For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument & debate.” Margaret Hefferman, Entrepreneur

As I sat in an innovation workshop yesterday, the conversation turned to the age of enlightenment and the role that the old coffee houses of London served in the 1700s to bring the educated and commercial elite together to debate, explore new ideas, be stimulated and find connections. The idea that great ideas require incubation, connections and relationships to truly bring them to life over coffee seemed to fit well with Fremantle’s history and heritage. In fact we have our own 1985 Victoria Coffee Place on Pakenham St that did just that at the turn of the century!

This theme of connections and relationships followed through the week as we heard from Ambassadors and connectors around South East Asia in DFAT’s market insight series, and also gathered for our now bi-annual round table between the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Board, and the City of Fremantle’s Mayor, Councillors and Department Directors.

The priorities set for our year ahead to continue to encourage conversations and connections to convert good ideas into reality were consistent across both the leaders of the City of Fremantle and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce. These included:

  • The crucial importance of the Southern Transport Corridor as we highlighted in last week’s Chamber Weekly.
  • Coming together to support the incredible opportunity the Government’s Film Hub proposal presents to our region, but also our local film and creative sector. A hub that will attract, stimulate and turn ideas into a visual reality.
  • The strategic imperative of the Round House and the connection it provides between Victoria Quay, Bathers Beach and Fishing Boat Harbour
  • Finding solutions together to help manage the business impacts on anti-social behaviour and homelessness (including the development of a service referral map and the seeding of an idea to host a workshop with experts in the area of diffusing and managing interactions at the front line of this issue for our local businesses)
  • Looking closely at the definitions of mixed use developments, and how we ensure better outcomes for movement through our Port city, retail and residential targets.
  • Continuing the conversation around connectors – the Indian Pacific, Train Station and links into Victoria Quay to benefit Fremantle.
  • Bringing a new and improved Fremantle Visitors Centre to life, with an initial entry statement and greeting point at Pioneer Park.

These priorities cannot be delivered without the debate, consideration and involvement of multiple stakeholders coming together to achieve change.

We have some great events coming up to help create better connections and debate ideas – from our industry Think Tanks, to a new and incredible Business After Hours event kindly hosted by Fremantle Ports, our Experience Fremantle from the Inside Tours and our Set the Month in Motion conversation around how to think about recruitment completely differently. As always registrations, rsvps and tickets on these are on the website

While you are there it might be a great time to upload your Chamber member directory and put some thought into a member offer that can help you build better relationships and connections to help your business keep innovating and growing. We are all in this together so use the incredible resources we have on tap locally to bring some new ideas to life.

You can read more from the Chamber Weekly here, including some valuable insights on post COVID-19 changes relevant to meetings, Directors duties and other obligations from Chamber Member Anthony Jarvis of Opportuna Legal – commercial legal services (Fremantle).