History society awarded

THE Fremantle History Society has won a 2022 History Council of WA award for its advocacy for local history.

The award was presented to society president Allen Graham at the State Library last Tuesday.

The award recognised the society’s work on a number of initiatives including the Fremantle Studies Day and Fremantle Studies Journal.

The FHS has published 11 volumes of the Fremantle Studies Journal between 1999 and 2022, with  Volume 12 currently in the editing stage. Each contains papers from two of its annual Fremantle Studies Days and, on occasion, a cracking one from a general meeting. 

The society’s quarterly newsletter has been published since October 1994, its 75th edition in 2013 earning a Fremantle Spirit of Heritage Award  the following year.

The FHS was also crucial in ensuring the legacy of Deckchair Theatre Company wasn’t lost when its final curtain came down in 2012. 

A sub-committee of members and volunteers was formed and an assessment of the company’s archives determined they were of national significance. The sub-committee took seven years to organise Deckchair’s dispersed and haphazard records, which were eventually donated to the State Library in 2020.

The FHS has also supported the Fremantle History Centre’s oral history program and has provided the biennial Ron and Dianne Davidson scholarship to support new research into Fremantle’s history.

In recent times, it’s taken a strong public stand on such issues as the Esplanade skate park, heritage classification 

of the amenities building at Victoria Quay, master planning for Victoria Quay, the naming of Kings Square / Walyalup Koort and the recently proposed tavern at Arthur Head’s J Shed. 

“This activism has not endeared it to Fremantle City Council, but the society is not beholden to it or any other body when decisions are made that affect the whole Fremantle community and impact on its significant heritage,” says society treasurer Pam Harris.

“When listed in this way the society can well and truly be proud of what it has achieved over the last 28 years, there will be a big celebration when we reach our 30th Anniversary in 2024.

“Congratulations to all past and present members as well as the dedicated committee members over the last 28 years.”

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