What a delight it is to see thousands of Notre Dame University students back in Fremantle’s West End.
The streets and cafes are full with gorgeous and colourful young people. I love it!
I considered doing a photo story on it but I’d probably get accused of being a dirty old pervert photographing young students, so this UNDA promo will have to do.
They call it O-Day at Notre Dame University in Fremantle, but today’s Orientation Day for new students was more of a WOW!!!! Day.
It was the biggest number of new students ever at O-Day at UNDA and more than 2,000 paraded through the inner city by the sounds of a drum band.
Live music, food vans and even a licensed bar for the 18+ students were in the historic West End, so no doubt it will have been a fun-filled day and rite of passage for many.
I love having Notre Dame in the West End. I love the energy of the young students and the activation they bring to the inner city. The uni is highly respected and students and staff love it and it is is pretty special that Fremantle can call itself a university city.
Mayor Brad Pettitt said in jest that one day the City will sort the parking issues, but why not start by giving incentives to those students who car pool, as most of them drive all alone into Freo, hence the search for parking near the uni is annoying. Four students in one car instead of just the driver would take some 75% of student cars out of the West End.
I am a big fan of Fremantle’s Notre Dame University but believe the significance of the university to the Fremantle economy has almost slipped unnoticed under the radar of many in our community with some complaining the uni, like every other educational institution in Australia, does not pay council rates.
What UNDA has done is building a very strong brand with high academic acclaim and student satisfaction in the historic West End of Fremantle that attracts more than 6,000 students a year to the campus who are being looked after by around 1,700 staff and lecturers. That is over 7,700 people buying coffee and meals in Freo! It is estimated that the students alone contribute $ 1 million a year to the cafe industry.
When we talk about economic revitalisation we mention a possible 1,200 Housing Department staff relocating to Kings Square, 160 staff the Mediterranean Shipping Company in Cliff Street has brought in and some 200 people now working at the new Atwell Arcade building. That is all great but it also shows how important Notre Dame is for Freo’s hospitality and retail as it alone brings five times more people into Fremantle than those three examples combined.
Most cafes in Fremantle’s West End would not survive without the university, as they and tourism create the numbers that make these small businesses viable. Together with the weekend attraction of Fremantle to suburban visitors this helps make cafes successful all week.
So when you think that Notre Dame does not contribute enough to Fremantle, think about all the people who have jobs in cafes mainly because they get supported by students and staff of the uni, and also have a look at how well they look after the beautiful heritage buildings they occupy.
The one major disappointment for me is the lack of student accommodation in Fremantle and the exodus of students late afternoons. I hope the City of Fremantle and Notre Dame University will collaborate on improving that. What about COF offering UNDA a block of land at the Knutsford Street workshops site for a 49-year peppercorn rent or so, where UNDA can build a student apartment block close to public transport and only a ten-minute bike ride to uni?
Notre Dame does tours of the campus where one can see the stunning adaptive re-use of the heritage buildings, and while there keep an eye out for some outstanding Aboriginal art work on the walls. The free tours are being held every Friday morning. Contact UNDA for information.
I really wanted the Abraham Day at Fremantle Notre Dame University to connect with me. I believed listening to a Rabbi, a Sheikh and an Archbishop would show me that the religious institutions have caught up with reality and the 21st century, but I walked out disappointed and feel that this was an opportunity lost.
UNDA Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond, who had the brilliant idea for Abraham Day, said that the day was to celebrate what we have in common, and all three speakers commented on that.
The Catholic Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costello said there needs to be a paradigm shift and religions not seeing each other as rivals and competitors, and that people from all religions are our brothers and sisters.
While the differences between the religions are real we all believe in the one God, not many Gods!
Rabbi Dovid Freilich said that the uniqueness of Abraham was to do justice and righteousness. We are not to sacrifice our sons and human beings, not even for God. We need to show love and respect for those with other beliefs.
I noted down for both speakers that there was too much preaching going on and disappointingly not much connection to the now.
Sheikh Muhammad Agherdien was the last speaker and while the two speakers prior to him had also spoken longer than the allocated 15 minutes, the Sheikh took it to a whole new level and kept preaching and quoting the Koran on and on, without making much of a connection with the present.
That disappointed me personally as I was hoping to hear something of substance from him, since I am keen to learn what Islam’s relevance in our modern society is. That also applies to Christianity and Judaism.
For the Sheikh to call for the return to ancient wisdom because that is where the answers unblemished by time are, is unrealistic and explains why religions have failed so miserably in the modern world.
Because of the long speeches there was not a lot of time for the Q&A, which was a shame as I wanted to ask all three leaders why most religions have failed to spread God’s message of love, compassion and tolerance.
The Rabbi said we needed to bring heaven down to earth, but instead religion has brought hell to earth with religious wars for 2000 years.
Maybe the failure of the religious institutions has partly to do with the fact that some religious leaders arrogantly behave like God instead of being God’s messenger. That does not include any of the speakers present at the UNDA Abraham Day event who were very human and likeable with a ready smile!
I very much liked the public speaker who pleaded for more humanitarianism and asked the three leaders if they would be willing to unrobe so their differences would not be so visible, as religion has made the world divisive.
I hope UNDA will continue with Abraham Day and other multi-faith days as universities should be leaders in this debate. It just needs a bit more structure and less preaching.
These are my very personal observations and impressions and I am sure that many who attended the event have totally different views, so let’s hear them because we need to debate these things in our community!
My friends at the Fremantle LANCE HOLT School are holding an OPEN DAY this Saturday September 17 from 10-12 am.
The independent community school offers an integrated program for children from 3-year-old Kindi to Year Six and is highly regarded by Freo parents who love the relaxed atmosphere at the school.
The school is at 10 Henry Street in the historic West End of town and was established in 1970 by Lance Holt.
I believe next Tuesday’s Abraham: Our Father in Faith event at Fremantle Notre Dame University will be very interesting to listen to, even for an Atheist like myself, as the three speakers are from different religions.
Speakers will be Archbishop Timothy Costello, Rabbi Dovid Freilich and Sheikh Muhammad Agherdien, so there will be a broad range of views to listen to.
There will be a Q&A session after the speakers, so come and ask the hard questions politely.
The event is on at 2.30 pm on Tuesday September 13 in the Tannock Hall of UNDA, corner Cliff and Croke streets, opposite the Fremantle Herald.
The ARTE RICCA 2016 art show opens this Friday September 9 from 6-8 pm at the Beehive Montessori School at Curtin Avenue, Mosman Park, just past Fremantle’s Leighton Beach.
There is a large list of highly-regarded WA artists on the list of exhibitors, such as Alessandra Rossi, Annette Orr, Ben Joel, Eveline Kotai, Giles Hohnen, Jillian Green, Jon Denaro, Marrie Hobbs, Olga Cironis, Paul Moncrieff, Penny Coss, and many more, so all you art lovers, and more importantly art buyers! go and have a look.
The exhibition is also open on September 10, 11, 12, 16, 17 and 18.
The 30% commission becomes a tax-deductible donation to the school for the artists, and it funds the school’s Artist in Residence program.
Arte Ricca supports Beehive Montessori’s Capital Gifting Program, and this year proceeds from the exhibition will contribute to the school’s Artist-in-Residence Program.
The Fremantle Notre Dame University is operating a pop-up clinic to give free legal advise this Saturday September 3, operated by alumni and experienced staff of the School of Law.
All issues are covered from family law, to criminal, commercial, mental health and general law. Sessions will be for 45 minutes.
It will run from 9 am till 5 pm. Make an appointment on 9433 0745 to get a free consultation.
This very impressive full-page advertisement of Notre Dame University in the West Australian caught my eye this morning, as it looks like the promotion of an Oscar winning movie. The Lunchpack of Notre Dame maybe because the Fremantle uni students can enjoy all the quirky cafes and shops in town?
Notre Dame is no doubt a very popular university in Australia and Fremantle as is shown in the Good Universities Guide of 2017 again.
Notre Dame University received five-star ratings for:
* Overall quality of education
* Teaching quality
* Learning engagement
* Student support
* Skills development
* Graduate employment
* Median graduate salary
I love having Notre Dame in Fremantle as it has significantly revitalised the historic West End of Fremantle, and they are a very nice organisation to deal with, as I know from my own experience with them.
My friends at Fremantle NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY are holding their annual Open Day today till 3 pm, so go and have a look. There is live music in one of the courtyards and it is always a very relaxed, friendly and very Freo day.
I went just after they opened at 10 am and there were already a lot of parents and young people talking to staff, academics and students, so her some photo impressions of the day.