Councillor profiles - Jim O誰eill Mayor East Fremantle

Article image - Councillor profiles - Jim O誰eill Mayor East Fremantle Town of East Fremantle Mayor, Jim O誰eill.

The Town of East Fremantle is an historic local government, which was created in 1897.  

We are privileged to be custodians for a portion of the Swan River, and take great pride in maintaining its natural environment and surrounds, and working with the relevant state agencies and local working groups to improve and protect our environment. 

Combining past and future
The Town was last week announced a finalist in the State Heritage Awards in the category of Contribution by a Public or Private Organisation for the Town Hall (1902) Conversation project. The Project was completed on time and on budget. The East Fremantle Town Hall is a highly significant and visual building in the Town’s history and the heritage landscape of Western Australia, and forms part of a greater heritage precinct in East Fremantle, consisting of the original Post Office and Police Station. 

We have the picturesque Swan River on our northern boundary; historic and beautiful George Street, our main retail and restaurant precinct; a growing town centre; a variety of housing options from heritage workers cottages, merchant homes, homes with large gardens to new modern architecture along the riverside.  We have an inclusive community with children, adults and elderly sharing our parks and foreshore.

The Town recently partnered with the Department of Defence to conduct a community consultation and engagement process for the proposed sale of Leeuwin Barracks. 

Defence announced its intention to sell the Barracks as it is no longer required for operational or strategic purposes.  Defence and the Town partnered to undertake a Visioning process, providing the community with an opportunity to help shape the future of the site. The centrepiece of the process was a collaborative four day design forum (known as a Charrette).  

A copy of the Leeuwin Vision Plan is available on
the Town’s website.

Representing my community
I joined the East Fremantle Council in 1995 as a Councillor; I became (popclarly elected) Mayor in 2001 and had the privilege of that position until 2007.  I then chose to run for Mayor again in 2013 and have been in this position since then. 

I enjoy representing the community I live in; I find it very rewarding.

It’s great working with a cohesive and collegiate Council, and group of professional and committed staff.

I am Deputy Principal at Willetton Senior High School, a well-regarded secondary school in Perth’s southern suburbs.

I am a keen golfer, enjoy stand up paddle boarding at the beach (we have the best beaches in Australia!), spending time with my family – I am married to Suzanne and we have four beautiful girls (who grew up in East Fremantle and attended Richmond Primary School) and two gorgeous grand-children. As adults my children still reminisce about growing up in East Fremantle. 

Looking forward
The main challenge for the Town will be balancing larger scale infill developments such as the Leeuwin Barracks, and at the same time maintaining the Town’s character, particularly in the high value heritage areas. 

2019 promises to be another progressive and exciting year for the Town with a continued focus on our transformation to a citizen-centric approach to delivering our services. A number of new e-services have or will be rolled out, including online rates, building licence applications, planning application tracking, community engagement and infringement payments.

The best part is representing East Fremantle, it’s a fantastic place to live and work. The positivity of the community never ceases to amaze and hearten me. I am so very proud and privileged to represent this community.

There is no worst part – you couldn’t ask for a better place to be Mayor!

My hope for the future is to continue to make the Town a better place (if that’s at all possible!) to ensure we meet the needs and expectations of
our community.