The lease of the DADAA premises at Beach Street opposite the East Street jetty was on the Fremantle Council agenda on Wednesday.
DADAA is moving into the former Boys School at Princess May Park and the officers wanted an Expressions of Interest period to find out which community groups are interested in leasing the building.
Speakers from arts, disability and the RSL expressed an interest in moving into the building, but a motion by Councillor Pemberton that there should be a three-months period to see if the building would be better suited for the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre than the present one at Arthur’s Head did get support from her fellow Councillors.
I do agree with Pemberton’s sentiment that Noongar people who are still suffering from multi-generational trauma deserve and need support to lift them to a same level playing field as other community groups. However that support was already there and the City invested $ 200,000 a year for two years in the Walyalup centre at Mrs Trivett Lane that got very little support from the Noongar community and basically failed to make any impact at all.
It was clear from the beginning that it would be very hard to make it successful because of family feuding in the Noongar community. The manager of the centre told me he had even considered a roster so certain families could use the centre on some days, and some on other days, because they would not be willing to share the space on the same days.
We know that there is constant disagreement who is allowed to speak or not for certain parts of the Perth metro region with some families claiming to be the only descendants of Yagan while other families claim they are also direct descendants of the great Noongar warrior.
This will affect the success of the Walyalup centre no matter if it is at Arthur’ Head or near Cantonment Hill. An EOI period to find an Aboriginal group to manage the existing Walyalup centre has failed so far and it is unlikely that the City will be able to find a Noongar group willing to pay the $ 16,000.00 rent per annum for leasing the Beach Street building.
My concern is that we will have a period where other community groups will be excluded from bidding for the DADAA building at Beach Street while the City is engaging with Noongar elders about the prospect of them running an autonomous cultural community centre.
We know from past experience that this will be a long drawn-out process that no doubt will require money to pay consultants and those attending meetings with no guarantee whatsoever that there will be a positive outcome and good community use for the Beach Street building.
In the meantime the Arthur Head Aboriginal cultural centre will remain a flop and closed most days and won’t be put back for Expressions of Interest, although Arts on the Move, who expressed interest in the DADAA building, appears to be a perfect tenant for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct building.
It is imperative that the City of Fremantle does not allow the Noongar consultation to go further than three months as it would hold back the opportunity for other groups to move in, in case Noongar elders can’t come to an agreement on who and how to run the Walyalup centre in the new location.
While I deeply respect Aboriginal culture the City needs to be realistic about the fact that the DADAA building can’t be allowed to be vacant for too long as that will attract anti social behaviour and homeless people to the building, and the same applies to the Walyalup Centre at Arthur’s Head.
What also should be considered is if a city centre location is really the best for a Noongar community centre as not many Aboriginal people live in the CBD. Maybe a building in the Hilton/White Gum Valley area would be more appropriate if the centre is not meant to be a cultural centre for overseas and Wadjela visitors.
The Noongar community will need to make a few good decisions fast if they are genuinely interested in managing a community centre. Kaya!
Fremantle Council unanimously rejected the development proposal for a five-storey building by Notre Dame University on the corner of High and Cliff streets on Wednesday evening.
It was telling that the only person on the night who spoke in favour of the terribly mediocre and boring development proposal for 3 High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End was Olwyn Williams the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.
Very disappointing that the Chamber does not recognise that Fremantle is so popular with overseas and interstate visitors because of Fremantle’s beautiful West End and historic significance.
Everyone else who spoke was very strongly against the absolutely inappropriate proposal for what is arguably the most beautiful street in Western Australia. I understand 45 submissions against the proposal were sent to Fremantle Council and only three in support of it.
Some comments from public speakers: The design is totally inappropriate- Architecture unworthy of the historic location- Does not respect existing heritage buildings- Rethink the location of the building and move it to the east end of Fremantle.
Councillor Jon Strachan said it was clear cut to him that he could not support the proposal, while Councillor David Hume said the street level activation carrot that was dangled was not enough to approve the building.
Councillor Rachel Pemberton said the proposed building does not integrate with the other facades at all and that the ‘urban grain’ is very important.
Councillor Simon Nabor said it was too bulky, too big and dominates the area, while Deputy Mayor Dave Coggin said that it is a terrible outcome and that High Street is an extremely important heritage street.
Councillor Andrew Sullivan who also spoke against the building warned that it might be approvable for the State’s JDAP which is the decision-making authority.
I am outraged to learn that the State Heritage Office has recommended approval for the building. The way they are going they are becoming as incompetent as the EPA. This is the same office that put the entire West End on the State Heritage List, but now supports the UNDA monstrosity that has no place in the historic West End.
I urge my friends at Notre Dame to not push this ahead against the wishes of the Fremantle community and council. UNDA needs to accept that the floor space they need for the new School of Nursing can’t be achieved at 3 High Street because it breaks development and heritage rules for the West End Conservation Area. Move the building east of the Townhall and you’ll get all the space you require! Please do it!!
The unusual sight of two Spanish navy ships in Fremantle port attracted a few people this afternoon.
The Dutchy in me always thinks of the Spanish Armada and remembers the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands a trillion years ago, so I blame my history teacher for the trauma. ; >)
I don’t know what WELCOME in Spanish is, but I hope to see a lot of the sailors at the Roundhouse on Thursday when I am on volunteer guide duty.
The lovely Grumpy Sailor cafe in the Paddy Troy Mall have opened another outlet on the corner of Queen and Adelaide street at Kings Square.
Baby Grumpy Sailor is just over the road from Target and serves great coffee and yummy bagels.
Woodside christened its first LNG-powered vessel Siem Thiima at Fremantle’s Victoria Quay yesterday.
Here a photo of it with the cruiseliner Aurora in the background.
There are already many interesting sculptures at Bathers Beach where the installation of the 2017 Sculpture@Bathers show is under construction.
The exhibition that showcases 80 WA sculptors will open this weekend and will be on Fremantle’s inner city beach for two weeks.
Bruce Abbott from REPLANTS has planted some trees in the beach sand, so that is something very different
Many of the works will be lit up at night, as is the cliff face at Arthur Head, so a perfect excuse to go and watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean, see some great local art and eat fish&chips.
It appears that Premier Colin Barnett and the City of Fremantle engaged in a bit of ‘alternative facts’ spin when they announced late last year that 1,500 state government staff would relocate to Fremantle to the Kings Square project.
A reliable source informs me that nearly one-third of them will relocate from Marine House opposite the Esplanade Hotel in Essex Street, so they are already in Fremantle and will only move one kilometre further east.
I hear marine-related officers are not too happy about it as it will take them further away from their boats in the Fishing Boat Harbour.
Installation of the artworks for the Sculpture@Bathers show on Fremantle’s Bathers Beach started this morning.
Eighty Western Australian sculptors will showcase their art from Saturday for two weeks all around the beach, on the boardwalk and inside Kidogo Arthouse.