The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects once stated: ” The Indigenous artworks at Leighton comprise of seven separate mosaic artworks depicting dreamtime stories and the local history of the Aboriginal people. The mosaics were designed in consultation with indigenous Elders and form part of the site’s transition from a railway marshalling yard and container storage area to a vibrant beachside hub. These artworks record a small but important part of the local Aboriginal heritage for posterity and as such they provide added interest and value to the project. We also hope that they help provide a better understanding of Aboriginal culture in Perth. “

The above is taken from ‘’.The site writes about Fremantle’s Leighton Beach Development Indigenous Mosaic Artworks. All the works were produced at Fremantle’s J Shed Art Studio.
LINK to the article:

Sandra Hill (Nyoongar visual artist) in collaboration with Jenny Dawson (Ceramic Artist-J Shed Art Studio) translated stories passed on by the elders into this beautiful series of pavement mosaics. Amongst them was Ken Colbung. Other Nyoongar artists involved were Esandra Colbung, Sharon Egan, Peter Farmer, Kylie Garlett,Vanessa Corunna and Sharna Mippy. The elders stories were collected by Sandra and stored in the Batty Library collection.

Below is one the one of the seven mosaics from the Fremantle-Leighton Project (photo by Peter Zuvela). ‘The Walyalup (Fremantle) Dreaming’ by J Shed Art Studio. Art Work design by Esandra Colbung. Part of the Fremantle story.IMG_6995vs
The Walyalup Dreaming was first mentioned in writing in the 19th century by F. Armstrong who in 1836 wrote: “They state, as a fact handed down to them from their ancestors, that Garden Island was formerly united to the main, and that the separation was caused, in some preternatural manner, by the Waugal” (F. Armstrong 1836).

The work was completed in 2007. In 2008 the project won the Landscape Architects of Australia award for art in Public Places.

More images from the Public Art Work:IMG_6975vsIMG_6891vsIMG_6915vsIMG_6988vsIMG_7011 SH vs

Ficra Fremantle City Residents: Freo’s Future – Which Way?

FICRA invites you to a public forum,
18 February 2014, 7pm,
University of Notre Dame Medical Theatre, 38 Henry Street, Fremantle. Dr Lutton will speak on:
(a) Why people must re-engage with the planning process in Fremantle.
(b) Extent of development being proposed for Fremantle – is it realistic?
(c) The way forward with Queensgate, Myer, King’s Square, Spicer Site, Point Street, and Victoria Quay.

Public feedback is sought on these major projects.

Dr Linley Lutton is an architect, urban planner, developer, and formerly a member of the Fremantle Council’s DAC (Design Advisory Committee).

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Fremantle Society President Henty Farrar congratulated the Fremantle Workers Club on their great achievement of reaching their 100th anniversary on February 2. Our Pres is a creative man, so together with flowers he sent the Club an old-style telegram, which created big smiles at the Workers Club.

Well done to the incredibly hard-working Don Whittington and Ruth Belben and all the volunteers for keeping the Club alive and reactivating it. You’ve done a truly great job!

Roel Loopers



Colin Nichol recalls Fremantle’s history of shark-proof swimming.

RECENT media announcements of “WA’s first shark barrier” on trial at Cockburn, overlooks the facts of history. Shark proof enclosures were constructed off a number of coastal and Swan River jetties in the Perth metropolitan area, including Cottesloe, South Fremantle and Fremantle with one at Busselton, during the 1920s and ‘30s.

As discussions continue over a sea bathing facility near Fremantle’s Bathers Beach, a reminder that little is new in that regard. Shark-proof Municipal Sea Baths were constructed at Fremantle in the 1890s near the Fish Markets between Long Jetty and South Jetty, but having been destroyed by heavy weather were demolished in 1917. The site is now Fishing Boat Harbour’s northern sea wall. On 3 February 1930, a deputation, including the president of the Fremantle Businessmen’s Association, “waited on” the Fremantle City Council in the council chambers to advocate the erection of swimming baths in the city. They pointed out that a 1926 referendum of ratepayers showed that the majority were in favour of the project.

It was felt that while South Beach was an excellent beach, it was too small to accommodate a large crowd and there was no provision for training facilities. Mayor 1919-23 and again 1926-51 Frank Gibson (later Sir Frank), said council was still paying off  interest and sinking fund on the earlier baths and thought that the cost of erecting new baths would be in the vicinity of £16,050 (at least $1,318,740). Perhaps that deputation’s plea may yet come to fruition, some 84-plus years on.

The South Beach shark proof swimming area, with its extensive onshore camping sites and splendid Hydrodrome building with accommodation for swimmers and visitors, opened in 1927. The fencing was a length of torpedo netting used in the English Channel during the Great War and annually dipped in bitumen for preservation. It was strung between two jetties and supported by approximately ten poles over which a promenade deck was constructed. A diving platform extended from the promenade. The enclosure, which was well lit for night use, remained into the 1950s. Only photographs and memories of school swimming classes remain. And sharks did occasionally get in.

Colin Nichol


This is a pretty awesome recognition for the FREMANTLE SOCIETY! At the Australia Day ceremony on the Fremantle Esplanade the FREMANTLE FOREVER campaign was awarded the Fremantle Community Group of the Year 2013 by Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt.

FREMANTLE FOREVER grew out of the SOCK IT COLIN campaign the Fremantle Society initiated and became a bi-partisan group of concerned citizens about the State Government’s intention to forcefully amalgamate the City of Fremantle with the City of Melville.

The very public campaign, that collected thousands of petition signatures, became a success when State Government announced that it would accept the alternative boundaries the City of Fremantle and Fremantle Forever had suggested.

Thank you to all the volunteers who worked so hard on getting signatures, design leaflets and advertisements, took photos, contacted the media, etc. etc. It shows that if the community works positively together, we do make a difference, and I am very proud of that!

Roel Loopers


ARTHUR HEAD-Fremantle and Walyalup Dreaming

Arthur Head in the West End of Fremantle has a rich history. It is now less than one tenth of its original size. With the arrival of the British in June 1829 the newcomers started changing its topography. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans the local Beeliar-Nyungar (Aboriginal) people called that part of the world Walyalup. The actual old West End of Fremantle town with Arthur Head area in some sources is referred to as Manjaree.

According to the National Trust of WA, Manjaree (Arthur Head) for the Beeliar-Nyungar people (sometimes also referred to as Bibbulmun) was an important meeting place and trading place. Tracks from the North and South converged in the Manjaree-Fremantle area. Arthur Head was also an important place for the Nyungar dreaming story ‘Walyalup Dreaming’.

The Walyalup Dreaming was first mentioned in writing in the 19 century by F. Armstrong who in 1836 wrote:

“They state, as a fact handed down to them from their ancestors, that Garden Island was formerly united to the main, and that the separation was caused, in some preternatural manner, by the Waugal” (F. Armstrong 1836).

Below is one of the versions:

“The Walyalup (Fremantle) Dreaming story tells of Yondock, an ancestral crocodile that travelled down from the north, causing floods and disturbances, creating Wadjemup (Rottnest Island), Gnooroolmayup (Carnec Island), Derbal Nara (Cockburn Sound) and flooding the Derbal Yaragan (Swan River) with salt water.

The Waagle or Rainbow Serpent, guardian of the fresh water, smells the salt and travels down the Derbal Yaragan (Swan River) to see what’s happening. With the advice from Woorriji (a lizard) from the Waagle cave in North Fremantle and strength gained from the freshwater spring at East Street Jetty, he fights the crocodile, bites off his tail and places the tail across the mouth of the river to prevent salt water coming up stream.The tail is secured with the hair from the armpits of the Waagle on the southern side of the river and with toenail from the crocodile on the north side of the river.

The rest of the crocodiles body remains as Meeandip (Garden Island) and dingoes watch from Cantonment Hill to make sure the spirit of the crocodile is not reunited with its tail. “

We can safely assume that the dreaming stories tell us of rising sea levels that happened 7000 years ago. Rottnest Island, Garden Island and Carnac Island were separated from the mainland back then. The rising sea level and then the separation of the islands from the land mass was all witnessed by the Aboriginal population.

A few years ago a documentary was made about the play Walyalup Dreaming. The ‘Making Walyalup Dreaming’ documentary explores how the play was created. For more information you can view a sample of this documentary here:

The documentary features Trevor Ryan,  James Webb, Trevor Walley and Sandy McKendrick,  Produced and directed by Rodney Stratton.

Article written by Peter Zuvela
Microsoft Word - 10122-01 FINAL REPORT.doc


To the Society’s members and many friends — the Committee offers our best wishes for Christmas and the very best of health and good fortune for the year ahead.

2013 was a good year for Fremantle with a strong sense of progress in the air and with runs already on the board with the 2nd  take on Local Government boundaries being released (go Dockers and go Freo Forever! ) and the unveiling of the winning entry for the new civic building for the City.  We look forward to 2014 being a bumper year for our City and all its residents

Best wishes

Henty Farrar


As part of the Fremantle Heritage Festival the Fremantle Society presents ‘gnullar yowl koorl – our coming together … early interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia’ It is a free event so come along!  At Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach, Fremantle on Sunday May 26, 11 am. Free lecture

Ingrid Cumming, CEO of Kart Koort Wiern consultancy in Perth will present a lecture that talks of some of the early interactions between the Nyungar and non-Indigenous people during the period of first contact in the Swan River, the conversations, interactions and issues that arose and how we can reflect upon this in modern day terms to promote mutual respect and recognition of the diversity of cultures within Fremantle.

Kart Koort Wiern does corporate awareness training, team building workshops, youth and school workshops and management training. It also does consultancy services. Your company can become a corporate member of Kart Koort Wiern. Website:

Kart Koort Wiern


Heritage Festival

National Trust of Australia (WA) – MARCH MEETING NEXT TUESDAY

Did you ever fancy yourself as Indian Jones? This month’s meeting takes us face to face with the intriguing world of archaeology and its growing role in historical research. In the past the archives were the historian’s second home, but now, the evidence uncovered in an archaeological dig can turn the archival record on its head. Scott Chisholm and his team will give us a special insight into the world of archaeology and tells us tales of recent discoveries and how they have helped us better understand Fremantle’s and indeed Western Australia’s, past.

The meeting is Tuesday 26 March and starts at 6.30pm at Terra Rosa, 346 South Terrace (cnr South Terrace and Scott St), South Fremantle. Looking forward to seeing you there.


A century ago, when The University of Western Australia first opened its doors to students, the general purposes of higher education seemed relatively clear in the public mind. But these days there is less certainty about the relevance of some cherished academic traditions. What distinctive role do universities still have, if any? What can the wider community reasonably expect universities to deliver?

What should be the relationship between universities and cultural institutions in the heritage and collections sector? This lecture will particularly discuss: the concept of educational heritage, and the real origins of the modern university; how to decide whether a field of knowledge belongs in higher education or not; the place of civic values in higher education;  the argument between cultural studies and cultural policy studies, and the potential of cultural heritage for resolving that argument; what the distinction between education and training should mean in the heritage field; why the values associated with museums and significant sites are inherently problematic; how a university that fosters studies in cultural heritage can fullfil an important part of its civic purpose.

Event Details

Date: 16 April 2013

Time: 6pm

Venue: Webb Lecture Theatre (G21),

Geography Building, UWA

Parking: P18 & P19, Fairway entrance 1

Cost: Free, but RSVP essential.

Book online

or RSVP to or

6488 1340