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Freedom exhibition skates into Melville

5 November 2021

The City of Melville is proud to present Freedom: Stories from Skate Culture WA

At some point in their lives, almost everyone in Australia has stood on a skateboard.

Whether it sits by the door ready to roll, under the bed gathering dust or buried under a pile of boxes in the garage, the skateboard is a ubiquitous object in the average Aussie home.

This summer, the City of Melville will pay homage to that humble symbol of freedom, expression and rebellion – and the subculture it spawned - with a fully immersive exhibition, Freedom: Stories from Skate Culture WA.

Featuring commissioned works by highly regarded WA visual artist Bevan Honey, the exhibition – which runs from Friday, 3 December 2021 to Saturday, 19 February 2022 at Yagan Mia Wireless Hill Park and Museum in Ardross – will turn the spotlight on Perth’s contribution to a cultural revolution and trace local stories, design innovation and artistry from the 1960s to the present day.

From home-made backyard boards to mass produced discount department store rides; from groups of troubled believers to commercial superstars, ‘sidewalk surfing’ has experienced a remarkable evolution – and it’s all captured in Freedom with exhibits and local tales from those who have lived through it.

Of course, by its nature, Freedom isn’t just taking place within four walls! The exhibition will be held in the grounds and gallery spaces at Wireless Hill, where people will be able to bring their boards and have a skate. 

Over three adrenaline-packed weekends across summer, visitors will get the chance to paint their own board, learn from the masters, test their skateboarding skills and catch some great live music.

Honey – the artist behind the iconic Scarborough Beach sign - has been commissioned to create three central works for the exhibition and some ephemeral, skateable public art works for the grounds around Wireless Hill while the infamous double kink stair rail from Melville Senior High School has also been reinstalled for the duration of the exhibition.   

City of Melville Mayor the Hon. George Gear JP said the immersive nature of Freedom made it an exhibition like no other and he anticipated wide-spread interest from people across Perth.

“We are encouraging everyone, regardless of whether they live in Melville, to come along, check out the exhibition and get involved,” said Mayor Gear.

City of Melville Creative Producer Arts and Culture Pete Stone said the exhibition explored the peculiarities of the evolution of skateboarding in Perth and will appeal to the young – and the young at heart.

“This exhibition is not a history or a chronological explanation of the development of skateboarding, it is a deep dive in to Perth stories, and how West Australians connect to the phenomenon of skating,” said Stone.

“We are encouraging everyone to join us and share their own stories.”


Freedom Program of Events 

Yagan Mia Wireless Hill Park and Museum, Ardross

Friday, 3 December, 6.00pm to 8.00pm

Opening Night, featuring music from DJ Big Ear Chad, skating demos from skating stars Harry Clark, TJ Cross, Claudia Duane and Tom Bentley and guest speakers

Saturday, 4 December, 10.00am to 12noon

Paint your board and ride the ramp with artist and musician Nelson Mondlane

Suitable for 10-15 years of age

Bookings essential, registrations open soon!

Saturday, 4 December, 3.00pm to 5.00pm

Watch a demo and get tips from the pros Harry Clark, TJ Cross, Claudia Duane and Tom Bentley, before having a go on our custom built course


Saturday, 12 February

Explore the exhibition, open 10.00am to 7.00pm

Melville Summer Music featuring Dan Howls, 5.00pm to 7.00pm


Saturday, 19 February

Last chance to explore the exhibition and skate in the park

Gallery opening 10.00am to 7.00pm

Melville Summer Music featuring Lincoln McKinnon & The Wrecking Train and Tanaya Harper, 5pm to 7pm

Closing Night event, further details revealed closer to the time, 7.30pm



Exhibition open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00am to 4.00pm, from Saturday, 4 December 2021 to Saturday, 19 February 2022. Wireless Hill Museum will be closed from Monday, 20 December 2021 and will reopen on Wednesday, 5 January 2022.

For more information, visit


Image: Morgan Campbell rides the double kink rail at Melville Senior High School. Photo by Aaron Brown.

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