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Connecting to culture

'Kaya, wanju' (hello, welcome)…a Nyoongar greeting to celebrate NAIDOC Week with its theme this year of ‘our languages matter’. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and every July, communities around Australia organise events and activities to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So 'alliwah' (look out) for NAIDOC Week celebrations in Fremantle from 2– 9 July.

We’ve collected a few more ideas to connect with culture in Walyalup (Fremantle) throughout the seasons of Makuru (June/July) and Djilba (August/September):

Language classes

There is no better way to understand a culture than to learn the language. Nyoongar is the language spoken by people of the Walyalup area and is one of many Australian Aboriginal languages that is endangered. The Meeting Place in South Fremantle runs regular beginner classes.

Manjaree walking trail | Arthur Head Reserve (free)

'Kya Wanju Nichia Nyoongar wardan bidi, winjalla gnulla kaatidj bal gwabbanijow.' This is the Nyoongar coastal trail, where our knowledge is put right.

A self guided walking trail is part of the Nyoongar coastal trail which stretches across Western Australia. The Manjarree walking trail consists of five information points describing Aboriginal history of the area.

Fremantle Indigenous Heritage Tour

Take a journey to the time of the Wadjuk, the traditional custodians of Fremantle, Perth and the Swan River. Hear the ancient Dreamtime story of the Nyoongar people, follow the story of Yagan (Wadjuk Warrior) and Midgegooroo (Wadjuk Elder of the Beeliar people).

Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) (free)

The WACC is located on a significant traditional camping and trading place as well as in the area where Captain Fremantle arrived and settlement began in 1829 and where Whadjuk Nyoongars shouted "Warra Warra" (bad, bad!) to European arrival. The centre exhibits local Nyoongar artist’s work and offers programs and classes run by Aboriginal people.

Weaving workshop

Be inspired by traditional culture to create your own artwork, learn traditional Nyoongar weaving using different natural fibres or make your own jewellery using bush nuts. Art classes run at Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre each term.

Events coming up

King of Hearts | 17 Jun–2 July, Moore’s Building Contemporary Art Gallery (free)

Kings of the Hearts is the first solo exhibition by proud Ballardong Noongar artist Greg Barr. Having recently completed a residency at FAC, Barr has developed a unique blending technique using acrylics, resin, pastels, watercolours and oil crayons to create abstract and emotive works.

Yinjaa–Barni Artists 2017 | Japingka Gallery | 26 May–30 June (free)

Yinjaa-Barni artists from the Pilbara region of Western Australia tell the traditional stories of their homelands along the Fortescue River. Their paintings tell of the great Marrga or creation era when the land was formed from the smoke of the ancestor’s fires. Also worth seeing is Warakuna Artists & Lorna Fencer running from 21 July–31 August.

NAIDOC Week Launch 2 July | Hilton PCYC (free)

Family friendly launch, filled with music, fashion, food and a special damper cook off. A Fashion Showcase produced by the Noongar Arts Aboriginal Corporation Western Australia will be held with a catwalk show of their most recent collection.

NAIDOC Week word search 2–9 July (free)

By the time you’ve completed this word search you’ll know all the Nyoongar seasons plus some basic greetings. Bonus is the chance to win one of 5 double passes to Winterworld on the Esplanade Reserve.

Sean Choolburra–live in the heart of Hilton | 7 July

A friendly evening of high energy comedy and dance from one of Australia’s funniest comedians, Sean Choolburra performs at Fremantle PCYC. Bookings essential, tickets $10.

Ed
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Good nooks

A cosy snug, a wee dram, a good book. Is there a better way to pass a winter’s afternoon in Freo? Here’s our picks.

Nook: The Local Hotel
Book: Fremantle Football, The Origins 1885-1904. By Dr Norman Ashton
(New Edition Bookshop)

Colloquially known as Helen’s Bar after a former regular, this cosy snug has night cap written all over it: fire place, Chesterfields, plush sofas.

If it’s game day, the contest will be on the front bar’s big screen. More reflective moments can be spent in the cloistered surrounds of the Whiskey Bar, cradling a single malt Yamazaki and–if you really can’t get enough AFL–rifling through a book detailing 20 glory years of football in Fremantle. Colloquially known as Helen’s Bar after a former regular, this cosy snug has night cap written all over it: fire place, Chesterfields, plush sofas.

Nook: Miss Chat’s Bar and Kitchen
Book: In the Days of Tall Ships. By RA Fletcher
(Bill Campbell Books)

It’s an old world bohemian vibe at this West End establishment. Inspired by its namesake Miss Chatelaine– “a well heeled adventuress with a fondness for trinket collecting” –the room brims with warm wood and curios, and the bar reflects Miss Chat’s love for wickedly good cocktails. Since we’re casting back in time, order an Old Fashioned and leaf through the photos and yarns in this ode to the 19th century Sailing Ship.

Nook: Little Creatures Next Door
Book: Batavia’s Graveyard. By Mike Dash
(The Chart & Map Shop)

Pick a blustery day. Pull up a plush lounge overlooking the harbour. Order rum. Let your high perch put you in a maritime frame of mind, and sink your teeth into the true story of the mad heretic who led history’s bloodiest mutiny, just up the WA coast. Interest piqued? You’re a brisk walk from the WA Shipwrecks Museum, where the Batavia’s original timbers are on display.

Nook: Mrs Brown Bar 
Hook: Culture: A Memory Game
(Kate & Abel @ MANY 2.0)

The retro kids book menu covers are a clue; so is the magnetic poetry wall. There’s a sense of play in this quirky watering hole, and it’s not uncommon to see people imbibing with Connect Four or Backgammon for company. You might like to BYO memory game–this one showcases iconic works of art, architecture, design and literature. Everyone wins: it’s a walk through of some of the world’s greatest ideas.

Cosy up in the side bar of the building that once housed Fremantle’s first 75 convicts, and consider how far we’ve come. 

Nook: Ball & Chain
Book: Eyrie. By Tim Winton.
(Elizabeth’s Bookshop)

There’s history in here–including a rusty ball and chain at the bar–but the feel is both classic and modern: honey-hued leather arm chairs, warm wood, copper bench tops and a spirit wall for added warmth. Cosy up in the side bar of the building that once housed Fremantle’s first 75 convicts, and consider how far we’ve come. Winton evokes the streetscapes and the warts-and-all temperament that is modern Freo.

Nook: Moondyne Joe’s Pub & Bistro 
Book: Moondyne Joe: The Man and The Myth. By Ian Elliot.
(Fremantle Arts Centre)

Embrace a bit of wild bushranger spirit at this salt-of-the-earth pub on Freo’s fringe. You might spy a few characters in the sports bar channelling Moondyne Joe’s wily, never-give-up attitude. The Governor’s Bar offers a more intimate space to dip into a tome about the colourful bushranger who’s the pub’s namesake. Escaping from Fremantle Prison more than once? That deserves a raised glass.

What’s your favourite good nook in Freo? Share it @fremantlestory

Ed
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Fremantle vintage shopping trail

Fremantle has the highest number of vintage, retro and ‘op’ shops per square metre! You’ll find the stalwart in a cluster around High Street East & Josephson Streets.

In recent years a wave of curated and specialist vintage & retro stores have opened across the city. Current hot spots are in places flagged for redevelopment in the next couple of years including Woolstores Shopping Centre and the space now occupied by MANY 2.0. Right now there is an abundance of shops across Fremantle.

Find inspiration from local fashion bloggers and stylists to start your vintage expedition #vintagefreo #vintageoutfit #truevintage #vintageinteriors

Sourcing classic individual or one off pieces made from quality materials without the need for too much rummaging has made the curated vintage store big business.

There’s a huge production behind the scenes sourcing stock for these shops; from hours digging through op shops right through to importing stock from Japan, Korea and the US. You’ll pay a premium but the sifting and digging has been done for you by someone with an experienced eye.

Celebrities, fashionistas, bloggers and social media are also fuelling vintage style with vintage clothing now influencing fashion trends. Dedicated vintage shoppers are on the lookout for that special find to complete an outfit.

Under 25’s are loving the 90’s casual vibe while the over 35’s are looking for authentic pieces from the 50’s and 60’s.

There’s also a market for restyling and re working vintage finds to appeal to a modern market–right now the hottest trend is in denim. Think appliqued jackets, overalls, aprons and denim cut-offs. Find inspiration from local fashion bloggers and stylists to start your vintage expedition #vintagefreo #vintageoutfit #truevintage #vintageinteriors

Celebrities, fashionistas, bloggers and social media are also fuelling vintage style with vintage clothing now influencing fashion trends.

The Explore Fremantle vintage shopping trail takes you on a self-guided walking tour of the city to find all things vintage, retro and one of a kind; from fashion and accessories, books and vinyl, right through to interiors. We recommend allowing a whole day and planning for a few coffee + cake pit stops along the way.

Happy hunting and don’t forget to share your posts on social @Fremantlestory.

Ed
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The ideal Mother's Day

So Dads, you’ve got it all wrong… what Mums really want for Mother’s Day isn’t just flowers and chocolate. It’s time out… luxurious time out! Here's how to to plan a perfect day for the Mum in your life.

1. Wake up first

Creep out of bed, make sure those kids don’t make a noise and get them out of the house!  Ahhhh a child free sleep in…. amazing. 

Extra points if you leave the latest edition of our favourite mag next to the bed. You can pick one up from Kate & Abel, Compendium or Parkside Newsagency.

When you return it should be with a coffee and something delicious from one of Freo's boutique bakery's like Abhi’s, Wild Bakery, Lawleys or The Mill Bakehouse. A takeaway breakfast from Ootong & Lincoln, Grumpy Sailor, High Street Dispensary, Short Black Sheep or Jac and the Bean rates highly too.  Or organise Deliveroo to drop off breakfast from Ohana Acai Bar or Acai Brothers while you are out. 

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2. Hand over the credit card

Drop her off in Fremantle with the credit card (and no questions about the bank statement please).

If you know what she loves you can pre book something, otherwise talk to her bestie or better still, leave her to decide - just print off this blog post and hand it over with the credit card.  

Swanky lunch options include Bread in Common, Propeller, Il Cibo, Little Lefroy’s, Coast Port Beach, Bib & Tucker, Canvas or The Mantle Harvester.

Try cocktails from Esplanade Hotel Fremantle (bottomless Bellini brunch sounds perfect!), Strange Company, Sweetwater,  Miss Chat's, Mrs Browns, The Local Hotel, Percy Flint, Whisper Wine Bar or Who’s Your Mumma.

Relax with a massage or treatment at Keturah, Flirty Gertie or Djurra (or check beauty and wellbeing listings).

Browse the shops along Market Street and the West End; Kartique, Remedy, Common Ground, Morrison and New Edition Books or Wray Ave and South Freo; Ginger Morris, Pekho, South of the Border, Ivy & Isabel and Corner Store

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3. Around the house

While Mum's out enjoying this leisurely afternoon it’s time for you to get busy.

Look after the kids, clean the house, do the washing, prepare dinner... where to pick up the groceries?

If you head to North Fremantle the kids can play in the Gordon Dedman Park and you can pick up food and drinks from The Black Truffle and Old Bridge Cellars.

In South Fremantle pick up drinks from The Freo Doctor, groceries from Galati & Sons, and flowers from The Flower Hound.  

If you prefer a one stop shop try Gilbert's Fresh Market in Hilton.  

And isn’t there some little job that she's been gently reminding you about for a while?  Hang up that picture,  kill that spider… you know what it is.  

When you’re all done order an UberBLACK to bring her home.

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4. Family dinner

Kill two birds with one stone. Invite your Mum around and tell her to bring a bag of washing for you to do.  Enjoy a leisurely home cooked meal as a family, showering all the Mums in your life with love, affection and phrases about how fabulous they are. Wrap it up by putting the kids to bed, cleaning up dinner dishes and letting her choose the movie. 

Amazing…. best partner / son / Dad EVER. 

Ed
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#MyFreoStory is your Freo story

We all have a Freo story. From the locals raised in the port city, to the live music lovers or Sunday brunch devotees on the strip, locals and visitors alike have a story to share about Freo. And so #MyFreoStory video competition was born.

In early 2016, the #MyFreoStory competition was launched to encourage people to tell their own Freo story, with 40 very unique and heartfelt videos submitted. This included a day in the life of local Freo dog, following a unicyclist’s journey around town to the home of WA Circus, watching a time-lapse artist weave a large red basket around themselves in prominent Fremantle landmarks and Freo-inspired sea shanty “Fremantle, The Pride of WA”. 

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After much deliberation, 9 entries were shortlisted to determine the overall winner, Shakey’s Story. The first #MyFreoStory winning entry by Oliver Oldroyd and Stevie James Smith depicted the moving true story of a local artist and his strong connection to the Freo art scene and local music legend Bon Scott.

We asked the producer Oliver Oldroyd what motivated him and his cousin to enter “We love living here in Freo. There's such a good creative vibe and it's great to be part of it. We love making films and it was also important for us to get Shakey’s name out there and get him recognised for the talented artist he is.”

Another entry by a 16 year old student from Perth Modern School, Radheya Jegatheva was “My Journey Through Freo”, voted on the youtube.com/fremantlestory as the best film in our people’s choice category. This young film maker gave us a view of all the things he loves in Freo by filming on his mum’s iPhone.

We asked Radheya what motivated him to enter “A bit of everything to be honest, but one of the main messages that I wanted to convey through my video was that Freo is a city that can cater for all sorts of people of all ages - and that there was so much to do and so much to see.”

After viewing all of last year’s great films we couldn’t get enough, so in late March we launched the second 2017 #MyFreoStory video competition and are waiting in anticipation for the new stories.

If you want to check out last year’s films or submit your own #MyFreoStory video visit fremantlestory.com.au/myfreostory. Competition closes 22 May 2017.

Ed
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Ten FREE school holiday activities in Fremantle

Here's ten free activities for kids to do in the April school holidays. It’s a chance to put away the devices and experience the fresh salty air and wide open spaces in Fremantle. We’ll wager there’ll be a few you didn’t know about–feel free to spread the word.

1. Free wheeling free bike hire
This free bike hire service with bikes for adults and kids (8+ years) operates from the Fremantle Visitor Centre in Kings Square. Bikes can be used anywhere in the Fremantle area. There are a limited number of bikes available for hire so arrive early to avoid disappointment.


Image: Booyeembara Park, cnr Stevens & Montreal Street Fremantle

3. Take a spin at the Esplanade Youth Plaza
Pack up the kid’s skateboards, scooters or roller skates and spend an afternoon at one of the most popular skate facilities in the metropolitan area. There’s also places to try ping pong, rock climbing, slacklining and parkour and the playground adjacent to the plaza has swings and a giant climbing frame. Bring a picnic or grab a bite to eat from nearby cafés and restaurants all within walking distance.

4. Behind the scenes tour at WA Shipwrecks Museum
For the older kids every Wednesday and Sunday WA Shipwrecks Museum offers a free and exclusive behind the scenes tour of the WA Shipwrecks Museum through maritime archaeology and conservation works areas. Bookings essential. On the second Tuesday of every month entry to WA Maritime Museum is free (the next one falls Tuesday 11 April).

5. Freo Easter Hunt
Pick up a #Freo_Easter Hunt map from participating businesses or the local paper from Saturday 8 April and start hunting for special eggs in shop windows around Fremantle city centre. Collect all the numbers, crack the code and you can enter the prize draw.

6. Junior Fishing Clinic
Recfishwest is offering a free SunSmart fishing clinic at Victoria Quay in Fremantle on Thursday 13 April. Kids do need to be supervised by a parent or guardian and will learn fishing skills like casting and fish handling and how to fish sustainably.

7. Firing of the cannon at the Round House
Opened in 1831, Round House is the oldest public building in Western Australia. It’s open every day between 10.30 and 3.30 (except Christmas Day and Good Friday). Hear the story of why the cannon is fired every day at 1 pm – visitors can even apply to act as the honorary gunner!

8. Fremantle International Street Arts Festival 13-17 April
It really is Australia’s biggest and best street arts festival (if not the world!) and if you live in Perth Western Australia it’s right on your doorstep. This year, for the first time, there will be performances from Good Friday right through to Easter Monday from lunch time well into the evening. Download the program to plan what you’d like to see or just rock up on the day and let the atmosphere sweep you along. It’s beautiful, engaging, hilarious and simply a fabulous day out with the family. 

Fremantle International Street Arts Festival 2017
Image: Hell's Cocky's will be performing at this year's Fremantle International Street Arts Festival 13-17 April

9. Self guided walking trails
Explore iconic Fremantle attractions, history, cultural heritage and the arts with one of the Explore Fremantle walking trails. There are seven trails to choose from including cafés, a general discovery trail and heritage highlights. The trails work on iPhone and Android devices (you can connect to FREBytes free wifi in the CBD).

10. Play giant chess in Kings Square
Almost directly under the newly unveiled Fremantle Town Hall is a giant marble chess board. You'll find the chess pieces stored under the ‘kings bench’ near the Moreton Bay fig tree. If the bench is locked pop into the Fremantle Visitor Centre and they'll open it up for you.

Late addition: kids (of all ages) will love checking out the giant fish tanks at Cicerellos!

All of the above are free which might leave some money in your pocket for a morning or afternoon treat at one of Freo’s cafés. There’s a few favourites including a milkshake and a pie from Culley’s Tearooms, fish & chips at Fishing Boat Harbour or the nature and art hub for kids (and their grown ups) at Moore and Moore Café on Henry Street.

If you are looking for more bright ideas, Fremantle story publishes an official school holiday guide full of classes, workshops and special offers that will help you keep the kids busy all through the holidays.

Ed
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Fremantle | top 10 things to do

Okay, so you’ve got 24 hours and you want to know what to see in Fremantle? The team at the Fremantle Visitor Centre meet and greet hundreds of thousands of people every year so they have a pretty good idea of what’s on everyone’s bucket list.

1. Cappuccino Strip
From the corner of Bannister Street to Parry Street, the street officially known as South Terrace is renowned as the ‘Cappuccino Strip’. It’s also the perfect place for a spot of people watching as you sit in the sunshine and enjoy the life and colour that is Fremantle.

2. Fishing Boat Harbour
Home to the city’s recreational and commercial fishing fleet, Fishing Boat Harbour is connected by boardwalk flanked with cafés, restaurants and a brewery! It’s a favourite destination to sample fresh seafood (and piping hot chips).

3. Fremantle Arts Centre
Housed within an iconic heritage building and beautiful grounds, Fremantle Arts Centre is one of Australia's leading arts organisations. The impressive convict built arts centre dates back to 1864 when it was the first purpose-built ‘lunatic’ asylum in Western Australia. It has since been a women’s home, a naval base during WW1 and WW2 and a technical college before opening as Fremantle Arts Centre in 1972.

4. Fremantle Markets
Located at the southern end of the Cappuccino Strip, Fremantle Markets is housed in a grand Victorian-era heritage building that was constructed in 1902 and completely restored in 1975 and then added to the Western Australian Register of Heritage Places. It takes up almost the whole block with over 150 stalls under one roof.

5. Fremantle Prison
Fremantle Prison is the largest and most intact convict built prison in Australia and is Western Australia’s only World Heritage Listed Building. It was continuously used as a place of incarceration for almost 140 years. The prison was decommissioned as a maximum-security gaol in 1991. Without doubt, the highlight of a visit to the prison is the entertaining tours conducted by experienced tour guides who bring the rich folklore and stories of the prison to life.

6. Little Creatures Brewery
The chubby cupid with his bow on the Little Creatures label is the symbol of this iconic Fremantle boutique brewery. Set on the waterfront at Fishing Boat Harbour, and in an old warehouse that was previously a crocodile farm, Little Creatures brews a variety of award winning craft beers and ales on-site.

7. WA Maritime Museum
Located on Victoria Quay, the WA Maritime Museum includes galleries exploring Western Australia’s relationship with the sea, past, present and future. The museum is home to several true-life exhibitions; in one enormous space is the America’s Cup winning yacht, Australia II. Also inside the museum is Parry Endeavour, the yacht that carried Jon Sanders on his record-breaking triple circumnavigation of the globe. Next door is the Oberon-class Australian submarine HMAS Ovens.

8. Round House
The Round House is the oldest public building in Western Australia and stands at the western end of High Street on Arthur Head, a high promontory overlooking Bathers Beach and the Indian Ocean. The twelve-sided building was purpose-built as a gaol in 1831.

9. Rottnest Island
While technically not actually in Fremantle, O’Connor’s Landing on Victoria Quay, is the main departure point for a 25 minute ferry ride Perth’s favourite holiday destination of Rottnest Island.

10. Tall ships
In 1606, the little Dutch ship Duyfken sailed from Indonesia in search of gold and spices to trade. Heading south-east, she explored and charted parts of present-day Papua New Guinea before making landfall on the northern coast of the Australian continent. The replica of the Duyfken (the name means 'Little Dove') has its home port in Fremantle and is berthed in Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour behind Little Creatures Brewery.
Another tall ship berthed in Fremantle is Leeuwin II sail–training ship. The Leeuwin is a 55 metre-long barquentine with three masts that carry more than 810 square metres of sail berthed at Victoria Quay near the Maritime Museum.

Tell us what would be on your top 10 list of things to do in Fremantle!

Ed
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