Making Freo a univercity

Politics in the Pub co-organiser Christian Mauri ponders Notre Dame’s role in Fremantle.

POLITICS in the Pub turns its gaze to a long-held dream of Fremantle becoming a true “university city” when it next meets on Tuesday March 28 at The Local Hotel in South Fremantle.

Co-organiser Christian Mauri says the city has a way to go.

“For local and visitors, Fremantle brings to mind cafes, the arts, the harbour, heritage, history and vibrant commuities – though how often do you hear Freo referred to as a ‘university city’,” Dr Mauri said.

“Notre Dame University has called Freo home for over 30 yeasr.

“What has this relationship meant so far, and how is it currently going in terms of student life and local business?

“What changes and opportunities might the near future bring?”

Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge and Notre Dame vice chancellor Francis Campbell have agreed to be speakers on the night, while 

it will also give locals one of their first opportunities to see new Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO Chrissie Maus in action.

Ms Fitzhardinge said Notre Dame had done an incredible job of building a thriving university in a heritage environment and had a great reputation for being a university of choice.

“If there’s one thing that makes me sad, it’s seeing the students flood out of Freo at the end of the uni day – wouldn’t it be great if they were living here, working in our hospitality industry, shopping at our shops and keeping our streets vibrant in the evening as well as during the day,” she said.

Prof Campbell said he was looking forward to the conversation about how the council and university could work together, but says Freo has already become “a true university city.

“The boundaries between our campus and the city are completely porous, enabling the many thousands of staff and students who come to work or study with us each day to move seamlessly between our libraries and lecture theatres and the city’s many lunch bars, cafes, hotels retail outlets and attractions,” he said.


“A recent independent review of the university’s social and economic contribution to Fremantle highlighted the extent to which Notre Dame and Fremantle’s economic and social interests were now intertwined.

“The review found that the university was an integral part of the city’s economic and social fabric, contributing more than $252 million in benefits to the local economy and community each year.

“We are justifiably proud of that figure and have strong plans in place that will enable our relationship with Fremantle to continue to grow.”


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