2018 Fremantle Heritage Festival

Free Event 25 May-3 June

Uncover the secrets, relieve the stories and get a taste of what life was like in one of WA’s oldest communities during Notre Dame’s 2018 Fremantle Heritage Festival program.

Join us for a series of thought-provoking lectures and interactive walking tours. You can also see first-hand the restoration undertaken in some of Fremantle’s most historic buildings that are now home to The University of Notre Dame Australia.

  • Opening Night Dinner - 25 May 2018

    ‘Scandal in the Court House’
    6:30pm, Friday 25 May

    Tickets on sale now

    A murder mystery dinner, brought to you by the National Hotel and The University of Notre Dame Australia.

    Inspired by colourful stories from nineteenth-century Fremantle, our ‘murder mystery’ dinner will be an entertaining—and delicious—start to Fremantle’s Heritage Festival. Join us in the beautiful, outdoor courtyard of the Drill Hall. Guests will explore rooms of the adjacent court house (built in 1884), take a seat in the dock, play detective, and solve an historic crime. Fresh from their recent ‘long table dinner’ success, tickets include a delicious three-course meal by the National Hotel and a welcome drink on arrival.

  • Festival Keynote Address - 27 May 2018

    Liz Tynan

    Truth, Lies and Secret Histories
    Dr Liz Tynan, James Cook University
    5:00pm, Sunday 27 May 2018

    Register for your free tickets.

    Liz Tynan’s powerful new book, Atomic Thunder, earned her the 2017 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian history. ‘Compulsive reading?’, wrote Phillip Adams, ‘Make that compulsory. This is a brilliant book.’

    The City of Fremantle and The University of Notre Dame Australia are delighted to welcome Liz Tynan as this year’s festival keynote speaker.

    In her compelling talk, guests will hear of the complex web that connected government secrecy, human folly, cultural bigotry, international scandal, and scientific arrogance in the nuclear age. Join us for an evening in which we explore truth, lies and secret histories from Australia’s past.

  • Open Campus - 1 June 2018

    Free Heritage Festival events

    Notre Dame's open campus events for the 2018 Fremantle Heritage Festival will take guests deep into the working life of the University.  Share in the research of our staff and students, explore our historic campus, and join us for lunch.

    Please register for each free event.

    ‘The Hard First Days, 1829-30’
    Dr Shane Burke
    9:30am, Friday 1 June 2018

    Register for your free tickets.

    Peel Town was one of many coastal camps established by British colonists in 1829 near the Swan River. Unlike those in Fremantle, Perth and Guildford, Peel’s community collapsed within eleven months. Poor planning, bad luck and dislike of Peel, himself, are thought to be the main reasons the settlement failed. However, excavations by Notre Dame’s archaeologists reveal that the community soon exhausted its essential resources, contributing to its failure.

    In this illuminating discussion, Notre Dame's popular archaeologist, Shane Burke, will share results from his latest research at Peel Town.

    ‘As long as the dishes are washed’
    Fremantle’s ‘lunatic’ women, 1858-1908
    Alex Wallis
    10:30am, Friday 1 June

    Register for your free tickets.

    Patient treatment in Fremantle’s Lunatic Asylum during the nineteenth century emphasised morality and work as a form of rehabilitation. Female patients, in particular, were told to scrub, launder, sew and wash to demonstrate they could conform to the ideal of womanhood. Their compliance was considered by medical staff to demonstrate a healthy mind—regardless of the patient’s mental state or violent behaviours. By comparison, those women who refused to participate in household tasks were punished and their incarceration deepened.

    Using the astonishing patient records of the asylum, Alexandra Wallis will reveal acceptable and unacceptable behaviours of women in nineteenth-century Fremantle.

    Campus Tour
    Leigh Dawson
    11:00am, Friday 1 June 2018

    Register for your free tickets.

    They’re back! Notre Dame’s famous tours of our historic, West End campus are available again to all festival goers in 2018. We’ll take you on a unique, backstage walk through some of the finest historic buildings in Fremantle. Bring your walking shoes to join Leigh Dawson for an hour on campus. You’ll share in the stories of those who have lived in and loved our town over the past century, and will be given special admission to some of Fremantle’s best-kept secret locations.

    Free Lunch with the History and Archaeology team
    Deborah Gare, Leigh Straw, Shane Burke and others
    12:00pm, Friday 1 June 2018

    Places are limited, so please book your free tickets early.

    You're invited to a light lunch and inspired conversation. Notre Dame’s team of historians and archaeologists invites you to spend the lunch hour discussing big ideas, current research, history, archaeology and heritage. Got questions of your own about how to best undertake historical research? This is your opportunity to talk with experienced academic staff and postgraduate researchers for the best advice.

    Femmes Extraordinaire

    Stowaway Women of the Enlightenment
    Toni Church
    1:00pm Friday 1 June 2018

    Register for your free tickets.

    The Enlightenment propelled adventurers from European nations to far-flung corners of the globe. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, scientific voyages of discovery explored Australia and its region. Some of these vessels were stocked with more than just supplies and scientific instruments. On board a number of them, including Freycinet’s Uranie, were stowaway women. Their presence was usually forbidden, but a few ‘femme extraordinaire’ assumed masculine identities and disguise to escape Europe.

    In this entertaining talk, Toni Church will introduce you to the wonderful stories of Rose de Freycinet, Jeanne Beret and Louise Girardin.

    Finding Truth in Picasso’s Guernica
    Riley Buchanan
    1:30pm, Friday 1 June

    Register for your free tickets.

    On 27 April 1937, the journalist George Steer surveyed the ruins of Guernica, a small town in Spain’s Basque region.  He arrived just hours after the town was destroyed by the formidable power of Hitler’s Luftwaffe.  His reports proclaimed the bombing to be “unparalleled in military history”. Six weeks later, Pablo Picasso exhibited his masterwork, Guernica, at the World Exhibition in Paris.  Picasso’s painting was a powerful denunciation of war and its trauma, and soon became an international icon.  Today, our understanding of Guernica is indelibly shaped by Picasso’s artistic interpretation.

    Riley Buchanan will explore the connection between truth, myth and evidence in this fascinating talk.

  • Free Walking Tour - 3 June 2018

    Activists and Agitators
    Riley Buchanan, Paul Reilly and Charlie Fox
    10:30am – 12:30pm, Sunday 3 June 2018

    Register for your free tickets.

    Starts: B Shed, Fremantle Harbour
    Ends: Esplanade Park, Fremantle

    Fremantle has a long history of agitation, dissent, and resistance to oppression. It has also witnessed, many times, attempted suppression and disenfranchisement.

    In this new walking tour, Notre Dame’s local historians will lead you on a guided trail through pivotal moments of political, cultural, ideological and industrial upheaval in Fremantle’s history. Witness the sites of waterfront battles, Trades Hall rallies, Ugly Men’s activism and the militancy of radical women. Discover the headquarters of ideological parties, including fascists and communists. Linger on the benches of Paddy Troy, where the unemployed gathered for work, and consider the earliest form of Fremantle activism: violence on the colonial frontier.

    Pack your walking shoes for this two-hour tour from the B Shed to the Esplanade Park. Tickets are limited, so please book early.