Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, storm, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on May 30, 2020




Yesterday’s storm did a bit of damage in Fremantle’s Booyeembara Park, with one tree uprooted and several others losing big branches.

It is a lovely park to have a quite walk in though and watch some of the wildlife.

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre by freoview on April 23, 2020



The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of many events in Fremantle, including the fantastic REVEALED exhibition and market of Aboriginal art from remote WA communities at the Fremantle Arts Centre, but artworks from this year’s non-show are now available to view and purchase online.

Art lovers across the country have the opportunity to experience an eclectic collection of artworks by 120 of the most exciting new and emerging Western Australian Aboriginal artists by visiting the Fremantle Arts Centre website.

Fremantle Arts Centre Director Jim Cathcart said although he couldn’t hope to match last year’s Revealed sales of more than $600,000, the centre remained committed to supporting Aboriginal artists.

“We’ve developed a comprehensive catalogue for the exhibition which is available on our website so that people can view all the works, find out more about the artists and art centres and hopefully generate sales to support them through this very difficult period.”

Revealed is an annual program funded by the WA State Government which showcases WA Aboriginal art through an exhibition, art market and program of professional development for artists and art centre staff.

It’s an essential platform for nurturing and celebrating the next generation of Aboriginal artists and generates vital income.

Each artist has created new works for Revealed, which spans a breadth of styles and mediums including painting, installation, video, textiles, photography, print media, jewellery, carving and sculpture.

Revealed 2019 artist Cora Lynch said being part of the program had a lasting impact on her career.

Fremantle Arts Centre has waived all gallery commissions on Revealed sales, ensuring that 100 per cent of profits return to the artists and art centres.

The Revealed catalogue and detailed instructions on how to purchase artworks is available on the Fremantle Arts Centre website at




Like so many events and exhibitions the REVEALED Aboriginal art market at the Fremantle Arts Centre also had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 crisis, but people can still view and but the works from artists from remore communities on line

Western Australia’s largest Aboriginal art market will continue to offer remote and regional artists the opportunity to earn much needed income by going online.

Revealed 2020 was due to be held in the gardens at Fremantle Arts Centre today. It is a big annual event that provides a very important source of income for the artists and the regional and remote communities they support.

Last year more than $500,000 in market sales went directly to artists and art centres across the state.

FAC have put together a list of artworks available to order from WA’s 25 Aboriginal art centres and a number of independent Aboriginal artists who were set to exhibit.

They are also compiling a catalogue of the works that would have been in this year’s exhibition and details about how to purchase works will be released shortly.

“An online order will help provide some financial support to these artists who have sadly been impacted by the event’s cancellation.”

To purchase artworks from Revealed artists online visit the Support WA’s Aboriginal Artists page on the Fremantle Arts Centre website.

To take a virtual tour of last year’s Revealed Exhibition click here.

Roel Loopers




I am very disappointed that Fremantle Council is only offering a deferral of rent payment during these incredibly difficult times, and only for businesses who have closed or partially closed.

Up to six months deferral of rent payment on City-owned properties from the time of full or partial closure of the business.

I am well aware that the City of Fremantle is financially struggling, and now that there is hardly any income from parking fees and fines the Freo coffers will look much worse soon, but we need to back our business community, because once the Covid-19 crisis is over we want to see Freo back as soon as possible to its old vibrancy.

To just defer rental payment won’t be enough for many businesses, and they will not re-open when all this is over. It is not good enough, Freo Council! Scrap the rents for at least six months, instead of the token gesture of deferring payment!

Roel Loopers



Paul Murray column


I rarely agree with anything The West Australian columnist Paul Murray writes, because of his right wing pro Liberal party sentiments. Murray is also well known for his criticism of the green and left Fremantle Council, but I highly commend him for today’s column about a suggested name change of Fremantle’s Kings Square to Midgegooroo Place.

Unlike Fremantle Society president John Dowson, who called Midgegooroo a cold blooded murderer, Murray puts that episode of history in context of what really happened and why Midgegooroo killed.

Too often we only want to accept that part of history that suits our believes or political inclination, so it is really good to read Paul Murray’s column, which leaves the Fremantle Society president with egg on his face, yet again.

Buy The West today. It’s worth the money, just for Murray’s clarification of history!

Roel Loopers



Does Fremantle’s Kings Square need a new name, an Aboriginal name, a dual name? Most Councillors had something to say about it, with Councillor Doug Thompson being quite ambivalent about it. Whatever the outcome it has to be after a long and intense public community consultation process they all agreed.

The name  Midgegooroo, the father of Yagan, had been suggested and some elected members scoffed at the criticism that the Aboriginal elder had been accused of murder, with one Councillor saying we would lose half of Fremantle’s street names if we excluded people who had killed others.

Teachers had asked Councillors how their students could become involved in suggesting a new name for our city square, and it was important to open up the reconciliation conversation and take it outside Council and to the community, where we could expect a large diversity of suggestions.

Councillor Marija Vujcic said the terms of reference for community participation needed to be defined as inclusion was the key principle, while Mayor Brad Pettitt said they needed to make sure to get it right and have a robust debate about it in the community.

The name Walyalup civic centre was approved as the name for the new building at Kings Square as that had been one of the outcomes of the Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan(WRAP), but Councillor Marija Vujcic said that was not a mandate and questioned the community consultation.

Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge pointed out that the WRAP working group, of which I was a member, was not just Aboriginal people. She is right. There were about 100 people with different backgrounds and professions, and support agencies, including WA police, St Pat’s, etc and about 35 Aboriginal people at this extensive community process.

Fact is that there will be dozens of suggestions for a new name for Kings Square and many who will want it to remain Kings Square or go back to St John’s Square, after that it will still have to be a Council decision what the new name will be, so is it going to be a lottery, tossing a coin, suggesting a small number of names and let the community vote on it? But the latter would still be controversial as it will be impossible to get community consensus about a new name for our city square, and anything else for that matter.

How many people can councils realistically involve in the community consultation process about anything? Fact is that most people care little about what goes on in local government, as the low voter participation at elections clearly shows, so when do Councillors have a mandate to decide on anything? I thought the outcome of elections was the mandate for elected members. We elect them to make decisions on behalf of the community.

Roel Loopers




It is really disappointing to read Fremantle Society president John Dowson’s rants that he emails to the members.

JD writes about the FPOL committee meeting and a question from the public “How, when and where were the Fremantle rate payers involved or included in the planning of a tavern design concept to be located in the cultural and civic centre?” the answer came back: “The City undertook a Kings Square Urban design strategy in 2012/2013 which was developed through community consultation.”

That is correct. I was at several community meetings, including a so-called Citizenship Jury about the Kings Square plans, as the then president of the Fremantle Society.

JD also attacks Council’s suggestion to rename Kings Square and change it to an Aboriginal name: When the suggestion comes to council this Wednesday to rename King’s Square after Midgegooroo, a cold blooded murderer whose execution was even cheered by some Aboriginal onlookers, council may reluctantly give the community a few weeks, but only to give their suggestions for a name change.

History tends to write its own reality, and I remember well that John Dowson some years back defended the reputation of Captain Fremantle in a letter to the Fremantle Herald, when claims were made Fremantle had been a rapist. JD said the case never went to court and Fremantle was never convicted of rape, so let the same fairness apply to Midgegooroo, who was accused of being a murderer, but he was never convicted of that alleged crime in a court of law either, so the Noongar elder was unlawfully murdered by white settlers.

John Dowson is clearly of the belief that if one repeats claims often enough they become reality: The ideological whitewash of traditions and heritage in Fremantle is scarily becoming more and more evident as the rebranding and neglect of heritage gathers pace. When the Fremantle Society was told several years ago that a Fremantle Council consultant had indicated the superb Moreton Bay fig trees in King’s Square had to go as they affected the sight lines to the new administration building, the speaker was not believed. The trees are now gone.

Fact is that the Moreton Bay fig trees at Kings Square were very sick and arborists from the eastern states and WA advised Fremantle Council that the trees were becoming a danger to the community, as big heavy branches had fallen down, so the removal of the trees had nothing to do with sight lines. Every effort was made to try to save them with soil injections, etc, but unfortunately that was not successful and hence they were removed. It was about community safety.

I hear that even some committee members of the Fremantle Society are not happy with the president, so the real danger is that the very important contribution the society has made to Fremantle over decades is now being eroded by a man whose main interest appears to be political council bashing. What a shame, because we need community groups such as the Fremantle Society to scrutinise what is going on in our city, but that has to be done with facts, fairness and balance, not polemic.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, city of melville, concert, Uncategorized by freoview on February 21, 2020


Pigrams.. Feb 22jpg


The annual free Broome to Bicton concert by the Pigram Brothers is on this Saturday at Quarantine Park, just above the Bicton Bath, from 4.30pm.

The Pigram Brothers are a very popular band from the Kimberley and the Bicton concerts are always a great event.

Roel Loopers



The outcome, or lack thereof of the FPOL Committee decision about a new Aboriginal name for Kings Square and for the new civic centre was as clear as mud to me, but that was probably due to Councillors treating a public meeting as if it was a talk among themselves, and not bothering to speak into the microphones on the desk.

It looks like the new Civic Centre might just have the name Walyalup, but a new name for the city square, that is a triangle, will need more community consultation, probably because consultation was only done with local Noongar people.

Some Councillors were not convinced the new Aboriginal name should be that of a person, as the officers suggestion of Midgegooroo was, and were more interested making it into a Whadjuk Noongar place name, and that makes sense to me.

I don’t know what the Noongar name is for a place where people gather, but that is what Kings Square and St John’s Church are, and even the FOMO offices and retail and hospitality part of it, so that would be an appropriate name for the area.

It will go to full council, so there will be more ideas and suggestions and that is good, because Fremantle should have a significant place that has a Whadjuk Noongar name. It is only nine more years until we celebrate and commiserate the British settlement in Bathers Bay in 1829 but we still have not managed to have a lot of Aboriginal names in Fremantle, and I find that very disappointing.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, bathers beach, city of fremantle, culture, sculpture@bathers by freoview on February 17, 2020




What a shame that the Karla Nulla Boodja Wardarn sunset ceremony honouring Fire, Earth and Sea, which will have Bruce Abbott’s Seawall Bunker as the centrepiece, is on Sunday March 1 at sunset, the same day the huge Highway to Hell event is on Canning Highway, with the Fremantle part of it around 8.30.

The Seawall Bunker is part of Sculpture at Bathers and is a community participation artwork facilitated by Sculpture at Bathers artist Bruce Abbott. The ephemeral work reflects environmental themes relating to climate change and sea-level rise.

The Bathers Beach event deserves to have a lot of people watching it, but I fear most of them will opt for the once in a lifetime Highway to Hell spectacle.

Would it be possible to change the Karla Null Boodja Wardarn event to the Saturday or Monday of the long weekend?

Roel Loopers


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