The Fremantle Society

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The Fremantle Society, Inc.
Formation1 January 1972; 51 years ago (1972-01-01)
Legal statusAssociation (ASIC registration number: 136085946)[1]
HeadquartersVictoria Hall 179 High St, Fremantle WA 6160
Coordinates32°03′18″S 115°44′28″E / 32.055°S 115.741°E / -32.055; 115.741
Region served
Fremantle, Western Australia
Official language
John Dowson
Main organ

The Fremantle Society is a community-based culture and heritage advocacy group in Fremantle, Western Australia. It was formed in 1972 to prevent demolition of historic buildings in Fremantle and to assist in their development.[2] As the significance of Fremantle's built heritage came to be more widely recognised and respected (by the City, and property owners), the focus of the Fremantle Society has evolved to include more of the cultural heritage of the area.

Various projects over time have highlighted Fremantle heritage,[3][4] as well as advocating consideration of heritage in planning schemes.[5]

When the City's precinct system was established in the 1990s to provide interaction between the City and groups of residents, the Society became the "umbrella" precinct of the other eleven precincts.[6] It has remained such, and is the only one not defined by geographical boundaries (the others are mostly representative of a suburb).[7] The work of precinct groups can be supported by financial assistance from the City of up to $850 per year (as long as this is not used to support government election campaigning).[8]

The overall nature of the Society's work is ongoing due to the inherent pressures from developers and others.[9]

Fighting for Fremantle, a history of the Society by Ron and Dianne Davidson, was published by Fremantle Press in 2010. It was launched by the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, in Victoria Hall.


The Society has led campaigns to prevent the loss of many significant buildings in Fremantle; not all have been successful. Some examples include:

Other projects have also been undertaken, such as the 1978–80 photographic survey of almost every building in Fremantle, and the Freopedia wikitown project.[needs update]

The group received assistance in the 1970s in the form of green bans organised by the Builders Labourers Federation.[10]


  1. ^ Australian Securities and Investments Commission. "Search ASIC Registers". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  2. ^ Davidson, Ron; Davidson, Dianne (2010). Fighting for Fremantle: a history of The Fremantle Society. Fremantle Press.
  3. ^ Gore, Stuart; Reece, Rob (1982), [Interview with Stuart Gore], retrieved 14 May 2013
  4. ^ Fremantle Society; Interiors Project, 1992 (1995), Interiors Project, 1992. Drawing record -- A3 collection : a photographic archive of Fremantle West End interiors, The Society, retrieved 14 May 2013
  5. ^ The Fremantle Society Inc (1978), The future Fremantle : a discussion document by the Fremantle Society on planning, for the future of Fremantle (1st ed.), The Fremantle Society Inc, retrieved 14 May 2013
  6. ^ City of Fremantle. "Precincts". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  7. ^ City of Fremantle, Precinct Map (PDF), retrieved 28 May 2014
  8. ^ City of Fremantle (August 2012), Precinct Guidelines (PDF), retrieved 28 May 2014
  9. ^ Dawkins, Jeremy; MacGill, Gerry (1990), "The politics of planning in Fremantle", Urban Policy and Research (published June 1990), 8 (2): 81–85, doi:10.1080/08111149008551432, ISSN 0811-1146
  10. ^ Burgmann, Verity and Meredith (1998). Green Bans, Red Union: Environmental Activism and the New South Wales Builders Labourers' Federation. p. 52.

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