway to delineate Hilton town centre and new landscaping and street furniture.

The project is being funded through $250,000 from the state government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program and $50,000 from the City of Fremantle.

Thanks to the Ward Councillors (Jeff McDonald, Dave Hume, Hannah Fitzhardinge and Sam Wainwright) and Fremantle member Simone McGurk for making this happen

Work is expected to start in April next year and be completed by the end of July. Here are some before and afters:


Biophilic Perth invites you to an evening of Conversation and Inspiration

6pm Monday November 20th

Peter Newman, Brad Pettitt and Jana Söderlund discuss biophilic urbanism and the biophilic city vision.

Inspired by visits to our neighbour Singapore, Peter and Jana will showcase highlights and how Singapore’s vision could be adapted to Perth. Part of this is linking with the global Biophilic City network. Mayor Pettitt will provide an update on Fremantle’s initiatives towards becoming a member.

This will be followed by an opportunity to discuss, ask questions and network.

Join us in The Local Hotel, Monday 20th, 6pm – 8pm.

282 South Terrace, South Fremantle

Doors open 5.30pm