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Cockburn ARC gala opening

Rosie Duffy  May 19, 2017 6:02 PM

Ross Lyon spoke at the opening of the Cockburn ARC on Friday night.

More than 300 invited guests attended the opening of the City of Cockburn’s Cockburn ARC on Friday evening.

Fremantle’s new elite training and administration facility is integrated within the $109 million complex, which was funded by the City of Cockburn along with grants from the state and federal governments.

Fremantle Dockers president Dale Alcock acknowledged the contribution of the City of Cockburn and the state and federal governments.

“There are many people in this room, that have contributed to the Fremantle Football Club’s integrated facility becoming a reality,” Alcock said at the launch.

"That started with a bold vision almost nine years ago by our board, led by former president Steve Harris and our CEO Steve Rosich.

“A key component of that vision was partnerships and partnerships have been the key to this wonderful outcome that will serve us very well for at least the next 50 years.

“Our partners had the courage and the shared vision of delivering a world-class facility that has combined the power of community and elite sport.”

Alcock paid tribute to the City of Cockburn, mayor Logan Howlett, CEO Stephen Cain and the city’s elected members.

“Thank you being a most valuable partner of the club and this facility,” he said.

“We share a vision of delivering for the community and by working together we have achieved something great and this is just the start – as we will continue to do great things together with our collaborative approach to the community.”

Alcock acknowledged the contribution of Curtin University to the project.

“Thank you for sponsorship of our club and your direct investment in this facility,” he said.

“You are setting the benchmark for educational institutions in this state and the student opportunities at our club at the Cockburn ARC facility make you a destination of choice for the students of today and tomorrow. 

Alcock also made a special presentation to the City of Cockburn in the passing on of a message stick

On behalf of the Fremantle Dockers the president also presented a ‘message stick’ in the form of a football to the mayor Logan Howlett.

Traditionally, message sticks were passed between indigenous ancestors as a way of communicating the coming together of two groups of people to celebrate peace, goodwill and kinship.

The football was painted by Fremantle Football Club number one ticket holder and respected indigenous elder Dr Richard Walley.

Dr Walley painted waves of energy in the colours of the Fremantle Dockers and the City of Cockburn on the football to represent the merging together of the two stakeholders in the new facility.

messagestick_620.jpgDale Alcock presenting the City of Cockburn Lord mayor Logan Howlett with the messgae stick.

Alcock said the club had a vision of being the best club in the AFL with Fremantle’s purpose being to engage, entertain and win.

“This new start of the facility helps us enormously in all of these three areas, it allows us engage with the community and our partners and to entertain our members and supporters,” Alcock said.

Speaking at the opening, senior coach Ross Lyon said he was thrilled with the facility.

“It’s very impressive, it’s great that it has a community aspect and we have our own dedicated resources as well,” Lyon said.

“We’ve come down here and there is massive scope for growth. Everything is modern and state of the art and it has created a real vibrancy for the whole group.”

Lyon said the potential for growth meant the club is not behind in any aspect of the competition.

“It helps you become a ‘destination club’ because players do look at facilities and what you have to offer.

“It’s sort of icing on the cake, we understand it’s about the player group and how hard they work but certainly eradicates any potential excuse.”

Former club president Steve Harris, who was involved from the early stages of planning of the project until the end of his tenure as president last year also attended the opening.

“To walk in tonight and see the place fully completed and operational I’m euphoric,” Harris said.

“It takes us forward for the next 20 or 30 years at least at the leading edge of the AFL in every single aspect of the club and team. The facility is best practice and it puts us ahead of everyone else.

“It gives us a real strategic advantage as a business and also on the field.”