Have your say on Kings Square renaming shortlist

18th March 2021

The City of Fremantle has released a shortlist of options for the possible renaming of Kings Square.

The City began exploring the possibility of renaming Kings Square last year by inviting the public to put forward their suggestions.

The process attracted 194 submissions which included 128 suggestions for a new name, five suggestions for a dual name and 108 general comments about renaming the square or keeping the current name.

Fremantle councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge, who represents the council on the Kings Square stakeholder group, said the suggestions were assessed against the naming criteria adopted by the council, provided to Landgate for preliminary comments and considered by the stakeholder group before finalising the shortlist.

“The civic heart of Fremantle is undergoing a massive transformation through the Kings Square Renewal Project, so we thought it was timely to explore what the community thought was the best name,” Cr Fitzhardinge said.

“The initial consultation attracted a lot of interest and we received some really great suggestions that we’ve now narrowed down to the shortlist of five options.

“One of those is to retain the original name of Kings Square; three are new Whadjuk Nyoongar names – Midgegooroo Square, Walyalup Koort and Boya Karla; and one is to have a dual name combining a Nyoongar name with Kings Square. The use of ‘Koort’ or ‘Gnalla’ as a suffix is also being considered.

“The issue of acknowledging Fremantle’s Italian heritage also came up through the process, so we’ve included an option to use Piazza rather than Square to refer to the space. There are also potentially other areas around the city that we could consider for an Italian name.

“We really want to hear what people have to say about their preferred name before a final recommendation is presented for council consideration later this year.”       

Except for a brief period in the 1980s the name Kings Square has remained unchanged since Surveyor-General John Septimus Roe drew up the original town plan for Fremantle in 1833.  The name refers to King William IV of England who reigned from 1830-37.

Midgegooroo was the leader of the Whadjuk clan that occupied and owned the area known as Beeliar, which included Fremantle. He was executed by firing squad on 22 May 1833 for the alleged killing of colonial settlers.

Walyalup is the traditional Whadjuk Nyoongar name for the geographic location of Fremantle. Koort is the Nyoongar word for heart, so Walyalup Koort means ‘a place in the heart of Fremantle’.

Boya Karla means ‘rock fire’, and is inspired by the public artwork proposed for Kings Square that incorporates a ring of standing stones representing WA’s 14 Nyoongar clans surrounding a ceremonial fire vessel.  

For more information on the five shortlisted options and to have your say visit the City of Fremantle’s  My Say Freo website.

The City of Fremantle is undertaking the $270 million Kings Square Renewal Project in partnership with Sirona Capital.

It includes the redevelopment of the old Myer and Queensgate sites to create offices for state government departments and the revolutionary FOMO food, art and retail concept, the construction of the City of Fremantle’s new administration centre and library and the rejuvenation of the public spaces around the square.

In February 2020 Fremantle Council voted to name the City’s new administration building the Walyalup Civic Centre.

For more information on the Kings Square Renewal Project watch this video.