While the City of Fremantle has been contemplating how to activate historic Arthur’s Head, long time occupants are already doing it well and appropriately.
Yesterday we had a huge crowd at the Roundhouse for the Nyoongar smoking ceremony and for the last weeks we had sell-out performances inside the Roundhouse in the evenings for the Out of the Cave Fringe Festival show. See the photo above I took last night at 7.45 pm.
Great also that Glen Cowans opened his underwater photography gallery next to the Roundhouse early at 9 am yesterday during the smoking ceremony!
Down the road at J Shed the number 2, 3 and 4 galleries with Greg James, Janet Nixon, Jina Lee, Lesley Barret, Jenny Dawson, Peter Zuvela, Ross Potter and Ellen McCarthy are all involved in activation. Sculptures are on the reserve, exhibitions are organised, there are programs for school children during the holidays and a real engagement with the community.
Interesting that one Freo Councillor said to me yesterday that when the Roundhouse puts new displays up we need to acknowledge the Nyoongar people, and that is already planned. But we are waiting for the City to put power into the Roundhouse so we can start applying for grants and it would also be a very good idea for the City to allocate a substantial amount of money for that to support the volunteer organisation. We are looking after over 130,000 visitors a year, seven days a week and only close on Good Friday and Christmas Day, so we are a significant tourist destination.
At the smoking ceremony four of the elderly Roundhouse guides came in very early to support the event. Pretty bloody good I reckon, and two of them were on duty every night for the theatre performance!
The W.A. Nyoongar First Nation people held a major cleansing smoking ceremony at the Fremantle Roundhouse and Bathers Beach this Saturday morning.
The very moving event attracted around 1,300 people to Arthur’s Head and made me quite emotional.
This was an event about Nyoongars and Wadjelas moving forward together and left me with real hope for the future.
This was not anti Australia Day but pro Australia. It was not about victims and perpetrators but about real reconciliation with mutual respect and about considering an alternative day to celebrate Australia.
One Day in Freo continues at the Esplanade today from 2 pm and from 4 pm with a concert with Mama Kin, John Butler and Dan Sultan.
Join in and spread the love!
Non commercial organisations are free to use these photos. Just drop and drag. Credit: Roel Loopers.
P.S. Unfortunately I won’t be able to take photos of the Esplanade event as I will be on guide duty at the Roundhouse for the Fringe Festival show there this evening.
Western Australia’s oldest public building the historic Roundhouse goal at Fremantle’s Arthur Head took on a whole different look last night when the dress rehearsals for the FREO ROYALE fringe festival show Out Of The Cave went under way.
The play takes a raw and honest look at youth culture, the beautiful and brutal, the drugs, alcohol, relationships, and the ever looming threat of sliding down into the dark from where there is no return.
I liked the show a lot and the young actors did a splendid job, so I hope the Freo community will head out to the far west of town from Saturday on to see the show. It is well worth it!
Check out http://www.freoroyale.com.au for information about all the shows.
Historic Fremantle Roundhouse, the oldest public building in Western Australia, is extremely popular with visitors from all over the world this week.
By 1.30 pm today, so after only three hours of being open, we already had over 900 visitors through the door. Yesterday they had well over 900 visitors and the day before just under 1,000 visitors.
Over 100 people watched the firing of the cannon today.
It is an amazing effort by the mainly elderly volunteer tour guides to keep the Roundhouse open every day of the year but for Christmas day and Good Friday.
Next year the Roundhouse will be part of the Fringe Festival with performances in the old gaol, so stay tuned.
The volunteer tour guides operate on donations from guests only so if there are corporate sponsors out there which would like to donate, don’t be shy and contact the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides!
It is all Ho Ho Ho at the historic Fremantle Roundhouse today with volunteer guide Ken dressing up as Father Christmas while guides Phil, Frank, Robert, Steve and James dressed up as Santa’s not so little helpers.
By the way, Ken drives all the way from Darling Downs every Friday to be a tourist guide at the Roundhouse!
I am getting more and more convinced that the lunatics are running the asylum and that officialdom, red tape, and nanny state patronising have taken over our once sensible world of common sense.
After the great news of the state heritage listing of the Fremantle West End this morning I walked in to the Roundhouse to discover two bloody green exit signs that totally spoil any photos taken of the part of the building where the warders lived and that give a great view to High Street.
We now also have three, yes THREE! fire extinguishers in the Roundhouse that is 95 percent built with limestone and only has some small wooden ceilings.
This is ridiculous officialdom in a building that only has one exit and where fire danger is next to nil. It would also be safer to stay inside the building at the back wall if fire broke out in the entry.
This is rubbish City of Fremantle and these signs need to be removed in our State’s most significant and oldest public building!
Brainless idiots are out and about again and have slammed a a rock through one of the floodlights at the Fremantle Roundhouse on Arthur Head just under the gun deck mast. While at it they also threw a lot of rocks from the cliff face onto the path below which could have caused serious harm to people.
Along the dune path some solar lights have also been damaged again.
Five hundred visitors came through the Roundhouse today, a sign that the season has changed and it’s warming up.
If there is one single thing at the City of Fremantle that annoys and frustrates me most it is the lack of consistency in decision making.
Yesterday I almost blew up when I was told the Roundhouse volunteer guides were informed the City has not allowed for $ 10,000 in this year’s budget to accommodate power supply to the Roundhouse, so that the $ 200,000 interpretive and interactive display project can get started and funding can be applied for from Lotterywest and elsewhere.
Last year the guides spent $ 30,000 on designers for the new displays and all would be ready to go but for the lack of electricity. ($ 20,000 came from Lotterywest, $ 5,000 from COF and $ 5,000 from the Guides).
If you want a solar parklet in Wray Avenue that lights up at night in a street no one frequents after dark because the cafes and shops are closed, the City has $ 20,000 readily available under its One Planet funding, the same if you want to grow mushrooms out of recycled coffee, or anything else that got the word sustainable, solar, wind, or green in its application..
The City is happy to put $ 200,000 a year in the Walyalup Centre at Arthur Head that has failed to attract many people and it is happy to subsidise Sunday painters in two cottages at Captain’s Lane, but one of the most highly visible and visited tourist destinations of Fremantle can’t secure a mere $ 10,000 to make a visit to the Roundhouse modern, interactive, multi-lingual and even more memorable.
We have heard for far too many years that the City of Fremantle wants to activate Arthur Head and the West End of Town, but the successful brand Roundhouse that gets over 120,000 visitors a year- we count every single one who enters!- can’t get a tiny bit of funding to put power inside. No worries though to accommodate an absolutely inappropriate tavern at J Shed, COF will grant your delivery trucks access through the historic Whalers Tunnel, or along the coastal tourist path at Bathers Beach, or even put a lift down Mrs Trivett Lane.
Fremantle City has no qualms constantly giving concessions, rent reductions, etc. to highly profitable events on the Esplanade, but a non for profit volunteer organisation that keeps the oldest public building in WA open every day of the year with mainly elderly volunteers, can get stuffed and wait a while, so that the costs will rise until the project becomes unaffordable.
So what if the heritage budget does not have the $ 10,000? It is not a heritage issue but a tourist one! Tourism is a huge industry in WA and the highest employer in the state, even above the mining industry, so give the Guides funding from the economic and marketing department budget, or whatever. Be flexible because we provide a service to visitors to Fremantle that costs the City next to nothing. The annual salary of one single director at COF would pay for the power and all the new displays, so maybe it’s time to do some pruning. It’s spring soon.
Sometimes I get so furious that I want to run into the Townhall, grab a few people, kick arse and yell GET YOUR BLOODY ACT TOGETHER AND YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT!!!!
No criticism, just hoping the City of Fremantle will be able to repair these fences at the back of the historic Roundhouse asap as they are a public health hazard.
Hundreds of people, and a lot of the kids and school students, walk along this path every day. The rusty and sharp chicken wire has come detached from the wooden fences and sticks out and is dangerous to those who walk by.
Could we also see the return of a needle container as I yet again picked up a used drug needle just next to the public toilets at Arthur Head this morning. There used to be one of those safe needle containers on the wall of that toilet, but when I looked for it this morning it was no longer there.
Thanks you Freo City!