What's in a name? Exploring the idea of renaming Kings Square

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This engagement has concluded, thank you to everyone who participated.

The historic heart of Fremantle is being transformed into a vibrant city centre with a host of fantastic new public facilities and features. As part of our preparations for the opening, we’re exploring the possibility of renaming the space known as ‘Kings Square’ in the Fremantle city centre.


Following an open call-out for additional name suggestions in late 2020, everyone was invited to explore and consider a shortlist of names. Council was keen to engage broadly with the community on the possibilities before finalising a position - maintaining the current name, renaming or dual naming Fremantle’s main public square.


What we heard in stage one (at a glance)

  • 194 submissions, expressing a total of 241 ideas. This included 128 name suggestions (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal names), 5 dual naming suggestions, various suffixes and 108 general comments about keeping the current name or renaming.
  • Of the 128 new name suggestions, once grouped there were 70 unique names. Key themes were: Aboriginal names (27), use of Fremantle / Freo, Cross-cultural harmony, community / civic words.
  • These were assessed against the naming criteria adopted by Council (generates a sense of civic pride, directly relevant to Fremantle, enduring), provided to Landgate for preliminary comments and presented to a special Kings Square stakeholder group for this project.
  • Some names suggested were not suitable and did not progress. In addition, original suggestions Manjaree and Whadjuk were removed from the shortlist (one relates to another area and one was too broad). The engagement report and names assessment are available in the document library.


Shortlisting

  • Stage one reaffirmed names already put forward, resulted in a new dual naming option and new suffixes to be considered (Koort, Gnalla and Piazza) and brought forward names to be recognised elsewhere.
  • In November 2020, Fremantle Council gave ‘in principle’ support to a new public artwork in Kings Square that interprets both WA’s Nyoongar culture and Fremantle’s colonial past. View a video about this artwork here or via the video library on this project page. The Kings Square name stakeholder group explored the unique opportunity of integrating this artwork into the naming discussion, resulting in a third theme and name for you to consider.
  • The existing name (Kings Square) and shortlisted names were in three broad themes and dual naming was also an option (using a Whadjuk Nyoongar name and Kings Square):
    1. Monarchs and leaders (people) - Kings Square; Midgegooroo Square
    2. Fremantle / heart of (place) - Walyalup Koort (or Walyalup Karlup)
    3. Inspired by future artwork (destination) - Boya Karla (or Boya Karla Koort)



What we heard in stage two (at a glance)

  • 110 random surveys (online, mail, over phone) from a final sample size of 780, with representation consistent with suburb populations. This showed a 60% sentiment for change, with Walyalup Koort the most preferred.
  • An online discussion provided the opportunity for anyone to participate and share their views on each name option in an open setting. The page was visited by 2,000 people. 580 downloaded documents or visited multiple pages,182 people participated in the online discussion, making 275 comments and placing 647 votes on other people’s comments. Walyalup Koort had the largest amount of unique discussion and almost entirely positive sentiment.
  • Retaining the name Kings Square was not favoured by Elders, nor was dual naming.
  • A written submission from Fremantle History Society did not support renaming.
  • Of the surrounding businesses who participated all but one supported renaming.
  • Based on community sentiment the Kings Square stakeholder group unanimously supported a name change to Walyalup Koort.

The full stage two engagement report is available in the document library or by clicking here.

Decision updates are available in the news feed below.

The historic heart of Fremantle is being transformed into a vibrant city centre with a host of fantastic new public facilities and features. As part of our preparations for the opening, we’re exploring the possibility of renaming the space known as ‘Kings Square’ in the Fremantle city centre.


Following an open call-out for additional name suggestions in late 2020, everyone was invited to explore and consider a shortlist of names. Council was keen to engage broadly with the community on the possibilities before finalising a position - maintaining the current name, renaming or dual naming Fremantle’s main public square.


What we heard in stage one (at a glance)

  • 194 submissions, expressing a total of 241 ideas. This included 128 name suggestions (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal names), 5 dual naming suggestions, various suffixes and 108 general comments about keeping the current name or renaming.
  • Of the 128 new name suggestions, once grouped there were 70 unique names. Key themes were: Aboriginal names (27), use of Fremantle / Freo, Cross-cultural harmony, community / civic words.
  • These were assessed against the naming criteria adopted by Council (generates a sense of civic pride, directly relevant to Fremantle, enduring), provided to Landgate for preliminary comments and presented to a special Kings Square stakeholder group for this project.
  • Some names suggested were not suitable and did not progress. In addition, original suggestions Manjaree and Whadjuk were removed from the shortlist (one relates to another area and one was too broad). The engagement report and names assessment are available in the document library.


Shortlisting

  • Stage one reaffirmed names already put forward, resulted in a new dual naming option and new suffixes to be considered (Koort, Gnalla and Piazza) and brought forward names to be recognised elsewhere.
  • In November 2020, Fremantle Council gave ‘in principle’ support to a new public artwork in Kings Square that interprets both WA’s Nyoongar culture and Fremantle’s colonial past. View a video about this artwork here or via the video library on this project page. The Kings Square name stakeholder group explored the unique opportunity of integrating this artwork into the naming discussion, resulting in a third theme and name for you to consider.
  • The existing name (Kings Square) and shortlisted names were in three broad themes and dual naming was also an option (using a Whadjuk Nyoongar name and Kings Square):
    1. Monarchs and leaders (people) - Kings Square; Midgegooroo Square
    2. Fremantle / heart of (place) - Walyalup Koort (or Walyalup Karlup)
    3. Inspired by future artwork (destination) - Boya Karla (or Boya Karla Koort)



What we heard in stage two (at a glance)

  • 110 random surveys (online, mail, over phone) from a final sample size of 780, with representation consistent with suburb populations. This showed a 60% sentiment for change, with Walyalup Koort the most preferred.
  • An online discussion provided the opportunity for anyone to participate and share their views on each name option in an open setting. The page was visited by 2,000 people. 580 downloaded documents or visited multiple pages,182 people participated in the online discussion, making 275 comments and placing 647 votes on other people’s comments. Walyalup Koort had the largest amount of unique discussion and almost entirely positive sentiment.
  • Retaining the name Kings Square was not favoured by Elders, nor was dual naming.
  • A written submission from Fremantle History Society did not support renaming.
  • Of the surrounding businesses who participated all but one supported renaming.
  • Based on community sentiment the Kings Square stakeholder group unanimously supported a name change to Walyalup Koort.

The full stage two engagement report is available in the document library or by clicking here.

Decision updates are available in the news feed below.

This engagement has concluded, thank you to everyone who participated.

  • Name change approved by State Government

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    by Rhiannon,

    The Minister for Lands has given Geographic Naming Approval to rename all of Kings Square to Walyalup Koort. The naming proposal was considered appropriate and the origin of the Whadjuk Nyoongar name has been recorded by Landgate as:

    Walyalup Koort (heart of Fremantle) - Walyalup (Wal-ya-lup) being the name for the Fremantle area and Koort (koo-rt) being the word for heart.


    Next steps

    Formal acknowledgement of this renaming is being planned, along with the opening celebrations for the Walyalup Civic Centre, new play space and public realm. Context and pronunciation tips will also be provided.

  • Council supports name change to 'Walyalup Koort'

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    by Rhiannon,

    At the Ordinary Council Meeting on 26 May 2021 Fremantle Council received the findings of the community engagement process 'What's in a Name?' and voted to support a name change for Kings Square to 'Walyalup Koort'. The decision was based on community sentiment through both stages of the engagement and a clear preference from Traditional Owners. The council expressed their sincere thanks to everyone who has engaged in this process and expressed their individual opinions in a thoughtful and respectful manner. Council have also requested that the City examine options for remembering and/ or explaining the previous names of the square. The proposed name change will now be referred to Landgate for formal approval by the State Government. Further updates will be provided on this process.


  • Update - Item to Council (26 May 2021)

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    by Rhiannon,

    The engagement findings and a report will be going to the Ordinary Council meeting 26 May 2021. The report proposes a name change from Kings Square to the Whadjuk Nyoongar words 'Walyalup Koort' (meaning heart of Fremantle). It also includes the findings of the community engagement process 'What's in a Name?' (see attachments) - we'd like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who has participated so far, from 128 name suggestions to 182 participants in the online discussion, 110 random surveys, input from businesses, 7 hard copy surveys, written submissions, direct emails and discussion pack. The original content can be found in the 'additional information' part of the Council agenda.


    Further information

    You can find further information on the City's website:


    Attending Council

    Ordinary Council Meeting - Wednesday 26 May 2021, 6.00pm, North Fremantle Community Hall 2 Thompson Rd North Fremantle.

    Council meetings are open to the public and members of the public are welcome to ask a question, make a statement or just observe the proceedings. For information on community participation at Council or committee meetings you can find more information on our website.

  • Kings Square

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    by Rhiannon,
    CLOSED: This discussion has now concluded. Thank you for your input!
    supporting image

    Kings Square was shown in its present location in Surveyor General Roe’s 1833 town plan for Fremantle. The name refers to King William IV of England who was monarch at the time (he reigned from 1830-37). William, Adelaide and Queen Streets surrounding Kings Square also reference King William and his wife Queen Adelaide. The name demonstrates how the new arrivals wanted to maintain ties with their homeland and remain part of the British Empire. This link to the ‘mother country’ was used as a way to attract settlers and investors to the Swan River Settlement. The name Kings Square has remained unchanged since the 1833 town plan, except for a brief period as St John’s Square in the 1980s. [Image: Section of 1833 plan for Fremantle]

    What do you think about the name Kings Square? Tell us below...

  • Dual naming (with Kings Square)

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    by Rhiannon,
    CLOSED: This discussion has now concluded. Thank you for your input!
    supporting image

    Dual naming is acceptable under the WA naming guidelines. Landgate describe this approach as officially recognising geographical features or places by two distinct names - the requirement is for the Aboriginal name to appear first with the non-Aboriginal name occurring second, separated with a solidus (/) - for example [Whadjuk name] / Kings Square.


    What do you think about the idea of dual naming (adding a name and retaining Kings Square)? Tell us below...

  • Walyalup Koort

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    by Rhiannon,
    CLOSED: This discussion has now concluded. Thank you for your input!
    supporting image

    Aboriginal people named land according to their spiritual, physical, social and cultural connection to it. Walyalup was the name given by Yagan in 1832 to describe land around Fremantle. You can find more information on the name in our discussion pack download. Walyalup Koort (Heart) means a place in the heart of Fremantle. As a variation, Walyalup Karlup means Fremantle heart-country / home. Other suffixes are included for discussion below. The use of Walyalup was supported by WRAP elders and in February 2020 Council adopted the name Walyalup Civic Centre for the new building in Kings Square (pictured).

    What do you think about using the name Walyalup Koort (or alternative suffix Karlup)? Tell us below...

  • Boya Karla

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    by Rhiannon,
    CLOSED: This discussion has now concluded. Thank you for your input!
    supporting image

    Inspired by a proposed future artwork for Kings Square by Sharyn Egan and Simon Gilby, this means 'rock fire'. As a variation, the Nyoongar word Koort, (Heart) could be added, to acknowledge its place in the centre of Walyalup. Other suffixes are discussed below. You can find out more about this artwork in a video by clicking here or visiting the video library. This name was put forward for consideration by the Kings Square name stakeholder group.


    What do you think about using the name Boya Karla (or Boya Karla Koort)? Tell us below...

  • Midgegooroo Square

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    by Rhiannon,
    CLOSED: This discussion has now concluded. Thank you for your input!
    supporting image

    At the time of settlement Midgegooroo was leader of the Whadjuk clan that occupied and cared for Beeliar (including greater Fremantle). Midgegooroo was an influential Nyoongar elder often mentioned in the Perth Gazette. He was executed by firing squad on 22 May 1833 for allegedly having killed settlers, who were dispossessing Whadjuk from their land. In August 2019, the South West Aboriginal Land & Sea Council’s Whadjuk Working Party (representing Traditional Owners) confirmed their support for using this as a name for the Kings Square project. The suffix Place was originally suggested but does not meet the naming guidelines in WA. [Image: Place names and territories as told to Robert Lyon by Yagan in 1832.]

    What do you think about using the name Midgegooroo Square? Tell us below...

  • Suffix options

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    by Rhiannon,
    CLOSED: This discussion has now concluded. Thank you for your input!

    In stage one we received several suffix suggestions. One key theme was using a Whadjuk Nyoongar name to recognise Traditional Owners and another was using an Italian word to recognise the contributions of Italian migrants to the development of Fremantle. Other suggestions (such as 'Place') were not approved for use against the naming guidelines.

    • Koort - A Nyoongar word meaning heart.
    • Gnalla - A Nyoongar word meaning us/our.
    • Piazza - A piazza is a public square, especially in an Italian town.

    Keep in mind these suffixes would be subject to a final approval process with Landgate.


    We'd like to know what you think of these potential suffixes, either in this location or elsewhere?