Date makes a difference
ONE Day in Fremantle is back for its third year, with Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt saying conversations surrounding the date of Australia Day were happening across the country.
Dr Pettitt said the event was inclusive and had been accepted and conversations about the date needed to start locally rather than at a Federal level.
“We do have lots of Aboriginal families coming down, people from all over the world,” he said.
“I appreciate that it’s still controversial for some but the fact is the conversation is happening around the country.
“It’s not about telling people what to do, it’s about giving people some options and we hope that they come down and enjoy Freo as well.”
Since the change, Dr Pettitt said local governments interstate had approached Fremantle to discuss their event, which was first held in 2017 to provide a culturally-inclusive alternative to Australia Day.
“It doesn’t mean it’s easy for anyone to go down this path; as we saw there was a fair number of people beating up on Freo in the process,” he said.
“What I’ve said to other local governments who have spoken to us about it is to do consultation with your community, with your Aboriginal community especially.
“It has to be one of those things where you go on that journey together and commit to an outcome that is actually more inclusive.”
Dr Pettitt said the City would keep doing what it was doing and make the day a key part of Fremantle’s festival calendar.
“I do hope that the message on how we can be part of the reconciliation conversation will continue to grow and mature across the country,” he said.
Sydney-based singersong writer Montaigne will headline the event on January 27.