Mary Davies Library and Community Centre Turns Five

Mary Davies Library and Community Centre Turns Five

The Mary Davies Library and Community Centre played host to a special celebration on Friday 5 July 2019, as the City of Rockingham formally marked the fifth anniversary since the much loved community facility opened its doors.

Located on Settlers Avenue in the heart of Baldivis, the Mary Davies Library and Community Centre officially opened in mid-2014.

The facility is a contemporary, cutting-edge library service that also offers community spaces for hire. It is named after the late Mary Davies (1926 – 2014), who was a passionate and committed member of the Rockingham community.

City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the Mary Davies Library and Community Centre had quickly evolved to become an integral part of the community.

“In only five years the Mary Davies Library and Community Centre has welcomed 864,000 visits, which is about 172,800 per year,” Mayor Sammels said.

“During this time the library has grown to have about 15,000 registered borrowers, with 657,911 book loans taking place.

“Figures like this indicate just how popular the facility has become in such a short space of time. As the community of Baldivis and the City in general continues to grow, we can expect to see more residents enjoying all that the Mary Davies Library and Community Centre has to offer.”

Students from Baldivis Secondary College at Mary Davies Library

For more information about the programs and events on offer at the Mary Davies Library and Community Centre email or contact 9591 0800.


Exhibition to Highlight Importance of Wetlands to Aboriginal Culture

Exhibition to Highlight Importance of Wetlands to Aboriginal Culture

As part of celebrations for the Australian Heritage Festival, the City of Rockingham will host an exhibition from the WA Inspired Art Quilters at the Rockingham Central Library throughout April and May.

Running from Monday 29 April to Friday 24 May 2019, the Rockingham Central Library will feature the Noongar Country: Wetland Glimpses exhibition, which will include a collection of 16 quilts that highlight key aspects of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain and their importance to Aboriginal people.

The WA Inspired Art Quilters are a group of quilters based in Perth, whose purpose is to make art quilts for major exhibitions and galleries across Western Australia.

The exhibition at Rockingham Central Library will begin with an official opening on Thursday 2 May 2019 from 10am–11am. Members of the WA Inspired Art Quilters will be on hand to speak about the exhibition and to answer any questions. Bookings are preferred for this opening.

On Thursday 16 May 2019 from 6pm–8pm community members will have the chance to experience the Rockingham Central Library after dark as the City hosts the Noongar Country: Wetland Glimpses: Library Up Late event. The focus of the presentation will be the quilts and their relation to wetland resources and Noongar culture at the time of early European settlement. Bookings are essential for this event.

City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels encouraged residents to visit the exhibition throughout April and May.

“The WA Inspired Art Quilters are a talented group that has created a range of quilts that highlight the importance of the wetlands to Aboriginal people,” Mayor Sammels said.

“Depicting aspects of the wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain, they acknowledge the wetland network was prevalent and abundant on Whadjuk Noongar country prior to colonisation.

“There is much to be learned from the quilts so I encourage all residents to head down to the Rockingham Central Library and immerse themselves in the Noongar Country: Wetland Glimpses exhibition.”

For more information or to book contact the Rockingham Central Library on 9528 8683


Happy Birthday City of Rockingham

Happy Birthday City of Rockingham

On Monday 12 November 2018 the City of Rockingham will reach its 30th anniversary of formally attaining City status.

The 30th anniversary represents another milestone in Rockingham’s history, which began when the area was originally named after the ship Rockingham which ran aground in bad weather off the coast in 1830.

Initially constituted as a Road Board on 21 May 1897, Rockingham officially became a Shire on 1 July 1961 before finally attaining City status on 12 November 1988.

Mayor Barry Sammels said the 30th anniversary was an important date in the City’s history.

“The criteria for becoming a City in 1988 included having a population of more than 30,000 and a revenue of $200,000 sustained for three years,” Mayor Sammels said.

“The district also had to be clearly distinguishable as a centre of population with sufficient residential, commercial and industrial centres.

“Since then the Rockingham community has grown to become a bustling strategic metropolitan centre that is home to nearly 140,000 residents.

The City’s first Mayor in 1988 was Councillor Richard Smith, while the first CEO of the City was Gary Holland, namesake of the community centre on Kent Street.

“It is important we acknowledge the progress which has been made over the last 30 years, which has laid the foundations for our continued growth into the future,” Mayor Sammels said.

“Having become such a fantastic place to live and work, I’m excited to see how our City continues to develop in the years to come.”

image: Rockingham Museum March 1989

Heritage Strategy Community Engagement Workshop

Heritage Strategy Community Engagement Workshop

The City is currently developing its Heritage Strategy and needs your input. We will be running a Heritage Strategy Community Workshop on Thursday 22 November 2018 from 6pm–8pm.

The Heritage Strategy will establish an Action Plan to identify how the City can improve the management of its heritage under the themes of understanding, protecting, sustaining and promoting.

Heritage refers to aspects of our past that we want to keep: a place which has played an important part in our history, an historical archive or account, a building which has significance because of its architectural quality or association with a person, or a natural feature such as a rock formation, fossil site or landscape – things which we would like future generations to enjoy. This will include European and Aboriginal heritage, such as the Chesterfield Inn in East Rockingham and Lake Richmond in Rockingham.

More information on the City’s heritage is available on the City’s heritage page.

Please ensure you RSVP via by Tuesday 20 November if you wish to attend, as places are limited. Please arrive by 5.45pm for registration. Tea and light refreshments will be provided.

What: Heritage Strategy Community Engagement Workshop
When: Thursday 22 November 2018 6pm–8pm
Where: Gary Holland Community Centre, 19 Kent Street, Rockingham

Should you have any enquiries, please contact Gayle O’Leary on 9528 0333. If you are unable to attend the workshop but would still like to have input, visit Share your thoughts.



The Legacy of The Catalpa Rescue Lives On

The Legacy of The Catalpa Rescue Lives On

One of the most exciting chapters in Western Australia’s colonial history – the bold and daring mission in 1876 to liberate six Irish political prisoners on the American whaling ship Catalpa – continues to inspire people from around the world.

The legacy of the Catalpa was alive and well on 25 July when Jim Ryan, great-grandson of the Catalpa’s Captain, George Anthony, visited the iconic “Wild Geese” monument in Rockingham as part of a wider trip across WA to see sights that are significant to his family heritage.

During his visit from New Bedford in the United States of America Mr Ryan also visited Bunbury as well as the Fremantle Maritime Museum to discuss the enthralling rescue with a live audience.

City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the story of the Catalpa was one of the most colourful and stirring events in the City’s history.

“The epic adventure of the Catalpa and the six outlaw Fenians who broke out of prison and fled to America is arguably one of the world’s greatest escapes,” Mayor Sammels said.

“The City was delighted to welcome Mr Ryan and his family during their visit to the Catalpa Memorial, which occupies the place where the prisoners left these shores forever.

“The sculpture stands as a reminder of the value of freedom and it was an honour to meet a direct descendant of one of the key players in this inspiring story.”

In 1876 six Irish political prisoners escaped from prison in Fremantle and made their way down to Rockingham.

They rowed a small boat out to the whaling ship Catalpa, which had sailed from Boston to rendezvous with them.

Trailing police fired shots at the vessel, but when the American flag was raised the chase ended and the prisoners sailed away to freedom.

For those who’re interested, more information about the escape can be found on Wikipedia here; Catalpa Rescue.




Pin It on Pinterest