WA 175th Anniversary Migrant Celebrations

WA 175th Anniversary Migrant Celebrations

Western Australia Minister for Culture & Arts John Day

Fremantle Welcome Walls Pay Lasting Tribute To Migrants

Victor P Taffa

More than 8,000 people are set to descend on Fremantle today as Culture and the Arts Minister John Day launches the Final Migrant Welcome Walls outside the Western Australian Museum – Maritime.

Mr. Day said the Welcome Walls Project began as part of Western Australia’s 175th Anniversary Celebrations in 2004 as a way of acknowledging the contribution to the State by its Migrant Communities.

“Australia is one of the most Multicultural Nations in the world and the Welcome Walls projects, both here in Fremantle and in Albany, are a way of recording and paying tribute to migrants who arrived by sea through those Ports.” Mr. Day said.

“More than a third of Western Australia’s Population was born overseas and the Welcome Walls pay tribute to migrants from many lands and cultures that have helped make this nation what it is today.”

“The Welcome Walls had been planned as a one-off project displaying about 2,000 inscriptions, but the public response was so overwhelming that the Fremantle Walls now hold more than 21,000 inscriptions, paying tribute to 45,000 immigrants to WA.”

The new Welcome Walls integrate key elements of the first two stages, completing the project as a seamless feature of both the Western Australian Museum – Maritime and the Victoria Quay waterfront, in keeping with the Fremantle Ports’ master plan for the area.”

All three stages of the Fremantle Project were designed by Perth architects Cox Howlett and Bailey Woodland and the final stage was built by Freo Constructions.

The Minister said the Albany Project was announced when stage two of Fremantle was launched and would be unveiled tomorrow.

Families seeking to have their names inscribed on the walls were assisted with their research by a number of organisations, including the State Library of Western Australia, the State Records Office of WA, the Perth office of the National Archives of Australia and the Western Australian Genealogical Society.

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