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
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|
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.