Reconciliation | City of Fremantle

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Acknowledgement from the City 

‘The City of Fremantle acknowledges the Whadjuk people as the traditional owners of the greater Walyalup area and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still important to the living Whadjuk people today. And respect the Whadjuk people's spiritual relationship with their country.

We pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

Five Dimensions of Reconciliation

Race Relations
Equality and Equity
Institutional Integrity
Unity & Historical Acceptance

Visit the Reconciliation Australia website for more information.

Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan 

Our vision for reconciliation is to create an inclusive, caring community where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience the same life outcomes as other Australians, and where their special place in our nation and our City is recognised. 

Read the full Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-22.

Aboriginal Engagement Plan 

The purpose of the Aboriginal Engagement Plan is to build stronger relationships with the Aboriginal community and provide opportunities for Aboriginal people to contribute to the City’s decision-making processes.

Specific objectives of the plan are to implement best practice community engagement to:

  • Inform decisions, by providing opportunities for Aboriginal people to contribute to the City’s decision-making process.
  • Build the capacity of the City and Aboriginal community to engage effectively on issues of shared importance.
  • Strengthen relationships, by building new relationships and improving existing relationships between the City and the Aboriginal community.

The key underlying principle of the plan (illustrated below) is to establish two separate dialogues, including one for land and heritage matters with the representative native title body (currently SWALSC) and another for community matters, with Nyoongar community elders and leaders.


Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre

The Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) is a precinct which showcases local aboriginal art, culture and history through various exhibitions, workshops, film screenings music and tours throughout the year. The centre is located at 12 Captains Lane which sits within the Bathers Beach Art Precinct. This location is very important to the Whadjuk people as it is the site where settlers first settled in 1829. Since opening in 2014, the WACC has been offering art and culture programs operating around the six Nyoongar seasons – Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru Djiba and Kambarang. All programs are run by Aboriginal facilitators.

Watch City of Fremantle Aboriginal Engagement Officer Brendan Moore give a cultural tour of Walyalup which includes the aboriginal history within Walyalup, six seasons and native plants:

Check out the City’s What’s On section to find out more about programs.


NAIDOC Week celebrations are held each year celebrating the history, culture and achievement of our local Aboriginal people with a big community event. The theme for NAIDOC Week 2023 is For Our Elders. Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families. They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones. 

Our loved ones who pick us up in our low moments and celebrates us in our high ones. Who cook us a feed to comfort us and pull us in line, when we need them too. 

They guide our generations and pave the way for us to take the paths we can take today. Guidance, not only through generations of advocacy and activism, but in everyday life and how to place ourselves in the world. 

We draw strength from their knowledge and experience, in everything from land management, cultural knowledge to justice and human rights. Across multiple sectors like health, education, the arts, politics and everything in between, they have set the many courses we follow. 

The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today. The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength has carried the survival of our people. 

It is their influence and through their learnings that we must ensure that when it comes to future decision making for our people, there is nothing about us - without us. 

We pay our respect to the Elders we've lost and to those who continue fighting for us across all our Nations and we pay homage to them. 

in 2023, how will you celebrate For Our Elders?

Registered Aboriginal Heritage Sites 

There is three sites of Aboriginal significance recorded on the Register of Aboriginal Sites within the Fremantle local government:

  1. DAA3419 – Cantonment Hill
  2. DAA3536 – Swan River
  3. DAA3596 – Rocky Bay

For more information visit Statement of significance for the Fremantle area and registered Aboriginal sites.

Support Uluru Statement

In 2018, the City of Fremantle joined a number of organisations across Australia to voice their support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The statement calls for a ‘First Nations Voice’ in the Australian Constitution and a ‘Makarrata Commission’ to supervise a process of ‘agreement-making’ and ‘truth-telling’ between government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

SBS Radio - in consultation with Uluru Dialogue - is sharing the Uluru Statement from the Heart with multicultural communities by translating it into more then 60 languages, available now as podcast and written form. 

Interim Voice Report 

The co-design process to decide what a Voice to Parliament will look like. Is currently in a public consultation process that is open for everyone to contribute.

The Uluru Dialogue and the Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW seek to guide those who support the Uluru Statement form the Heart and a Voice to Parliament protected in the Australian Constitution to make a submission to the co-design process. This is a significant opportunity to press the case for protected Voice following the release of the Interim Voice Report on the co-design of First Nations.

The Uluru Dialogue are providing information as background material to help with your submission through seminars, key messages, online resources and the Interim Voice Report. 

Upload your submission here at 

Find more information here

For more information on the Uluru Statement from the Heart visit The Uluru Statement - From the Heart or Uluru Statement from the Heart websites. 

Nyoongar Acknowledgment Policy

A Nyoongar Acknowledgment Policy was adopted by Council on 10 June 2020. The policy was developed through consultation with Traditional Owners and the Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan Reference Group addressing WRAP deliverable 9.2 Implement and communicate a cultural protocol document (tailored for all local communities we operate in) including protocols for Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country.

For more information visit Nyoongar Acknowledgment Policy.

Living Library 

A Living Library held at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre in March featured 10 Aboriginal "Living Books" who shared their experiences and individual perspectives in one-on-one conversations to educate, challenge stereotypes and inspire. Topics ranged from inequalities in justice, health, education, reviving the Nyoongar language, truth-telling, stolen generation, culture and opportunities for reconciliation.

One Day (2017–Present)

One Day in Fremantle is an inclusive alternative to Australia Day. In previous years, the dates have fallen on the 27th, 28th, 25th and 24th of January, with the most recent being held on the 28th of January 2023. We have a strong commitment to reconciliation and opting to celebrate on a day we can all share is a way to show this.

One Day awards and recognition 

  • Promoting Indigenous Reconciliation Award at the 2019 National Awards for Local Government.
  • State Finalist in the Australian Event Awards and Symposium (2019).

CANWA Place Names Walyalup Project

Place Names Walyalup is an inclusive community arts and cultural development project produced by CAN in partnership with Moodjar Consultancy, the Nyoongar community and the City of Fremantle. 

Working with Nyoongar Elders and community members, Elders Len Collard and Geri Hayden led decoding workshops that placed local knowledge, language, memories and stories as primary sources. Reviews of historical documents and wordlists created by European settlers were secondary sources. This process decoded the Nyoongar names of five prominent local locations in Walyalup; Cantonment Hill, Bather’s Beach, the Waterways, the Ocean and Rocky Bay.

for more information on the CANWA Place Names Walyalup Project website.

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