Freo's View

WHERE IS THE STATE SUPPORT FOR FREMANTLE?

 

Whilst I welcome the activation of Fremantle’s Victoria Quay with Gage Roads Brewery opening one of the largest hospitality venues in Perth at A Shed, I had to laugh a bit yesterday that the announcement was made by Premier Mark McGowan and three ministers, after all, this is a private investment that does not cost the state anything, so for me it appeared to be all about the upcoming election.

It made me wonder also why Fremantle keeps getting treated like the black sheep in the family, or the unwanted child, because we here in the port city only get the crumbs, but no substantial support from the state government. Instead of being rewarded by the Labor government for being a safe Labor seat, we are taken for granted and get token gestures, such as the insufficient $ 500,000 for Arthur’s Head, when a proper job needs $ 2 million.

The state government talks about activation of Victoria Quay, so why not announcing the plans for a WA or Australian indigenous cultural centre on the water front, or a migrant museum, honouring al those who arrived here and contributed to make WA great? If we are going to lose the working port in a decade or so, we need to start preparing for the future of Fremantle without that attraction.

Where is the state’s investment in connectivity along Bathers Beach from the Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay and a historic Port to Port project from the former long jetty to VC? Where is any substantial state investment that supports the Fremantle community and Fremantle Council? Or does the McGowan government believe we should be grateful for the High Street/Stirling Highway roundabout upgrade and the new traffic bridge, which are all about getting freight to the port?

Fremantle deserves more and our state governments, be that Labor or Liberal, need to stop treating Fremantle as a third-rate city that does not deserve substantial investment!

Roel Loopers

ITS ABORIGINAL CHILDREN’S DAY

Posted in aboriginal, australia, children, city of fremantle, family, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on August 4, 2020

 

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Children are the future. They are very special and deserve to be protected and supported by the entire community. Without children there is no future, so let’s make sure each and every one receives proper care and education and let them enjoy their childhood.

Kids have such enormous potential that only needs to be nurtured by us grownups, but Aboriginal children are often disadvantaged, so let’s all take on that responsibility for all children all over Australia!

It’s Aboriginal Children’s Day today.

Roel Loopers

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BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN COMMUNITY AND MAIN ROADS

 

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The Covid restrictions in the Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University created a graphic entrance to the very first DesignFreo event Old Bridge/New Bridge, with a forum of Member for Fremantle Minister Simone McGurk, City Planner Russell Kingdom, Aboriginal coordinator Brendan Moore, Community Consultant Rebecca Clarkson and Designer and Engineer Dr Anthony Duckworth/Smith, that was well moderated by Meri Fatin.

I really like community forums but was skeptical from the beginning about the fact that Main Roads had not sent a representative, because I feared that all we would be hearing was going to be based on not knowing the facts, constraints and opportunities of this important project for Fremantle.

While Simone McGurk tried hard to convince us that there would be appropriate community consultation by Main Roads it has been rumoured that the design of the bridge had already been commissioned, so that is the end of community consultation to get an iconic bridge that will be a stunning entry statement to Fremantle.

As Anthony Duckworth/Smith said Main Roads is very good at delivering transport functionality, and that is going to be an issue for the Freo community, that would like to see the creation of new public realms at the foreshores at Beach Street and North Fremantle.

There should also be significant acknowledgment of Noongar culture and respect for the Wagyl river serpent, but can Main Roads be bothered about a ceremonial entrance to Freo, when all they want is move as many vehicles as safely and fast a possible over the bridge?

It is going to be a very complex issue because of the existing bridges and the narrow opportunity of location and the challenge will be to not destroy the North Fremantle town centre, or build the bridge too close to the apartments there.

Is keeping the old bridge technically possible, will it be cost effective to keep it and will it create the best outcome? These are things community consultation could address if Main Roads actually told us what the constraints and requirements are, but not even our local Cabinet Minister knew any details about that.

It was agreed that not enough community consultation has happened so far and that is an unacceptable shortcoming by Main Roads, which no doubt will present us with a done deal that we can comment on and that is ‘community consultation’ ticked off for them. Where is the broader conversation of what the gateway in our city should look like? Where is the desire to create great new public realm? Where will the reference be that the area was a significant Derbal Yaragan river crossing for the indigenous people?

The new bridge is going to cost about $ 230 million, so we might as well get it right and spend a lot of time with stakeholders and the community and stress the importance of place making over functional bridge building. As Anthony Duckworth/Smith said ” We need to look at it from a human perspective not a vehicular one.”

I left the forum feeling flat because there were no answers to any concerns, no facts about constraints, options and opportunities, and that gut feeling that what the Freo community wants is a long way away from what Main Roads will give us.

Roel Loopers

WALYALUP ABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE RE-OPENS

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2020

 

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The City of Fremantle Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre is back in action after the Covid-19 lockdown and above is their program for this season.

Roel Loopers

IT’S A GREAT WRAP

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2020

 

Good to hear that Fremantle has made progress towards delivering the measures outlined in its Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan, since the plan was adopted.

The plan was officially launched in July 2019 after being adopted by the council and endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

It was developed in consultation with Fremantle’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, local Elders and Aboriginal people and other stakeholders through a series of workshops and meetings held over an 18 month period.

The WRAP outlines 19 actions and 106 deliverable outcomes to be achieved by 2022, including establishing a strategy and agreed representation for Aboriginal stakeholder input.

The actions range from symbolic measures such as exploring the viability of a ‘treaty’ or equivalent agreement and identifying the opportunities for co-naming locations, streets and parks to practical steps around increasing Aboriginal employment and the procurement of Aboriginal services.

Since the adoption of the WRAP the City of Fremantle has established two groups to provide representation and consult with the Aboriginal community.

The Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan Reference Group was established to track the progress of the implementation of the WRAP and provide feedback and accountability. An Elders group was also established to meet twice a year with the Mayor, Councillors and the City’s senior management to further build relationships.

The City is on track to achieve an employment target of 4 per cent of staff being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, with six Aboriginal trainees employed as permanent staff. The City has also developed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander procurement strategy.

Aboriginal facilitators have been engaged to conduct classes and share culture and knowledge through the six Nyoongar Seasons at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre and enrolments for Nyoongar language classes have increased.

Cross cultural competence and cultural awareness training is being conducted by City staff and councillors and cultural awareness has been incorporated into the induction process for new staff.

The council has endorsed the name Walyalup Civic Centre for the City’s new administration building and library, with meeting rooms also to be allocated Nyoongar names.

The City has also supported activities for significant cultural dates and key celebrations including NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week, Woylie Festival, Wardanji Festival and the Revealed Art Market, while the City’s One Day event was recognised with an Australian Government award for promoting Indigenous recognition.

To view the City of Fremantle Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan click here.


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WHY RACISM IS SO DEVASTATING

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2020

 

There have been more racist attacks on AFL players, including legend Eddie Betts and West Coast Eagles player Liam Ryan, so to keep the Black Lives Matter momentum going I thought it the right time to copy what Ron Bradfield Jnr. posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.

Ron used to be a familiar face around Fremantle and I used to bump into him in the West End quite often. Ron’s words and experience are sobering and so very sad.

 

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What’s the ugliest word you’ve ever been called?

So, imagine hearing that word, pretty much every day. Imagine it ringing in your ears almost every night. Think about the times you’ve had that word (or similar words – all used for the same effect), beaten into you physically.

Think about being somewhere where every day – most people you pass – use that word in your hearing. Think of all the ways that people have, to make you realise that it isn’t a nice word and that they aren’t thinking nice thoughts about who you are.

Think about the times where people in authority have reinforced the negative use of that word. Think about how – over time – that word has coloured the way that people now look at you still. Think of the laws that have been passed to control your ancestors, who may have been called those words.

Think about fully wearing the shame of that word; how it sits, deep inside your bones and how it feels when it twists your guts inside of you. Think of your face glowing hot and going red with that shame, when people STILL talk like that about you – if not directly – then indirectly, but you still know exactly what they mean!

Think how angry you might get; when you’re out with your children and you hear that behind your back voice, muttering that word – with all its dirty, shitty, fucked up ugliness – behind you, directed at the ones you love and cherish!

Have I got your attention?

Good.

The reality is, if you can’t come up with just one single word – that has been used to make you feel like absolute shit in your life – you are one very, very lucky individual!

If you; like me, have had words used against you your entire life, you will know just how damn deeply they can cut! You will know the damage they can do. You will know the power they can rob from you.

I have survived 51 years of being called disgusting things and being made to feel dirty, as if I don’t belong here and have no value to this Australian society. That’s just me. This happens still to my mother. It happened to her mother. And her mother before her and… look – really – just how far did you need me to go back?

Words are used (and have been used) against some of the most beautiful people I have the pleasure to know (and have known) in my entire life. Only so many of them are Aboriginal.

In your house right now, there are people around you who know how I and many other Aboriginal and Islander people feel.

How surprised are you really, that people finally snap and decide in a single moment – that they can’t bear to hear that word – used against them?

I know I have. There are only so many times, you can turn the other cheek.

Ron Bradfield Jnr.

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FREMANTLE COMMUNITY WANTS NEW BRIDGE INVOLVEMENT

 

A late item about the new Fremantle traffic bridge was added to last night’s Fremantle Council meeting agenda, at the initiative of Mayor Brad Pettitt. This is very important because Freo Council and the community need to be proactive on this, to make sure that we not only get an outstanding new bridge of great creative design, but also that the old heritage-listed bridge will be preserved for the community.

The community wants a significant say in this and at the very early stages of planning, because we don’t want this project delayed by being presented with plans that are finalised and not negotiable. The bridge will be a new entry statement into Fremantle and hence needs to be attractive, maybe even one tourists can climb on to and get ggreat views of Fremantle Port and the Swan River, like the Sydney Harbour Bridge

  1. Welcomes the Federal and State funding commitment of $230m for the Swan River Crossing project, a project that will see major infrastructure delivered that will have an asset life in excess of 100 years;
  2. Adopts the following principles to assist with the City’s analysis and feedback to Government as the project unfolds and develops:
    1. PLANNING–That the StateGovernment provides clarity around how this project supports the long-term strategic planning scenarios for the region and how transport planning is fully integrated within this, and specifically how options will address:
      • the recommendations of the Westport Taskforce in relation to the future of the Inner Harbour of Fremantle Port;
      • land use, traffic, freight and passenger rail planning options for the areas on the north and south of the proposed new crossing;
    2. ALIGNMENT & CONNECTIONS – That the new bridge alignment(s) are optimised in terms of:• long-term planning scenarios;
      • uninterrupted flow / connectivity of the state’s Principle SharedPath (PSP) to Fremantle and North Fremantle Rail Stations. • low-speed cycling and pedestrian connectivity and amenity; • cultural heritage and place-making, in particular, impact onFremantle Traffic Bridge.
    3. DESIGN–That the Swan River Crossing demonstrates excellence in design – delivering infrastructure through a multi-discipline design process that celebrates contemporary bridge design and creates a memorable gateway experience and a place for people.
    4. HERITAGE – That a significant portion of the Fremantle Traffic Bridge is preserved at both ends – especially on the southern end – and adapted in a manner that:• retains pedestrian and cycling functions on its top deck;
      • retains a section over Beach Street, including its abutment andarchitectural embellishments;
      • is activated, connected and generates a destination for peopleon the foreshore;
      • remains an asset of the State Government.

5. CULTURE–That the Aboriginal significance of this rivercrossing/ location is clearly understood, respected and interpreted in the design and deliverables. This could be a major component of the % for Art program associated with this project.

  1. PUBLIC REALM & PLACE – That all public realm either created or modified by this project is safe, attractive, connected and inviting – with the potential to be extended and further connected with future riverside enhancements and developments – specifically, that increased curtilage is created in front of the Naval Stores building on Canning Highway to assist with activating this building and connection to foreshore.
  1. Requests that MRWA commence community engagement as soon as possible, and that this engagement process includes a full and transparent evaluation of design options and bridge alignments that respond to the principles noted above;
  2. Determines a final position on the various aspects of the Swan River Crossing in light of the comments and results that arise during the community engagement process.

Roel Loopers

BRILLIANT ABORIGINAL ART SHOW AT FAC

 

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The Fremantle Arts Centre re-opened again today with a brilliant exhibition of Aboriginal art.

The REVEALED Exhibition of new and emerging Aboriginal artists from all over Australia is stunning and should not be missed, and neither should the Hunter Dreaming by Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri.

The show is on until July 26, so plenty of time to go and have a look and enjoy a coffee and meal in the courtyard cafe.

Roel Loopers

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MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER MAKING HISTORY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, history, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 14, 2020

 

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History is really important to me. It was my favourite at school and I still love to read all about our past, so the  desire by some people around the world to pull down historic statues of our colonial past is not something I agree with.

The present connects the past to the future, and it is essential that we learn from the mistakes made in the past, to try to create a better world for future generations. That also means we might have to correct some of what is written about our past, because history is always written by the conquerors, and we need to hear all sides of the story and the truth.

We know that our Australian indigenous people consider the British settlement of our country an invasion, hence Australia Day is offensive to them.

We can not change our history, it is what it is with all the achievements of the early explorers and all the wrongs that were committed all over the world, in the name of progress, religion, and of course greed.

I don’t believe that pulling down statues of colonial ‘heroes’ is the way forward, but what should happen is also tell the other side, as is done well here on the Fremantle Esplanade at the Maitland Brown statue. Our Aboriginal people also got to state what they believe is the more correct history, instead of simply accepting the white men’s version of it.

The recording of history has always been selective, but we need those statues to remind us that we need to improve, hence the concentration camps in Europe can be visited. A great and extremely impressive way of dealing with the past is the Memento Park in Budapest that shows what dictatorship is all about, and to remind us all what it is like to be oppressed. We need to move forward together beyond the past.

Slavery and racism were sadly part of the colonial history, not only by the British, but also by the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, so with the worldwide BlackLivesMatter movement having so much momentum it is now time to address the one-sided history of Australia and start telling it also from the Aboriginal view point, and we also need to have more Aboriginal names in recognition of the great culture of our first nations people. The Walyalup Civic Centre is a small start, but we need to and can do better than that!

 

Roel Loopers

BLACK LIVES MATTER RALLY TODAY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, indigenous, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 13, 2020

 

Rainbow projection

 

I dragged this photo of the BlackLivesMatter projections on the Rainbow container artwork off Twitter as a reminder that there will be a rally at Langley Park in Perth today from noon.

The projections were put up last night in Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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