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.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Do you have a question about this process that is not covered in the Q&A? You can submit it here and we will post the answer below and include it in the conversation guide for stage two of engagement if required.

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    Why is this square not being automatically named after an aboriginal. name. PLEASE NO MORE MEN!!!

    franlee asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for you clear thoughts. This is an important public space in Fremantle, so we are engaging broadly so anyone in the community that is interested has the opportunity to participate and share their ideas and convey their views. 

    Interestingly, we received a large number of Aboriginal name suggestions in stage one, however we need to ensure that any Aboriginal name put forward is either suggested by or endorsed by Traditional Owners of Whadjuk country. To allow for a proper process to be followed we have had to delay opening stage two to 2021. 

    We encourage you to participate in stage two when all of the options (current name and suggested names) are presented for discussion. Thank you again for your interest in this process.