The One Day event aimed to bring unity and was encouraged by local Aboriginal people but allegedly left one man with a bloody lip and community members outraged.
The Fremantle council celebrated its third year of holding Australia Day celebrations away from January 26, after stating in 2016 that they wanted more inclusion for Aboriginal people during their national holiday celebrations.
Yesterday’s One Day events took a turn for the worse for one Aboriginal man and has left many in the community angered.
Jamie Joseph was allegedly knocked to the ground and left unconscious, after being hit by a security guard hired by the event organisers.
When approached by NITV after the assault, Mr Joseph said he was still in a daze and his mind was “fuzzy” and didn’t want to make a comment.
His cousin, Jasmin Gentle, who witnessed the assault, said to NITV and said the assault was ‘shocking’.
“[I’m] disgusted. We’re trying to come down here to celebrate the day as a nation,” she said.
Another eyewitness, who didn’t want to be identified, spoke to NITV and said security went over to Mr Joseph who was sitting with his family and other members of the Aboriginal community and had asked them to stop drinking.
Eyewitnesses say there was a heated argument between the two men and Mr Joseph got up to get his eski to leave. As he got up the security guard allegedly hit him and Mr Joseph fell to the ground.
Mr Joseph was attended to by first aid responders at the nearby first aid tent and also questioned by police.
Herbert Bropho, who advocated for the Fremantle Council to change their Australia Day celebrations, also witnessed the ordeal and was left frustrated by what he saw.
“I don’t like the attitude. They shouldn’t have left him (the security) here. We put this event on for all nationalities to come and enjoy the day and for the security to do that it’s not on.”
NITV had witnessed a number of people being asked by event security to get rid of their alcohol, some were even followed to the bins by security. The police confirmed to NITV that Mr Joseph decided not to press charges against the security guard, who continued his duties before being asked to leave approximately 40 minutes after the alleged altercation.
Right before Mr Joseph's assault, police escorted one man away from the festival after being disruptive during Adrian Eagle’s music set.
The crowd was mixed with young, old, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Hundreds from across Perth and regional WA attended the free concert.
Headliners for this year’s event included Montaigne, Adrian Eagle, and Emily Wurramara.
Fremantle Mayor, Dr Brad Pettit told the crowd at the event it is important to take the right steps forward with reconciliation.
“Reconciliation is not to a point to arrive at, it’s a journey we take together and it’s a journey we’ll take together over many years.”
The City of Fremantle’s media told NITV they would assist the police and supply CCTV vision if required.