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Commemoration Ceremony

Wednesday 10 January 2018 marks the 150 year anniversary of the arrival of the convict ship Hougoumont in Fremantle. It will be the moment when we pause to remember all who arrived on the Hougoumont, the Noongah people of the south west and those who were here in Fremantle. 9.00am: Descendants and Festival Supporters meet on Bather’s Beach, north of Kidogo Arthouse 9.30am: Commemoration Ceremony begins 10.30am: Walk of the Descendants and Supporters to Fremantle Prison (transport available if needed) 11.30am: Fremantle Prison acknowledgement of Fenians and their descendants Invitation to view ‘The Wild Goose’ and Exhibition of Transportation 3.00pm: Sharing the Stories - Descendants and history lovers invited to share stories at Kidogo 6.00pm: Music at Kidogo Arthouse

Declan ORourke | Fenians Festival

Support Acts: Robert Zielinski Trio. Declan O’Rourke is a highly successful Irish singer songwriter, acclaimed by his peers. Declan’s soulful music, rooted in folk and tradition, has attracted the praise of countless industry giants.  The Robert Zielinksi Trio, is a Perth based traditional Irish music trio performing lively jigs, reels, highlands, hornpipes, strathspeys, traditional and contemporary songs.

Declan ORourke WA Maritime Museum | Fenians Festival

Supporting Acts: Fiona Rea  Declan O’Rourke is a highly successful Irish artist, acclaimed by his peers, and having achieved many plaudits with his five albums released to date. Declan’s soulful music, rooted in folk and trad, has attracted the praise of countless industry giants, including John Prine, and Paul Weller, among others. Fiona Rea has a passion for storytelling, connection and melody. Fiona’s songs are influenced by the Irish heritage and by a lifelong love of music and it's power to reach people beyond the isolation of circumstance. For Fiona, a song is a bridge between people, offering connection and embrace.

Family Day | Fenians Festival

The Fenian Festival Family Day will be buzzing with activities and information for all the family. The WA Maritime Museum is offering free entry all day (entry fees will apply for the Escape from Pompeii exhibition). There’ll be storytelling, activities, and art exhibitions for kids of all ages. Keep listening for the tap, tap, tap of the Irish dancers as they ‘pop up’ in unexpected places. Grab lunch at the E-shed market then follow the Wild Goose Trail past the Paper Bird bookshop to Bather’s Beach where you’ll see plenty of boats in the water, including the graceful old Gaffers. Don’t forget your bathers! Kids of all ages will be able to make their own kite and fly it in the breeze. Stay on till late afternoon when the whole family can join in the Ceili dance where traditional Irish musicians and a world class dance caller will teach you the steps as the sun sets slowly into the ocean.

Fenian Heritage Trail Bus Tour

Join members of the John Boyle O’Reilly Association as they tell us the stories of courage, daring and escape. We’ll journey for a day out of Fremantle to the places of significance in this Fenian story. There’ll be a stop off at the John Boyle O’Reilly Heritage Trail at Australind, where O’Reilly survived in the bush awaiting the ship which would take him to freedom. We’ll see the places where O’Reilly worked building roads in Dardanup and visit the grave of Irish Pioneer Jim Maguire who bravely helped him escape. On the return journey to Fremantle we’ll stop off at the Catalpa Memorial south of Rockingham, the site where Captain Anthony and his team of whalers ‘stole’ the Fenians away on the Catalpa to the USA and freedom. TOUR ITINERARY 8.00am: Meet & greet Kidogo Arthouse Mews Road Fremantle (tour intro/story trail begins)8.30am: Depart Fremantle for JBO Heritage Trail, Australind (north of Bunbury)10.00am: Arrive JBOHT ‐ morning tea ‐ guided walking tour11.00am: Depart JBOHT for town of Dardanup11.30am: Dardanup Pioneer Cemetery (Jim Maguire’s gravesite and others involved in O’Reilly’s escape)12.00pm: Lunch at JBO Tavern, Dardanup (lunch is included in ticket price)1.00pm: Depart Dardanup for Rockingham2.30pm: Arrive Catalpa Memorial Rockingham3.00pm: Depart Rockingham for Fremantle with short stop at C Y O’Conner Beach, Woodman’s Point4.00pm: Arrive Fremantle (end of tour) Participants to bring: camera, hat, binoculars, walking shoes, water, sun‐bloc Special needs: please let us know if you have special dietary needs or require disabled facilities Tour Guide: Peter Murphy Poet: Lachlan Kelly, who’ll recite poetry from The Wild Goose & JB O'Reilly during the tour For further information please contact:

Fenians Fremantle Freedom Festival Family Fun Day

In partnership with the Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival, the WA Maritime Museum is proud to support and present children’s activities during the school holidays. Take the Shamrock Trail to find out about 2 famous Irishmen. Build a model boat workshop for 6-12 year olds. What would it be like to be at sea in a sailing ship in the 1860’s? Get the inside story from some of the museum exhibits then build your own model sailing boat and test it. Workshop times 10-11:30am or 1:30-3pm. Bookings essential phone 1300 134 081. Take the opportunity to view the Children’s Art Exhibition (running from 16 December 2017-15 January 2018).WA Maritime Museum entry fees apply.

Fenians, Fremantle and Freedom Festival

 As you wander through Fremantle in early January, make sure you listen carefully. You’ll hear the sweet sounds of one of Ireland’s greatest fiddlers, Martin Hayes and the echo back from his musical confidante, American guitarist Dennis Cahill as they capture the essence of traditional Irish music in a contemporary rhythm to uplift your spirits. Focus again and you’ll pick up the enchanting, rich melodious voice of gifted, Irish singer and songwriter Declan O’Rourke. If you know something about the hidden treasure spots of the West End, you might uncover the textured language of one of Ireland’s best loved poets, Tony Curtis.  There’s clearly something significant happening in Fremantle, to draw such fabulous Irish talent here. Indeed, there is! It’s a ten-day Irish cultural immersion, the first of its kind, called Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival, commemorating a journey made 150 years ago by 62 Irish political prisoners – the Fenians. The Fenians were young men, between 19 and 30, who grew up in Ireland in a time of starvation, death and forced evictions - the years of the great famine. Having exhausted all attempts to gain self-government through political means, they decided to fight for independence and they staged a rising. Their plot was uncovered, they were arrested, sentenced for treason, exiled from their homeland and transported to Western Australia.  After spending months in solitary confinement, it was a bitter-sweet relief when they boarded the very last convict ship to Australia, the Hougoumont, where they shared stories, organised concerts, wrote a newspaper called the Wild Goose, and looked out for each other. You might recognise the name Hougoumont, it’s that funky hotel in Bannister Street. There’s clearly something significant happening in Fremantle, to draw such fabulous Irish talent here. Indeed, there is! It’s a ten-day Irish cultural immersion, the first of its kind, called Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival... They also dreamed of escape. The most famous of the Fenians, John Boyle O’Reilly did escape a year later, on an American whaler. He became the editor of a Boston newspaper and together with supporters in the US and Ireland, organised a crowd funding venture to purchase a whaler, the Catalpa, and rescue his mates from the bottom of the world, out of Fremantle Prison. It’s a big story and there’s a big festival to commemorate and celebrate it. As well as the concerts, there’ll be a family day at the Maritime Museum, art exhibitions, Irish film, literature workshops, remarkable stories and of course, the Guinness …plenty of it on tap at the Festival Gardens and Kelp Bar at Kidogo Arthouse. But you won’t be sitting still, there’s music to get your feet tapping and a traditional Irish ceili dance with an Indian Ocean sunset as the backdrop. After 10 days of celebration and commemoration, you’ll have to get in quick to book a table at the primal food extravaganza and street party, the Feast of the Wild Goose, sponsored by Fremantle BID and supported by the Hougoumont Hotel and the Bannister St traders. This 150 year old story of valuing your culture and looking after your friends is the one we still strive for here in Fremantle. Fenians, Fremantle and Freedom Festival | 5-14 January 2018

Kids Film Song of the Sea | Fenians Festival

Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world. Rated: G Suitable for age 6+ Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes Oscar nominated Director: Tomm Moore Stars: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Lisa Hannigan

Literature Day Writings of the Fenians

‘Oh Generation of Freedom, remember us, The generation of the Vision.’ Liam Mac Uistin, Wall of Remembrance, Dublin What’s writing got to do with it? Well everything actually... it's how we know what happened on the Hougoumont voyage, it's how we know about the daring escapes and it’s the letters and newspapers of the time that tell us what Fremantle thought about these Irish arrivals. Poetry played a big part in the Fenian writings, and we’re honoured to have Ireland’s esteemed poet, Tony Curtis with us for the festival. Tony will reflect on the gift of Poetry and how it contributes to resilience – a message as important today as it was 150 years ago. You’ll hear stories from Fremantle’s oldest families; stories from the Hougoumont; stories from John Boyle O’Reilly about his observations of Noongah culture and stories from the Fenians’ diaries that tell us of love and loss and the desire for freedom. Registration via Eventbrite is essential

Lucky Oceans and the Gaelic Gumbo | Fenians Festival

"A fusion of Irish songs simmered in Louisiana Beats" Lucky Oceans is a double Grammy Award winning pedal steel guitarist and co-founder of Western Swing band Asleep at the Wheel. Lucky presented Australia's leading Radio National music show, The Planet, for 21 years. Lucky will put together a great line up of musicians to play for you in the idyllic beach side "Kelp Bar" at Kidogo Arthouse as the sun goes down.

Martin Hayes Dennis Cahill | Fenians Festival

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill are two of the world’s leading artists in traditional Irish music. Their adventurous, soulful interpretations of traditional tunes are recognized all over the world for their exquisite musicality and irresistible rhythm. For over two decades, the Irish fiddler and American guitarist have performed at major concert halls and festivals around the globe. Support Act: Kavisha Mazzella is an Aria award winner, songbird and folkloric explorer. Kavisha's original songs contain lyrical ingredients including humour, poetry, social justice and the spiritual. She will take you on an uplifting journey of well-crafted stories and songs ringing with echoes of Celtic, Fado and Gypsy influences that will strike a resounding chord within.

Sunset Ceili at Bathers Beach

Come and experience a once-in-a-lifetime outdoor dance event as Irish dance master teacher Hilary McKenna leads an epic Céilí (dance party) for all ages and experience levels on Bather's Beach's iconic boardwalk while the shining sun melts into the Indian Ocean. Live music provided by some of Australia's best traditional Irish musicians; the boardwalk will be jumping as Hilary guides all ages and experience levels through a series of fun and easy dances that everyone will enjoy. Following the sunset, there will be a Traditional Irish Music Session in the main gallery at Kigodo Arthouse.

Tony Curtis Poetry Workshop for Writers

Join us for a unique opportunity to work with one of Ireland’s foremost poets in a workshop where we’ll explore the gift that poetry provides and ponder on the part that writing played in sustaining the Fenians and how poetry sustains us today. The Festival’s visiting Irish poet, Tony Curtis, will treat us to a feast of poetry which is as sure to support our cultural connections today as it did for the Fenians, 150 years ago.  What to Bring: A note book and pens for writing, an open mind and a willing heart. Some sponsored places are available for young writers. Please contact for details ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Tony Curtis was born in Dublin, and educated at the University of Essex and at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1993, his poem The Dowser and the Child won the Poetry Ireland/Friends Provident National Poetry Competition, while These Hills won the Book Stop Poetry Prize. He also edited As the Poet Said (1997), a selection of quotations from Dennis O'Driscoll's regular column in Poetry Ireland Review. In 2003 he was awarded the Varuna House Exchange Fellowship to Australia. Works: • The Shifting of Stones (1986)• Behind the Green Curtain (1988)• This Far North (1994)• Three Songs of Home (1998)• The Book of Winter Cures (2002)• What Darkness Covers (2003)• The Well in the Rain (2006)• Days Like These (with Paula Meehan and Theo Dorgan) (2008)• Folk (2011)• Sandworks (with the Irish photographer Liam Blake) (2011)• An Elephant Called Rex (illustrated by Pat Mooney) (2011)• Aran Currach (with the Irish photographer Liam Blake) (2013)• Pony (with the artist David Lilburn) (2013)• Approximately in the Key of C (2015)

Weaving History into Creative Writing

This workshop focuses on the weaving of history into creative writing, specifically novels and short stories. It asks us to think about the relationship between past, present and future. We wonder why it is important for writers to be aware of such a powerful relationship, which is at the heart of so many of the most popular works ever written? What does it teach us about ourselves, each other and the craft of writing? Through a series of group and individual activities and discussions, participants in the workshop will be encouraged and guided to develop a heightened awareness of the role history might play in the creation of their own fiction. What to Bring: A note book and pens for writing, an open mind and a willing heart. Some sponsored places are available. Facilitator: Dr Angeline O’Neill Angeline is Discipline Head of English Literature at Notre Dame University in Fremantle where she teaches in the areas of Australian literature, Irish literature, Indigenous literatures, Children's literature, Gothic literature, Travel Writing and Literary Theory. She is a recipient of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. Her most recent publications have been in the areas of Transnational literatures, Diaspora and Indigenous literatures. Publications: O'Neill, A. and A. Brewster, R. van den Berg Those Who Remain Will Always Remember: An Anthology of Aboriginal Writing. Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2000.O'Neill, A. “From Ballarat to Surry Hills: Literature, Architecture and Irish Diaspora in Australia”, in Discovering Diasporas: a Multidisciplinary Approach, T. Vinkemans and N. Miletic. Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press, 2015.Irish-American and Irish-Australian women's writing: an ongoing exploration of freedom and oppression - Paper presented at Freedom Proclaimed conference, Irish Association for American Studies, University of Limerick, April 2013.Fremantle Heritage Festival: J.B. O'Reilly and the Great Fenian Escape Co-organizer of W.B. Yeats Exhibition, UNDA 2015