The Fremantle Foundation: A Vital Conversation about Australia’s shared history

The Fremantle Foundation is running a Vital Conversation about Australia’s shared history – opening hearts, opening minds

This is the first of a series of Vital Conversations in 2018 and is an intensive one day workshop exploring ‘Australia’s Shared History’.

We all learnt about Captain Cook and a “broad brush” history of colonisation but what do you know about Australia’s history from the Indigenous perspective?

With discussions around Australia Day increasing and the success of One Day in Fremantle, this Vital Conversation offers you the chance to take the next step in your personal understanding.

This one day intensive brings knowledge and deep insights into the shared history of Australians. It looks through the eyes of the First Australians and with this Indigenous perspective sheds light on a past we all share.

Specifically it will increase effective and respectful professional and personal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by:

  • gaining knowledge of our shared history from an Indigenous perspective
  • increasing awareness of the impacts which continue to affect Aboriginal Australians today
  • learning to be comfortable and confident in the third space


When: 8.30AM – 4.30PM, Tuesday 27th February

Where: The Big Hall in the Old Boys School, 92 Adelaide St. Fremantle

Cost: $80 per person

Lunch and refreshments are provided.


Facilitated by Jenny Hunter and Kelly Terry, with guest Aboriginal presenters including respected Aboriginal elder Dr Noel Nannup.

Places are limited so please be quick to book to avoid missing out.


Also here is the latest clip on One Day 2018

The Freo Network Presents: Business, Crime and Safety in Freo


Local police and community safety officers have been collaborating on a range of strategies to reduce antisocial behavior, improve safety and tackle crime in our city. This collaboration and coordination is having positive results.

Join us for a discussion about the reality of local crime and safety issues, and what the Fremantle Police and Council are doing about it with Acting Officer in Charge, Senior Sergeant Phil Gazzone from Fremantle Police and Christopher Scanlan from the Council’s Community Safety Team.

Plus newly elected President of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, and owner of iconic local business Benny’s, Ivan Dzeba will provide an update on the Chamber’s agenda and priorities for supporting local business in 2018.

6pm Monday 26 February upstairs at the National Hotel

(image credit: Community News)


Queensgate Car Park Closure

A message from Sirona Capital:The Queensgate car park will be closed from Tuesday 3 April to facilitate the car park’s multi-million-dollar refurbishment, as part of the Kings Square Fremantle renewal.

The carpark is expected to be closed for about five months.

We understand this will come as a surprise because we initially told you we did not plan to close Queensgate car park during refurbishment. We don’t like having to make this announcement and we’re sorry that it is going to inconvenience many people.


It’s all about safety. We decided to close the carpark after receiving the results of extensive structural testing of the carpark’s concrete and steel-reinforcement by Probuild and Sirona’s specialist consultants. It was concluded that work to remediate and protect the structure was far more extensive than anyone had originally expected.

Full closure means that the refurbishment can be finished sooner, it will be safer for the public and construction workers, and will deliver a much better result.

While the carpark is still safe and fit for purpose, a staged refurbishment simply isn’t possible.

We know how important the Fremantle International Street Arts Festival is to retailers and the local community. With more than 150,000 people expected in the vity centre over the Festival’s four days, we wanted to do our bit to help the Festival to be a success.

That’s why we have insisted the start of refurbishment is delayed until after the Festival.

Refurbishing the 40-year-old carpark will involve removing all redundant and corroded steelwork and applying protective coatings to halt any further degradation and substantially increase the car park’s
operational life for decades to come.

We are providing new lighting, bigger lifts, better accessibility, modern equipment, increased security
and a better-looking building.

The Sirona and Probuild teams will be working at a cracking pace to have the car park ready well ahead of the Christmas 2018 shopping period.

Queensgate’s permanent parking customers will relocate to the Collie Street car park.

The City of Fremantle has a range of parking options available in the Fremantle city centre.

The soon-to-be-opened 155-bay Cappuccino Strip carpark on the corner of Parry Street and South Terrace will help provide alternate parking.

The Point Street carpark has this month come back under the City’s control and the top level is being reopened adding 105 bays. This is in addition to a temporary carpark recently opened at this location with around 50 bays.

Parking directional signage is also being refreshed to make it easier for motorists find a place to park in Freo.

Go to the City of Fremantle website’s parking section for more information on other places to park in Freo.



Mike carries the baton for Fremantle 

He’s one of only five people to have walked around Australia unaided, so a short stroll along Fishing Boat Harbour as a batonbearer in the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay will be a doddle for Fremantle’s Mike Pauly.

The 77-year-old artist was the City of Fremantle’s nominee to carry the Baton when the relay comes to Fremantle on 24 February.

He started his epic circumnavigation of Australia in 2014 to raise money for mental health programs at the Freo Men’s Shed. It took him two years and covered more 16,600 kilometres.

Mr Pauly said he was very proud to be representing Fremantle in the Queen’s Baton Relay.

“It’s nice to be recognised and nice for other people to know about the things you do for the community,” Mr Pauly said.

“Although pride does come before a fall, so I hope I don’t fall over.

“I’m having a knee replacement done in March, so I’ll be taking it slow. I won’t be racing, that’s for sure.”

Mr Pauly is one of 18 bearers who will carry the Queen’s Baton through the streets of Fremantle on its way to the XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.

Other notable batonbearers include recently retired Perth Scorchers captain Adam Voges, Olympic and Commonwealth Games hockey gold medallist Rechelle Hawkes and local water polo stalwart Edward Neesham.

The Queen’s Baton carries a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that calls the Commonwealth’s athletes to come together in peaceful and friendly competition.

Starting on 13 March 2017 at Buckingham Palace, the Baton will travel on a 388-day journey through all nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

The Queen’s Baton will arrive on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where Her Majesty’s message will be removed from the Baton and read aloud to officially open the Games.

For more information about the batonbearers and the relay route visit the Queen’s Baton Relay website.

Mayor in the Square Returns for 2018 and Also Heads Out to Freo’s Suburbs

This year we are expanding the weekly ‘mayor in the square’ catch-ups to Freo’s suburbs!

No appointment necessary – just show up and you’ll be able to ask questions and share your concerns or ideas one-on-one.

Mayor in the suburbs will run most Wednesdays, 11.00am onwards at various locations.

The first one will be next week (14/2) I will be at our new home at Freo Oval near the library entrance.

Check each week for the location.

Some final thoughts on a more inclusive Australia Day

Over the last year we saw the conversation over whether there was a more inclusive Australia Day than January 26 dramatically evolve.  In the lead up to Jan 26 2017 it was largely about Fremantle council and our decision.  This year the conversation has gone nationwide and has gathered some serious momentum. There were hundreds of articles and media items on this but here are a few of my favourites.

The Fremantle Herald also ran a Thinking Allowed by me on it

Which I thought worth reprinting below:

GIVEN the furore that surrounded the City of Fremantle last year, and the ongoing debate on the date of Australia Day since then, I was happy for Fremantle to keep a low profile this year.

But in light of some of the hyperbole published in lead up to Australia Day, I feel compelled to respond to some of the common criticisms against changing the date.

The first is that local governments should stick to roads, rubbish and rates and that the City of Fremantle has no business sticking its nose into a national issue.

To suggest the City has no role in this debate is ridiculous because the trigger for the whole discussion was a decision about how best to spend ratepayers’ money.  The  council made a decision not to spend ratepayers’ money on a fireworks display on January 26 – a decision we are still very comfortable with – and instead use it to host an inclusive, family-friendly event on January 28.

That decision has been vindicated, with around 15,000 people from all walks of life coming to Freo to enjoy the One Day in Fremantle event last year.

From a business perspective, 89 per cent of local traders were open during One Day last year – compared with just 59 per cent on the public holiday.

It’s better for business to have an event that attracts 15,000 people to Fremantle for a longer period and on a day when more businesses are open.

But in addition to the practical decisions around how to spend ratepayers’ money, local governments are also obliged to advocate on behalf of their local community.

Our decisions around Australia Day were in response to concerns expressed from local Aboriginal leaders, and came from a desire to hold an inclusive event where everyone could celebrate what’s great about being Australian.

Issues like the marriage equality debate have demonstrated that our federal representatives can be behind the curve on matters of social change.

Local governments interact with their communities at a grass roots level. They can, and should, advocate for their communities on national issues.

Another argument is that changing the date of Australia Day won’t do anything solve the ‘real’ problems like Aboriginal health, education and unemployment.

My answer to that is nobody said it would.

Changing the date of Australia Day – like the Apology to the Stolen Generations or the recognition of the first Australians in our constitution – would be a symbolic gesture, but that does not mean it would have no value.

The social disadvantages faced by Aboriginal people are deeply entrenched and have been suffered for generations. It will take a lot of effort and goodwill between Aboriginal people and governments at every level to tackle them.

The recognition of historical truths and a demonstration of empathy for Aboriginal people will show that we care.

From that foundation of mutual respect and trust we can then make a genuine effort to tackle the big issues like health and education.

Changing the date of Australia Day is not the answer, but it is a respectful and healing step towards the reconciliation this country needs.

While it is a necessary step it is not a sufficient one. We also need to close the gap on health and life expectancy and education, and we need to take seriously the recommendations of the Uluru statement that gives Aboriginal people an ongoing voice.

The other main criticism I’ve heard from people who don’t like the discussion about changing the date of Australia Day is that it’s divisive. To those people, I’d simply encourage them to come down to the One Day in Fremantle event on January 28 and see for themselves how inspiring and uplifting it can be when people from all backgrounds and walks of life can come together to celebrate everything they love about Australia.

What I have learnt over the last year is that changing the date of Australia Day is not the answer but it is a respectful and healing step towards the reconciliation this country needs.

While it is a necessary step it is not a sufficient one. We also need to close the gap on health and life expectancy and education. We also need to take seriously the recommendations of the Uluru statement that gives aboriginal people an ongoing voice.

The conversation is pleasingly heading in the right direction but there is a long way to go. From little things big things grow.






Create, play and make at our new Library

The library would love to have you over at our new space at the Fremantle Oval. We’re celebrating summer and invite you to come and create, play and make in this special Makerspace launching life at our new address. Try your hands at animation, robots, Lego, garage band, craft or chill to some tunes and nibbles.

I will even be reading a story!

This free event is open to any age. Please register via the Eventbrite link:

19 January 2018 – 4.00 to 7.00 pm