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Enhancing Fremantle as an age-friendly community

Enhancing Fremantle as an age-friendly community


As a diverse and cultural community the City is committed to continuous improvement in its age friendly practices and realises seniors’ participation in community life as critical to the well-being of the communities. Importantly, seniors are an intrinsic part of Fremantle’s future prosperity.

The City of Fremantle continues on its Age-friendly action plan and is committed to consolidate understanding of what is occurring for the over 55s by the following initiatives:

  • Building partnerships: with the community, external agencies, and service providers.
  • Increasing social participation: providing a drop-in centre and free come and try activities to enhance lifelong learning.
  • Volunteering and employment: giving seniors the opportunity to share their skills and offering short term contracts.
  • Providing intergenerational and cross cultural activities: engaging local high school students to share digital technology and upskill seniors; Tech Help Wed, in the library, allow seniors to bring in their devices for a wide range of issues to be solved.
  • Improved communication on relevant services and opportunities: developing the City’s My Community directory for easy access and information sharing.
  • Becoming a member of the global Age-friendly Communities Network to gain a shared understanding and achieve best practice.

Fremantle is well placed to thrive and grow where the aims have and always will be to retain the City’s unique heritage and character while transitioning it to become a more liveable, vibrant and age friendly city. The City’s Positive Ageing Officer was invited to present at a community development network forum to showcase a best practice example for social participation for seniors.

Highlighting key initiatives:

The City is a proactive organisation which has a willingness to listen and value what community members have to say and through community engagement seeks to use the ideas, knowledge, and skills of members of the community to enhance its decision making. As a way of guiding the new strategic plan the City embarked on an extensive community visioning initiative (Fremantle 2029), aimed to get a better understanding of the community’s vision and values for the future of Fremantle.

The City of Fremantle carried out a Community Visioning Project; a community feedback exercise developed to help us identify the local community’s values and visions now and into the future. The ideas and suggestions that emerged through the process have been used to inform the council’s long term strategic planning and priority projects.

This community vision is driving the City’s Strategic Community Plan 2015 – 2025 to focus on key strategic areas, for example:

Health and Happiness: Creating an environment where it is easy for people to lead safe, happy, and healthy lives.

Key outcomes:

  • Fremantle is a welcoming, safe and caring community.
  • A City that celebrates and actively supports diversity.
  • A healthy and active environment for the community to enjoy.

 Places for People: Create great spaces for people through innovative urban and suburban design.

Key outcomes:

  • Fremantle provides more affordable living opportunities.
  • Fremantle has high quality urban and suburban environments for everyone to enjoy.

Transport and Connectivity: Enhance the connectivity between all areas of Fremantle, the city and other strategic economic hubs and pollution centres.

Key outcomes:

  • Fremantle is recognized as a pedestrian and cycle friendly City.
  • Public transport is a preferred method of transport.

Other examples displaying initiatives that the City has developed:

  • Respect, Inclusion and Social Participation: Creating opportunities for vulnerable seniors by programming free Come and Try activities, supporting a drop in space with free refreshment, afternoon tea dances and activating micro communities in their streets and neighbourhoods.
    Communication and Information: Ensuring information is accessible, updated and distributed in various formats and locations, quarterly positive ageing forum with guest speakers and hot topics; maintaining a community information directory.
    Transport: Advocates for continual improvements in accessible transport and pedestrian access; two free Central Area Transit (CAT) buses operate in the Fremantle area and are free to board for all passengers.
    Housing: Exploring, through community engagement, aspirations and challenges for providing more diverse housing options e.g. Freo Alternative (proposed changes aim to stimulate development of a wider choice of housing).
  • Community Support and Health Services: To support people living independently in their own home for as long as possible by . The City also has a dedicated Home Collection recycling service for seniors.

Some key partnerships:

  • Partnering with the City’s Life Long Learning team to bring inclusive events for example quarterly Makerspace event.
  • Local high school students to provide digital upskilling, advertised as Tech Help Wednesdays.
  • Playgroup WA to establish a Grandparents playgroup session.
  • Collaboration with two other surrounding local governments to put on a large free over 55s Healthy Lifestyle Expo.
  • Having Department of Transport deliver mystery tours for our seniors to enable them to feel comfortable and confident commuting on public transport.
  • Shelter WA on a Seniors Housing Strategy.Explore aspirations and challenges for providing more diverse housing options in Fremantle. Develop guiding principles to support future planning for small housing options

Future plans:

  • Embarked on evaluation and mapping of the City’s progress, reporting to elected members.
  • Expression of Interests will be advertised to open opportunity to community to join the positive ageing working group.
  • Roll out a creative community engagement plan to inform, establish a new action plan across the organisation to apply a collective vision.
  • Partner with Department of Local Government inter-agency departments to promote positive ageing campaign and address ageism.
  • Build and strengthen partnership with local service providers, for example St Patrick’s Community Care Centre to help those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

Fremantle is a city that is clever and creative, inspiring an inclusive. A City that welcomes and celebrates all people, all cultures. A City that encourages innovation, prosperity and achievement. A compassionate city that cares for the wellbeing of our people and the environment we share. A City that thrives on diversity, that dares to be different – and delivers on its promises. Strategic Community Plan 2015-25.



Key facts

Main target group: Older people in general

Sector(s): Health, Housing, Information and communication, Social protection, Transportation, Urban development

Desired outcome for older people:

Other issues the Age-friendly practice aims to address:
  • Ageism
  • Accessibility
  • Ageing in place
  • Dementia
  • Healthy behaviours (e.g. physical activity)
  • Intergenerational activities
  • Inequities
  • Inclusion
  • Participation
  • Technologies

Contact details

Name: Raymond Kay

Email address:

Age-friendly practice in detail (click to expand):

Engaging the wider community
Moving forward
Looking back