INCLUSIVITY was the word Gina Williams used to describe next Sunday’s One Day in Fremantle event.
Williams is an indigenous singer-songwriter who is thrilled to be returning to host the event, which will feature musicians such as Kate Miller-Heidke, Kevin Parker and Baker Boy.
“Last year it was amazing to be included so it was a wonderful surprise to be asked back again,” she said.
“It turned out to be such a beautiful day last year, free music in the warm weather right by the beach.
“There was no aggressive behaviour, no trouble and when the event ended everyone went away peacefully.
“It was nice to see people getting food in Fremantle and supporting local businesses and families coming down with their kids.”
Williams said despite the tension and controversy last year around Fremantle’s decision to not hold official celebrations on January 26, she hasn’t seen a repeat of such behaviour this year.
“Last year when I participated I was called unpatriotic and un-Australian,” she said.
“There was a lot of conversation regarding the decision last year and the sky didn’t fall in.
“It showed that there could be an event like this, nothing is broken, Australia is still Australia.
“If it was up to me I would change the date to make it inclusive to everyone.
“Many different generations of people have come to Australia and we are still welcoming people.
“There are a range of dates that could be chosen – it could be the day of the apology, May 8, New Year’s Day when we became a Federation.
“To be honest many discussions need to happen and picking dates is one of the last things, there are more pressing issues.
“It’s great that the City of Freo has led the charge and other councils are following suit and having their own discussions.
“Any opportunity to talk about healing and moving forward is good, respectful conversations should be embraced.
“No one is banning fireworks it’s just thinking about the meaning behind them.”