Freo's View


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



The FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will on Wednesday debate the proposal to include Aboriginal names at the  Kings Square Redevelopment Project, and I have no doubt that this will become very controversial in the community.

The new Civic Centre will be named Walyalup Centre, which is the Whadjuk Noongar name for the Fremantle area, so proper acknowledgment of our Aboriginal culture and history.

Kings Square, that was once also called St John’s Square, would be renamed Midgegooroo Place. Midgegooroo was the father of Yagan and a very important elder.

The proposals are in line with the fact that the Department of Communities, which will occupy the top levels of the FOMO buildings, is also considering giving Whadjuk Noongar names to their North and South Campus.

There have long been talks, and complaints, that we do not name significant places in Western Australia with the Aboriginal names for them, and this would be a very good step forward I believe to make a real start with the renewal of Kings Square.

I do not agree however with naming the Civic Centre just the Walyalup Centre and would not agree to call it Fremantle Centre either, since that is not specific enough what the centre’s function is. It should be the Walyalup Civic Centre, or Walyalup Council House or Walyalup Council Centre, so that it is clear what the building is there for.

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on February 8, 2020



Whatever you do, and if you don’t see another art exhibition this year, do not miss the amazingly sublime show by John Prince Siddon at the Fremantle Arts Centre!

Siddon’s show is totally contemporary and absolutely Aboriginal. I was blown away when I walked into the big gallery this morning, because I had never seen Siddon’s  work before.

Beautiful paintings and 3D objects, on skulls and kangaroo skins. It so beautiful, so intense, and beyond anything I have seen before. I am still mesmerised just looking at the photos I took.

John Price Siddon is a Walmajari man who is based in Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of WA and the show is part of the Perth Festival.

In the smaller gallery they show paintings by Gooniyandi man Janangoo Butcher Cherel, and that brought a tear to my eyes, as Butcher was a good old mate who showed me his country when I visited in the mid 1990s.

I’ll never forget the night of talking with him at the Fitzroy Inn, and I had  a couple too many to drive him to Muludja community where he lived, so we shared my small room in the hotel, where Janangoo sang songs in language and translated his stories for me.

Butcher was a gentle law man and a very fine artist and I will always miss him.

Roel Loopers


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Fothergill Street resident Vern Reid has a bit of a rant about Fremantle’s Council’s One Day in Fremantle event, and a few other things, in the Fremantle Herald today, and I thought it might create some interest here on Freo’s View when I respond to some of his concerns.

Mr Reid believes that One Day in Fremantle was a ‘vanity project’ and questions if this is driven by Council or by City officers. I thought it was very obvious that this was a Council initiative, that was approved at an Ordinary Council meetings quite a few years ago now. It was highly controversial and reported in all the news media at the time, and again every year after at Australia Day. So being informed helps to stop irrelevant questions.

Vern Reid also wants to know what the commercial arrangements are for the leasing spaces in the new Kings Square development and if the state government agencies, which will be moving in soon, pay commercial rent. The answer to that is that most commercial spaces at Kings Square belong to Sirona Capital, and their commercial lease arrangements have nothing to do with the City of Fremantle. Mr Reid surely is also aware that the commercial vacancies in the Perth area are more than double that of any other state in Australia, at bout 17% compared to just 8% on average in other states. So there is little doubt that lease incentives are expected by tenants and being given by property owners.

Mr Reid asks if Fremantle Council applies its usual ‘planning tourniquet’, or if they fast track some approvals. The answer to that is that Fremantle Council for ten years has been pro-actively encouraging development in Freo, hence we now have an unprecedented development boom. But as is the case with all development approvals in all councils, there are planning laws and rules the City needs to apply, and most large development are anyway being approved by the state government agencies JDAP and SAT,  and local councils can only give a recommendation of approval or rejection for those agencies to consider.

And before anyone attacks me that I am an apologist for Fremantle Council, I have only supplied facts. ; >)

Roel Loopers





I am disappointed that my friends at the Fremantle Herald make the totally unsubstantiated claim on their front page today that only 1,000 people attended the One Day in Fremantle event at Bathers Beach last Saturday. Where did they get the figures from? Who did the foot traffic counting?

I was at the event four times, starting with the Smoking Ceremony at 8am, which attracted around 500 people, and during the day there was a constant stream of people coming and going. It was a great day from 8am till sunset, where people really connected, and that’s what it is all about!

The Chook is keen to quote the Liberal MP for Tagney Ben Morton, who constantly bleats on about Australia Day in large advertisements in the Fremantle Herald, so maybe the front page article is just a quid pro quo to keep an advertiser happy?

By the way, on the four occasions I was at the One Day event, and stayed for considerable time, I never noticed anyone from the Chook. They even used a City of Fremantle photo to support their front page nonsense, because they could not be bothered to attend the Smoking Ceremony.

Roel Loopers





The annual Fremantle Australia Day citizenship ceremony was held at the Maritime Museum and the winners of the Fremantle Citizen of the Year were announced as well.

Heidi Mippy was announced as Citizen of the Year. She is an advocate striving to create greater opportunities for Aboriginal families in the Fremantle area.

Mippy has worked as a youth worker, police officer, child protection worker and in many other roles before focusing on establishing the Djidi Djidi Girls Academy at Fremantle College.

As a director of the Djidi Djidi Aboriginal Women’s Corporation, Ms Mippy volunteers her time helping to develop better relationships between families in need and support agencies.

Nyoongar Elder Betty Garlett was named Fremantle’s Senior Citizen of the Year.

Ms Garlett is a member of the City of Fremantle’s Walyalup Reconciliation Reference Group, the Board of Management of Fremantle Women’s Health Care and the Silver Chain Community Advisory Group.

Fremantle’s Young Citizen of the Year was artist Alice Ford, who has painted two murals in North Fremantle. Ms Ford has completed commissioned works for local businesses, bands and artists including Spacey Jane, as well as assisting in running art classes for young students.

The Active Citizenship Award was won by Hilton Harvest Community Garden, which on a weekly basis has dozens of volunteers who come together to garden, work in the new nursery, exercise and build community spirit.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the Citizen of the Year recipients embodied the qualities that make Fremantle such a special community.

Roel Loopers


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I had tears in my eyes a few times today, because it was really very special to be part of the One Day in Fremantle event at Bathers Beach and made feel so welcome by all.

It was a true day of active reconciliation where Aboriginal people and Wadjelas connected in a very relaxed way. There were a lot of smiles, great kids, great music, just truly wonderful.

I love hanging out with blackfellas, even when it is politically incorrect to call them that, and it was a special day because I caught up with Reuben, a young Aboriginal man I have known since birth and used to babysit quite a bit. I had not seen him for ten years or so. His mum Michelle is my oldest, well she’s not old, but my most long term friend, in Australia. She’s a proud Irnjibarndi woman from Roebourne and curator at the new WA museum.

Roel Loopers

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Posted in aboriginal, australia, city of fremantle, community, culture, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 25, 2020



Here a few impressions of the ONE DAY IN FREMANTLE event at Bathers Beach.

There is live music, dance, story-telling, art, culture, fun, face painting, sand painting, etc.

It goes till 8pm this evening and finishes with the burning of balga trees on the beach at sunset.

It is a much more intimate event than the previous years on the Esplanade and it is easier for everybody to connect. It feels good. I really like it!

Go and say KAYA!

Roel Loopers





The ONE DAY IN FREMANTLE reconciliation event started at 8am this morning with a smoking ceremony at Bathers Beach.

A huge crowd of around 500 people attended, and that is special so early in the morning at the start of a long weekend.

There were a lot of Aboriginal elders and younger generations and federal, state and local politicians.

It was a lovely relaxed gathering with a lot of mutual respect shown.

There are activities, live music, food, and much more at Bathers Beach all day and it finishes at sunset with the burning of six Balga trees on the beach.

Come and join in. Connect with our indigenous friends, have fun together, lose the fear and prejudice!

Roel Loopers


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Posted in aboriginal, australia, australia day, city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on January 24, 2020




ONE DAY IN FREMANTLE is on this Saturday, January 25, so come and enjoy Aboriginal music, food, art, etc. It is on all day at Bathers Beach.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on ONE DAY FOR ALL

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