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

Peace Boat coming to Fremantle

A Japanese cruise ship that travels the world to promote global friendship and nuclear disarmament will be visiting Fremantle next week.

The Peace Boat’s 96th voyage left Yokohama on 8 January and will be stopping at 15 ports in the Oceania region before returning to Kobe on 5 March.

The ship will be arriving in Fremantle from Bali on 24 January at 2pm and departing for Adelaide on 25 January at 5pm.

Among the 1000 passengers on board will be Hiroshima ‘Hibakusha’ Miyake Nobuo and Fukushima farmer Hasegawa Kenichi.

Hibakusha is the Japanese word for survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and atomic testing around the world.

They will be speaking at a welcome event at the B-Shed at Fremantle Harbour on Wednesday and also at a ‘Making Waves’ forum at Notre Dame University on Thursday.

They will be joined at both events by Karina Lester – a survivor of the British atomic tests at Maralinga in South Australia in the 1950s.

The Peace Boat’s visit is being supported by Mayors for Peace – a global movement formed in 1982 by the mayor of Hiroshima to raise awareness and push for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The organisation has since grown to include 7536 member cities in 162 countries.

Fremantle joined Mayors for Peace in 2004 and is now one of 26 executive cities around the world – the only one in Australia – and is the lead city for this region.

I had the privilege of travelling to Hiroshima in 2014 where I visited the museum and spoke to the survivors of the atomic bomb attack – it was a profoundly moving experience.

It’s a great honour to welcome the Peace Boat to Fremantle and help spread its message of peace and friendship.

Other speakers at the ‘Making Waves’ forum on Thursday include former WA Premier Carmen Lawrence and former Senator Scott Ludlam – who is an ambassador for the Melbourne-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

ICAN was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its ground-breaking efforts to encourage countries to sign a United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

The global agreement was adopted by 122 countries — but not by Australia — in New York on July 7 last year.

Following the ‘Making Waves’ Forum on Thursday there will be a colourful walk back to the Peace Boat at Fremantle Passenger Terminal, where people can go aboard until 4pm. To gain access visitors, including media, need to register here by January 20, and bring ID on the day.

For more information on the Peace Boat and its voyage visit the Peace Boat website, and for details of the events see the City of Fremantle’s events page.

Information sharing session on the Western Australian plastic bag ban

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, in partnership with the Boomerang Alliance, invites you to attend an information sharing session on the Western Australian plastic bag ban.

Mon 12 Feb 6:00–7:30pm

Fremantle Library, 70 Parry St, Fremantle Oval

New Year Fun Freo Photo Competition

I am taking the first two weeks of January off so my blog will take a break too.

So while we are putting our feet up we thought another little fun Freo photo competition with some snaps I took throughout 2017 was in order.

The first person to write and tell me where in Fremantle each of the following 12 photos was taken from – not what they were taken of – gets the (not all that amazing) prize of me buying them lunch in Fremantle at a café (you get to to choose at least!).

If no one gets them all then the winner will be the person with the most correct answers.

Thanks for reading and commenting on Freo issues throughout 2017. Catch you in a couple of weeks.

























Clarifying Pubs and Non-Alcohol Areas in Freo

There was a slightly odd headline and byline in The West today that got the recent Freo Council review of land use diversity and licensed areas weirdly wrong (the rest of the article was actually quite good though) 

This Notice of Motion by Deputy Mayor Waltham is timely and worth looking into more fully.

So on this basis we had to put out the following correction:

The City of Fremantle is not considering a policy to have non-drinking areas in pubs.

At its meeting on 13 December the Fremantle Council requested the City’s administration to prepare a draft Local Planning Policy to provide guidance in the assessment of planning applications which include a proposal for a licenced area.

Acting Fremantle mayor Ingrid Waltham said that in considering a draft policy the intention was to provide guidance on what proportion of a development site should be used for a licenced premises and what proportion should be set aside for other uses such as short-stay accommodation, entertainment, commercial or retail.

“We want to ensure that when developers put forward a proposal for a site in Fremantle, it’s not just for a pub but also includes a range of other uses like shops, offices and accommodation,” acting mayor Waltham said.

“That way we make sure Fremantle offers a diverse mix of attractions that everyone can come down and enjoy.”

A draft Local Planning Policy will be developed by City of Fremantle officers for consideration by Council.

Vale David Hutchison 1927-2017

Fremantle has sadly lost one of its preeminent historians. David Hutchison passed away a couple of days ago.

Garry Gillard (on his Fremantle Stuff web page)  describes David’s  book Fremantle Walks as the most accessible and popular local history publication. He goes on to reproduce Prof Bob Reece’s citation for David Hutchison’s Life Membership of the Fremantle History Society which is worth repeating here:

David is one of those rare people we can call a true authority on Fremantle and its history. As someone once said to him, ‘David, you have forgotten more history than I will ever know!’ From the time of his appointment as Senior Curator in History at the Western Australian Museum in 1970 with oversight of what was then the Fremantle History Museum at Finnerty St., David immersed himself in the town’s past. His later activism on behalf of the History Society, his prolific research and writings and his celebrated Fremantle Walks, all contributed towards making him a local ‘identity’. His 1986 book, Fremantle Walks, published by Fremantle Press, brought his extensive local knowledge together in a highly readable format for the benefit of visitors to the city. Closely associated with a movement in the early 1990s to set up a ‘clearing house’ for Fremantle research, David became a member of the History Society and served on the Committee from 1999 until 2004. One of his major contributions was his submission on behalf of the Society to the Fremantle Prison Heritage Precinct Master Plan. Perhaps his most solid and enduring achievement, however, was his establishment in May 1996 of Fremantle Studies Day, which in turn stimulated the appearance in 1999 of the journal Fremantle Studies, to which he became a frequent contributor. He brought a scholarly standard to the work of the Society, at the same time preaching the down-to-earth virtues of community history. Bob Reece.

I’ll miss seeing David walking the streets of Fremantle, almost always with library books in hand, passionate about history, Fremantle and especially Fremantle history.

Looking back at Freo in 2017

The City of Freo has put together this nice little video of the year that was.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and great break.