Freo's View

BLACK LIVES MATTER-A LOT!

 

When the Prime Minister of Australia, in reaction to the George Floyd protests in the USA, says that Australia should not import those problems because we are a fair country, it is clear we still live in denial about racism in Australia. Australia is a fair country for fair-skinned people, but not for our indigenous people, or for our Asian and African people, and anyone with dark skin.

Racism started in this country the day Captain Cook set foot on land in the east and when Captain Fremantle and Captain Stirling arrived here in Fremantle at Bathers Bay.

The ‘wild black savages’ were hunted, killed, raped, abused, used as slaves, taken away from their parents, locked up and treated with absolute disrespect by most of the early settlers, who had no respect for the culture of the traditional owners.

The real history of Australia is rarely told. How many high school students in Western Australia are really aware of the stolen generations, the Pinjarra massacre, the killing and beheading of Yagan, the persecution of Jandamara in the Kimberley, the abuse that happened at the Moore River, Sister Kate, New Norcia, etc? How many have been told the truth about the awful Quod prison on Rottnest Island, where ten per cent of the 4,700 male prisoners died?

Just nine years away from celebrating 200 years of the start of the Swan River Colony Western Australia still does not have and Aboriginal Cultural Centre that tells the history of our state from the indigenous perspective.

We still do not have a significant memorial for those men and boys from all over WA who died on Rottnest Island, and many tourists leave the island without even being aware of it.

At the Roundhouse at least the volunteer guides acknowledged that they need to also tell the Aboriginal story and they have been working on new interpretive displays, but that will need state funding, so will they get the financial support from the McGowan government?

Racism is rampant in Australia and only many of those who are fair skinned believe it does not exist, but every dark coloured person in this country is subjected to it daily, sometimes it comes subtly and often it is blatant. Since 1991 432 Aboriginal people have died in custody in Australia!

We are lucky to have one of the best Treasurers WA has ever had in Ben Wyatt, a brilliant Aboriginal man. There are many of them, but they often do not get a chance to shine because of institutional racism in our governments and industries.

A country where Aboriginal people on average die ten years younger than non Aborigines, where Aboriginal kids often do not finish education, and where only a few study at universities, is not a fair country. We should be better than that! BlackLivesMatter!

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE AUSTRALIA DAY CITIZENSHIP CEREMONY

 

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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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A TRULY WONDERFUL FREMANTLE DAY OF RECONCILIATION

 

 

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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ONE DAY CONNECTING FOR THE FUTURE

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

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HUGE MOB AT FREO’S ONE DAY SMOKING CEREMONY

 

 

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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ONE DAY FOR ALL

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

 

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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

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CHANGING AUSTRALIA DAY JUST A MINOR ADJUSTMENT

 

I almost fell of my stool and choked on my double espresso yesterday when I saw the front page of the West Australian and read their editorial suggesting it is time to have a discussion about changing the date of Australia Day.

When Fremantle Council changed the date four years ago and stopped the fireworks it was blasted by the West and heavily criticised time and time again in editorials and columns by Paul Murray, so what a nice and positive change of heart for this right-leaning publication.

Contrary to what the West has written, and what some politicians and community members have said, this was never about silly politics by some left-leaning loonies, but only and all about respect for our Aboriginal people and their history, and the huge pain and displacement European settlement brought for them.

Moving Australia Day to another day will not diminish the achievements of the early settlers and it will not change Australia’s history. All it will do is show consideration for those Aboriginese whose families have suffered, whose children were taken away, who were moved on from their communities, and who were severely mistreated and their land taken away. The consequences of that are still felt in Aboriginal communities today.

I don’t believe we can take our history for granted and say Aboriginal people just need to move on and forget about the past, because from the past we can all learn, and we can acknowledge that mistakes were made, without having to feel guilty. Moving forward together by changing Australia Day away from January 26 is just a tiny adjustment for non Aboriginals to make, but it would make a huge difference to very many of our First Nation people.

The West is encouraging a community discussion about it, so let us start one with respect and without polemic and political point scoring.

Roel Loopers

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FREO BUTCHER CELEBRATES AUSTRALIA

Posted in australia, australia day, city of fremantle, food, Uncategorized by freoview on January 23, 2020

 

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When it comes to street level advertising Wray Avenue butcher Frank won’t be beaten, as he is showing again with putting many Australian flags on his advertising boards.

 

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S ONE DAY AN ABORIGINAL SHOWCASE

 

 

Some of WA’s best young artists will be showcased during this year’s One Day in Fremantle event this Saturday., January 25

The free, all-day event will commence with a traditional smoking ceremony at Bathers Beach at 8am and conclude with a sunset ceremony featuring the burning of six balga trees, signifying reflection and renewal.

From 11am-4pm the stage will be thrown open to some of WA’s brightest young talent, including 2015/16 WAM Song of the Year winner Beni Bjah, 2018/19 WAM Song of the Year runner-up Joshua Flewnt, 2018/19 WA NAIDOC Music Award Winner Indigo Ellis and emerging rapper Trent Howard.

The program has been put together by Perth singer/songwriter and Abmusic Aboriginal Corporation representative Natasha Eldridge, who will also be taking to the stage with her band Kruize Control.

13-year-old Indigo Ellis said she couldn’t wait to perform in front of the One Day crowd.

Rapper Trent Howard said it was an honour to be able to perform at an event that promoted reconciliation and encouraged everyone to come together to celebrate Australia.

Beginning with the smoking ceremony at Bathers Beach, One Day will incorporate Aboriginal artwork, music, workshops and food at Kidogo Arthouse and around the grassed area at Bathers Beach.

Activities include boomerang painting, rock mandalas, weaving, an art exhibition, storytelling and poetry readings along with Uluru Statement from the Heart and a number of other information stalls.

Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Walyalup Kannajil and Madjitil Moorna choirs will be among many other performers.

The free celebration will also serve as a fundraiser for the Australian Bushfire Appeal with attendees encouraged to donate to the Fremantle Foundation’s Freo Fire Fund which has been set up to support affected communities in the wake of the recent devastating bushfires.

For further information, visit fremantle.wa.gov.au/oneday.

 

Roel Loopers

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CITIZENSHIP DRESS CODE IS UNAUSTRALIAN

 

citizenship, tiff

 

The directions from the Federal Government to local councils to make the Australia Day citizenship ceremonies more formal and enforce a dress code are as ridiculous as they are un-Australian.

Australians are loved around the world for their daggy dress sense, and that is understandable when one knows that thongs, ugg boots and singlets are considered fashion items in the land down under.

A citizenship ceremony is not about dress code or formality, but all about new Australians committing themselves to their new country, and as an immigrant myself I know what a big step that is to take, and even more when one loses the  passport from one’s birth country, as I did.

Becoming a new Australian is showing acceptance of one’s new home and culture and it is a very proud moment to receive the citizenship certificate from the mayor. It is wanting to be part of the nation, being allowed to vote and being eligible to stand for local, state and federal government. It is not only a privilege to become an Australian, but also a strong commitment.

Many people turn up at the ceremonies in dresses, shirts or T-shirts made out of the Australian flag, and others turn up in their national dress from their birth country. Some come in shorts, and why not on a stinking hot day in a country where boardies are the norm.

There is no disrespect in dressing who we are and what reflects our personality, and it is nonsense to believe people will turn up in formal wear to become citizens of a country that prides itself on freedom of choice.

Only three more weeks till Australia Day, and I am looking forward to being at the Fremantle ceremony, although we will celebrate our city’s diversity at the ONE DAY event a couple of days later.

And ‘well done’ again TRANSPERTH for closing the Fremantle line from January 27-30 at night, after the 7.55pm train to Perth. All those who want to come to the One Day concert on the Esplanade will now have to hop on buses. Our WA public transport authorities closed the Freo train line a few years in a row during the Fremantle Street Festival as well. Very inconsiderate!

Roel Loopers

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