Freo's View






I am always committed to making Freo a better place to live, visit and work, so I hopped on the train to Perth this morning to have a look at the new Yagan Square and to see if Fremantle can learn anything from it for the Kings Square development. The answer is yes.

While Yagan Square has some really nice features the overall impression for me was disappointing. There is quite a bit of pretentious look-at-me design and the large space is ostentatious instead of good placemaking.

The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority-MRA clearly did not learn from the Elizabeth Quay mistakes because there is far too much heat-reflecting hard surface of concrete and pavement and not enough shade. There are also the now typical BYB seats-Burn Your Bum, which will heat up from the sun.

The Market Hall inside is just another food hall but this one is dark and claustrophobic, so nothing to write home about either.

While the Yagan statue artwork is stunning I was surprised to see no story telling about the great warrior and Whadjuk Noongar history. It might be somewhere, but I failed to notice it, which means it is not significant enough.

There are a lot of struggling Balga grass trees, but I did not get a cultural experience about our indigenous history. That saddens me as it is an opportunity lost.

My overall feelings were that the square looks as if it was only partly designed and the rest just filled with concrete and seats, so please City of Fremantle learn from that and make Kings Square a much more special and enjoyable experience!

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, kings square, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on March 1, 2018


Councillor Jon Strachan was unsuccessful with his motion at Fremantle Council last night to include in the Kings Square Public Realm Concept Design the planting of Balga and/or other native trees to acknowledge Whadjuk Noongar culture.

His fellow councillors believed the Kings Square plans are too far advanced to make significant changes and that grass trees would be more appropriate in other locations in the inner city.

Councillor David Hume suggested Balga trees could be planted when the new railway station forecourt will be designed, but since that project has been planned for some 15 years I believe it would be better if the City planted a circle of grass trees at Pioneer Park as an entry feature for those arriving by train, bus and boat.


Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, concert, culture, entertainment, music, Uncategorized by freoview on February 21, 2018


Feb 24 Broome to Bicton


The traditional annual Broome to Bicton concert by the Kimberley based Pigram Brothers is on again this coming Saturday, so don’t mis out!

The free concert by the Aboriginal musicians is on from 4.30 pm at Quarantine Park just above the Bicton Bath.

Donations are welcome to keep the tradition going.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, fremantle foundation, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on February 20, 2018


The Fremantle Foundation is holding a Vital Conversation about Australia’s shared history – opening hearts, opening minds

It is an intensive one day workshop exploring ‘Australia’s Shared History’.

We learnt about Captain Cook, Stirling and Fremantle and the history of British colonisation but most of us know very little about Australia’s history from the Indigenous perspective.

With discussions around Australia Day increasing and the success of One Day in Fremantle, this Vital Conversation offers the chance to take the next step in your personal understanding.

This one day intensive brings knowledge and deep insights into the shared history of Australians. It looks through the eyes of the First Australians and with this Indigenous perspective sheds light on a past we all share.

Specifically it will increase effective and respectful professional and personal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by:

  • gaining knowledge of our shared history from an Indigenous perspective
  • increasing awareness of the impacts which continue to affect Aboriginal Australians today
  • learning to be comfortable and confident in the third space

It is on at 8.30AM – 4.30PM, Tuesday 27th February in the Big Hall in the Old Boys School, 92 Adelaide St. Fremantle, just opposite the Basilica.

Cost: $80 per person

Lunch and refreshments are provided.

The day is facilitated by Jenny Hunter and Kelly Terry, with guest Aboriginal presenters including respected Aboriginal elder Dr Noel Nannup.


Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on February 3, 2018



I am a big fan of the Fremantle Aboriginal art gallery Japingka in High Street and its owners Ian and David and have directed dozens of overseas and interstate visitors to the gallery, but these guys are really stretching the friendship and challenge my patience with their outrageously bad and long media releases. It is annoying because it means I have to take more time than I want to make something succinct and coherent out of what they send me.

This time their media release was a whopping 874 words, the equivalent of a full page in the Herald, accompanied by eleven photos! and yes, they always send the text in colour.

So here is the very shortened version:

The first art exhibition of 2018 at Japingka Gallery is exploring the use of the blue palette in Indigenous fine art. Blue features the handful of artists such as Kudditji Kngwarreye and Judy Watson Napangardi, and emerging artists Faye Nungala Hudson, as well as established artists Rosella Namok, Fiona Omeenyo and Gloria Petyarre, who have confidently embraced the avenues that this striking colour provides.

 In gallery 2 Ngarrindjeri Artist Amanda Conway-Jones from Victor Harbour in South Australia displays her talent in an exhibition of aerial views of her coastal country hometown and the surrounding ocean.

Exhibitions open 6.30pm Friday 9th February, and run daily until 14th March, 2018.

Japingka Gallery is at 47 High Street in Fremantle’s gorgeous West End.

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 29, 2018




I hear that one of the reasons for the scaled-down Noongar Smoking Ceremony yesterday was because of several elders pulling out of the event at the last minute in protest of Neville Collard’s support in the West Australian for not changing the date of Australia Day.

Elder Ben Taylor who was going to be involved in the ceremony called Mayor Brad Pettitt on Saturday to say it was not okay to have someone conducting the ceremony who was agains changing the date, but Taylor was told that the Mayor did not want to make it political. But it is political of course.

Disappointing to see this happening when the Smoking Ceremony as part of ONE DAY is very important and special for Fremantle and should become an annual tradition.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on January 28, 2018




They came out of nowhere at 4.30pm this afternoon to enjoy the City of Fremantle’s ONE DAY concert event at the Esplanade.

It officially started at 2pm but most people decided to stay away until the national performers came on the stage.

The Djuki Mala group from Arnhem Land got the message across when they performed Zorba the Greek during their dancing performance. Two of the oldest cultures in the world, and it was fun!

It was a real delight to see so many Aboriginal people at the event and the call for Change The Date was very strong, as it was in Melbourne where 60,00 people marched!

Roel Loopers

P.S. I am as disappointed as regular Freo’s View readers are, as I would have liked to show you more photos. Unfortunately I do not get issued with a media pass by the City of Fremantle for events, so it was very limiting to try to take photos in a packed crowd.

I pride myself on the high standards of my photography and refuse to just take amateur happy snaps, so left early.


Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, history, Uncategorized by freoview on January 28, 2018



KAYA! The ONE DAY Noongar Smoking Ceremony at Bathers Beach in Fremantle/Walyalup this morning at 7 am attracted a lot of Wadjelas, keen to connect with our Aboriginal friends.

The symbolism of these events often overwhelms me and I can’t keep the tears out of my eyes, but at least I can blame the smoke for it and don’t have to admit I am just a softy. ;>)

The event was scaled down from last year’s magnificent event with a lot fewer Aborigines participating, and that was a little disappointing, but I sincerely hope that the smoking ceremony will become an annual tradition in Freo.

From 2-8pm the ONE DAY concert and activities are on at the Esplanade, so make sure to join in and bring all your friends and family.

The Fremantle community can be very proud today about our inclusiveness!

Roel Loopers


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Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 27, 2018


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Tomorrow is a very special day for Fremantle, a day where we celebrate our diverse and inclusive community during two events.

It starts at Bathers Beach at 7am with the important Whadjuk Noongar SMOKING CEREMONY.  It is something not to be missed because it connects us with our significant Aboriginal culture and history.

We cannot change the past but we can make sure that we acknowledge and respect our indigenous history and work together toward a better future for all.

After the smoking ceremony we can all walk down to CHALKYS cafe is High Street for a nice breakfast and cup of coffee and reflect on what we have just witnessed.

One Day poster


From 2pm on the ONE DAY event will be held on the Esplanade with a concert and activities for the children. There will be foodstalls and of course the CARRIAGE cafe and Fishing Boat Harbour traders will all be happy to serve us with some great snacks and beverages.

I am really looking forward to the great day, so please bring your family and friends and make people from outside Freo aware of the fantastic Sunday we will be having!

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, australia, australia day, city of fremantle, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on January 26, 2018


Congratulations to our wonderful Fremantle role model Sam Kerr for being awarded YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR.

The young super soccer player is so delightfully down to earth that many so-called sports stars should follow her lead and let go off their over-inflated egos. (A certain misbehaving tennis player with a Greek name comes to mind).

Sam Kerr is a real pleasure to watch on the soccer pitches of the world and is a real ambassador for women’s soccer.

Roel Loopers


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