Fremantle lies in Nyoongar country. It is a place of significance within Beeliar country and is known as Walyalup (pronounced ‘wal-lya-lup’), where Wadjuk people reside.

At the time of the 1967 Referendum, the member for Fremantle was Kim Beazley Snr. He was one of the key political figures advocating for constitutional amendments.

Kim Beazley Snr wrote to Prime Minister Chifley as early as 1949, and continuously campaigned for federal parliament to understand its national responsibilities towards Aboriginal people.

In the referendum results the division of Fremantle had Western Australia’s second highest divisional ‘Yes’ vote.

Irrespective of who has control over Aborigines, only one government is answerable before the forum of international opinion – the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia. In the forum of international opinion – the United Nations – no one will raise Western Australia's policy or Queensland's policy but the delegates of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia will have to answer for Australia's attitude. Kim Beazley Snr, Member for Fremantle
14 May 1964 (as quoted in Hansard)

Electoral division of Fremantle in 1967

The electoral division of Fremantle, and sub-division of Fremantle.
The electoral division of Fremantle, and subdivision of Fremantle.
Image copyright State Library of Western Australia, 46/2/FRE (1969)

Voting Results for the division of Fremantle

Fremantle Enrolled Voters Yes' vote No' vote Informal votes Total valid votes Yes' vote No' vote
Division of Fremantle 57,734 43,868 8,423 1,310 52,291 83.89 16.11
(Cottesloe) 9,658 6,603 1,188 129 7,791 84.75 15.25
(Fremantle) 7,886 4,893 1,196 262 6,089 80.36 19.64
(Applecross) 9,547 6,987 974 101 7,961 87.77 12.23
(Melville) 8,127 5,732 1,022 14 6,754 84.87 15.13
(Palmyra) 8,420 5,967 1,052 110 7,019 85.01 14.99
(South Fremantle) 14,096 8,959 2,041 513 11,000 81.45 18.55
Postal votes*         1,335    
Absentee votes*         4,347    

The City of Fremantle has remained progressive in relation to Aboriginal rights.

Fremantle gained international attention in 2017 with a decision to move Australia Day celebrations to an alternative date. This was done as a mark of respect to the Aboriginal community, who commonly refer to Australia Day as Survival or Invasion Day.

The division of Curtin had Western Australia's highest recorded 'Yes' vote at 84.39%