Letters 25.3.23

Stay neutral

I AM in total agreement with Gerard MacGill’s letter re Fremantle Council’s unwarranted support for the Voice to Parliament (“That’s not your job,” Herald, March 18, 2023).

I personally wrote to the mayor voicing the same concerns.

The referendum on the Voice should be neutral, without persuasion from any politicians.

It is a decision that belongs to the Australian people, as it will determine the future path of this country.

Fremantle councillor Rachel Pemberton had a half-page article trying to influence her electorate to come onboard with her and support the Voice, like she does (“It’s a momentous decision,” Thinking Allowed, March 18, 2023) My advice to all politicians; federal, state, regional or otherwise – keep your personal feelings and opinions to yourself – just look after those who pay you to do your job first before you look after your own interests.

Say Choo Lim
White Gum Valley

Young view

THERE has been much discussion of the Voice to Parliament and the role of local council in the recent editions of the Herald.  

As a young person who has grown up in Fremantle, I have always loved the progressive and proactive stance that the City has taken to First Nations issues. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent just 3 per cent of our population – yet are overrepresented in homelessness, deaths in custody, and incarceration.

In WA, 78 per cent of kids in detention are Aboriginal. 

While these statistics may seem distant, they are felt within all communities including Fremantle. The Voice presents an opportunity for the City to fulfill its commitment to reconciliation that it made in 2018 by supporting the Uluru Statement. 

The Walyalup Reconciliation Plan includes a commitment for the Council to continue publicly supporting the Uluru Statement and therefore the proposed funding is aligned with commitments already made.  It is my hope that Fremantle continues to be a city that values all members of its community. 

I strongly support the proposed funding and look forward to taking part in these education programs.

Jemima Williamson-Wong
South Fremantle

Legends not always right

FIONA STANLEY was described by the Fremantle Herald as a “living legend” and she is.

We are proud of her lifetime of work and good deeds, as is acknowledged by the honour of naming a hospital after her.

It’s awkward to dare to disagree with a legend, but I do. Ratepayers’ money should not be used for political purposes, especially without ratepayers’ consent. 

A dear friend of mine has been hospitalised twice at the Fiona Stanley Hospital, due to falling on the uneven, disgraceful footpaths of central city Fremantle. 

There has been constant complaint about this problem. 

However, I won’t go down the ‘path’ of where ratepayers’ funds are drastically required – Town Hall, etc.

I worked for many years with the defunct fore-runner to the Voice, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Commission, travelling to the most remote areas of Australia.

It was the last chairman, Lionel Quartermaine, who suggested the cashless card, stating: “I don’t care if you 

are black, white or brindle, if you receive money from the Australian taxpayer, you spend it on your family.” 

According to hospitals and police, domestic abuse dropped a third within the first month of its introduction.  Since Cash-Card cancellation, abuse has increased a third and is continuing. 

Now that is something to become vocal about Fremantle council, but ask your ratepayers, what causes they would wish to pursue, with our money.

Suzanne John


I WAS more than dismayed to read the published letter with the accompanying title “No compo for abuse” (Herald, March 18, 2023). It is difficult to fathom in current times that we still don’t highly regard the bravery of victims who come forward regarding childhood sexual abuse. 

It is no easy task to face the questioning of your claims. To be clear this crime occurred to multiple children in the school that was paid substantially for their service and meant to protect them. 

These events have likely caused life long trauma to the detriment of their health, family relationships and career paths. Bravo to those brave women… and may you have pathed the way and given hope to other children and now adults who have suffered through similar. Yes you do count, what happened to you was wrong and that does not change no matter the decade.

Esther Cole

The Ed says: Thanks Esther, we were hoping someone would pick the writer up for a view that seems somewhat removed from the expectations most people would have about how we should respond to sexual abuse. 


THIS morning after coming back from the shops in South Fremantle, there was a knock on the door. 

It was a young woman who had taken the time to return a number of cards, including my drivers licence which I had inadvertently left in the shopping trolley in Woolworths. 

To say I was relieved is an understatement! 

After the woman had left, I wished I had given her a reward for her good gesture. 

Hopefully, I’ll bump into her at the shops where I can put that right. 

This experience has boosted my belief in a sense of honesty and decency in the people of Fremantle.

Kay Gunningham

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