Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on June 12, 2014

The FREMANTLE NETWORK is a good initiative that was started by Rachel Pemberton before she became a Fremantle Councillor. The idea is to have a speaker or two who share inspirational stories on 3 0r 4 occasions a year and for the community to network. FN is now being organised by the very active Chamber of Commerce and last night at Kidogo Arthouse we had the pleasure of listening toDylan Smith, CEO of the Fremantle Foundation, and Pat Ryan of Dismantle.

Dylan told us the Foundation had awarded $ 130,000 in grants last year and helped many organisations, including Dismantle. This year their focus will be on mental health and wellbeing. He said the Foundation was still learning how to best serve the community, but it relied on donations and needed philanthropists. The Impact 100 initiative, where 100 people pledge thousand dollars each, had been successful and will continue.

The Freo Foundation CEO urged people to consider that even the smallest changes can have a huge impact and that we can all make a difference. It was disturbing to hear that only ten percent of urban Aboriginal children participate in organised sport, because the challenges for them are just too big. Equally disturbing was Dylan Smith’s claim that women and girls are still the most disadvantaged group in our society.

Pat Ryan of Dismantle talked about the huge success rate the organisation has with supporting youth, and that 75 % of the kids they had worked with are now doing full-time education. Dismantle was much more than about bikes, but getting social outcomes and teaching life skills. They support nearly 200 kids a year over ten week periods.

Dismantle now also has a mobile bike repair shop the Bike Doctor and Pat asked the Fremantle community to support them by getting their bikes repaired at their workshop on the Esplanade, as that will raise funds to support more children. For those who don’t know, Dismantle is next to the Youth Plaza skatepark.

The two stories last evening reminded me of the passionate talk by Griff Longley about Midnight Basketball some months ago. It is quite clear that grassroots work achieves better outcomes than huge government administrations. It are the people and the passion, willing to give time and respect to those who need and deserve our help, that make a huge difference. It is inspiring to see so much dedication and to feel the sincerity of people like Pat, Dylan and Griff, and Fremantle is a better place for it. Thank you!


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