Freo's View


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



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



There was an interesting panel discussion NO FIXED ADDRESS, to discuss the importance of social housing and building diversity in our urban centres, in the lovely courtyard of DADAA in Fremantle’s Princes May Park, last night with Dr. Mariana Atkins, Research Associate Professor, The Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia and the UWA Living Lab, Dr Holly Farley, Research Fellow, Fremantle School of Architecture, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Dr. Shane Greive, Urban and Regional Planning, School of Design and Built Environment, Curtin University, Michael Piu (CEO, St Patrick’s Community Support Centre), and  Heather Thompson (Senior Assertive Outreach Worker, 20 Lives 20 Homes Program, St Patrick’s Community Support Centre).  It was facilitated by Lisette Kaleveld, Senior Consultant, The Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia.

Changing cityscapes are inevitable with urban infill making places such as Fremantle desirable, especially since most of the services are provided in town, and that attracts a diversity of people, including homeless ones, and those who require social and affordable housing, but we are not designing and building for that diversity and the needs of individuals. Not many local governments have the capacity and desire to change with the times, so how do you design a city for all?

People want to be connected, be in contact with nature and there is a real disconnect there, so we need to bring the community on board because it is about the collective, not individuals. To do that we need to start understanding the history of Australia and the values, and where we want to go. We need to understand the diverse perspective, and need to learn to understand the different realities. Design should not be about excluding people!

Homelessness is nothing new and has been around for decades, so the whole community needs to own the issues and solutions, but there is a lack of value judgement. It is a fallacy that homeless people are in control of their own future! We all are only a few steps away from homelessness and if we come together the solutions are in our own hands. Start a conversation and humanise the issue!

A social worker said she had met some of the most amazing, caring and resilient people one would like to meet.

Architects and developers need to start actively listen to everybody’s stories from a design perspective. Bring the focus of development back to the people! We need a change of mindset there, as the next generation of home buyers can’t afford to buy the homes of the present generation. Inter-generational housing is not available, the housing options are not there.

There is huge value in diversity in a community, and we don’t want people with similar social/financial issues all living together, there needs to be a mix and we need to understand what home means for different people. Public housing often results in people failing because of the wrong set up and location and the lack of support. For some community housing or a boarding house is better because they don’t have to look after paying bills and connect with others. Community housing is more flexible.

There is also an interesting small exhibition in the DADAA gallery, so go and have a look at it!


We don’t build communities, we build spaces where people are alone, spaces of loneliness, because at the lower end of the apartment market there are no community spaces where people can connect. There are no swimming pools, gyms, roof gardens, etc. We build highrise along transit corridors, instead of building them around green open spaces where people can meet and play.

There are tens of thousands of single middle aged and older women and men who have no social life because they can no longer afford to go to pubs, concerts, festivals, theatres, etc. where they used to connect with friends and meet new people. They don’t meet anyone and get isolated. High density living does not cater for that by providing community spaces. Many single people live in a small box with no communical spaces where they can meet their neighbours and make new friends that way.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, bushfires, city of fremantle, community, fundraising, Uncategorized by freoview on January 21, 2020




These are the ARTISTS FOR THE EARTH who have generously donated artworks for the bushfire fundraising exhibition at Gypsy Tapas in Freo’s Queen Street.

The show opens tomorrow-Wednesday January 22 at 5pm and will run till March.

There will be live music, so please support the good cause!

Roel Loopers





I am very happy that the SCULPTURE AT BATHERS exhibition will be on again at Fremantle’s inner city beach in February this year. The Bathers Beach event has proven to be very popular and is a great showcase for Western Australian artists, where the artworks sell pretty well.

Sculpture at Bathers is looking for volunteers to guide visitors and hand out information, etc. and I will most certainly sign up to do a couple of days a week for that. It will be relaxing fun!

So if you love art, the beach, and making people feel welcome, contact the organisers via email:

The show is on from February 15 to March 2, 2020.

Roel Loopers


Posted in bushfires, city of fremantle, community, fremantle foundation, fundraising, Uncategorized by freoview on January 16, 2020




A new Freo Fire Fund website has been launched to help people raise money to support the communities affected Australia’s devastating bushfires.

The website – – allows people looking to raise money for bushfire relief to register an official Freo Fire Fund event and download a handy event kit with information and promotional material.

It also has a Freo Fire Fund events calendar, information about the fund and where the money raised will go and a link where people can donate directly to the fund.

The Freo Fire Fund was set up last week by a group of Fremantle community members who came together to collaborate, share skills and resources and raise money to help fire-affected communities.

The fund is held by the Fremantle Foundation as a separate Named Fund.

Fremantle Foundation Chair Carrie Clark said the money raised will be distributed to not-for-profit organisations that are assisting with the bushfire relief effort.

“The fund has identified a number of different focus areas where the money raised can be directed, including emergency assistance for people displaced by the fires, support for volunteer bushfire brigades and care for wildlife affected by the fires,” Ms Clark said.

“A full list of organisations that may receive funds is available on the website, but they include organisations like Australian Red Cross, Foodbank and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

“People hosting registered fundraising events or activities can nominate which specific focus areas they wish to donate to, and as the bushfire relief effort evolves the recipient list will be updated in response to community needs.”

To find out more about bushfire fundraising activities, register an event or learn more about the fund visit the Freo Fire Fund website.




Posted in bushfires, city of fremantle, climate change, community, fundraising, Uncategorized by freoview on January 16, 2020


All kinds of fundraisers are happening and planned in Fremantle, so the best way to keep track of them is to check the FREO FIRE FUND Facebook page and website.

Jan 19 Fire Relief

The Mostly Sometimes Cafe in South Fremantle is doing a fundraiser for the eastern states bushfire victims this Sunday January 19 fro 11am to 3pm.

On Wednesday the 22nd of January the Artists for the Earth are holding an art exhibition and concert at Gypsy Tapas in Queen Street from 5-7pm with following artists.

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Support all the Freo fundraising events for this good cause!

Roel Loopers



Posted in bushfires, city of fremantle, community, concerts, fundraising, music, Uncategorized by freoview on January 12, 2020


fire aid 1

fire aid 2


There are two FIRE AID music events on today, so please suppor these fundraisers for the bushfire victims in Australia.

The Port Beach Bar event in the garden at Tydeman Road features the Witchy Djipsies, God Said NO, Blazing Swan Sound Camp and DJs. It is on from 1-7pm.

Helen Townsend and Belle Harvey will perform at the Hilton Park Bowling Club from midday on.

I hope someone will also collect money at the free Fremantle Arts Centre courtyard music session, which runs from 2-4pm.

And the buskers in front of the Fremantle Markets are also collection money for the bushfire victims from noon onward!

Have fun. It is a great day, so reflect on how lucky we have been so far in WA.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 12, 2020


My ‘gospel’ for this beautiful Sunday.

Not all change is bad, and we should not be worried about progress, as these photos of me, taken some 45 years apart, show. ; >)

Life is good along the journey we take and the changes we make. It is nice to look back at our past while embracing the future, and that’s what is happening in Fremantle.

Enjoy the challenge!

Roel Loopers






Fremantle’s alternative Australia Day event ONE DAY in Fremantle will be significantly different this year and much more low key than the previous expensive concerts on the Esplanade.

One Day will be celebrated on Saturday, January 25 at Bathers Beach, with focus on Aboriginal culture, music and food, and will be showcasing young and emerging talent.

It will start with a smoking ceremony at 8am behind Kidogo Arthouse and finish with the burning of six Balga trees on the beach at sunset.

While the City says the changes were made because it did not want the event to become stale, and I agree, there had been a disconnect between the smoking ceremony in the morning and the concert late in the afternoon, there is little doubt that the changes are also made because the concerts became too expensive and did not attract the big audiences the very first concert with John Butler did.

It is questionable though that the day is no longer about cultural diversity  and will instead become another Aboriginal festival, similar to the Australia Day Survival Concert in Perth, when Fremantle already has the annual Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival during the Fremantle Festival.

I believe One Day needs to be all about Fremantle’s and Australia’s great multiculturalism and should not just be about our First Nation people and their culture, no matter how much I love and respect Aboriginal people. The cancellation of Australia Day celebrations, out of respect for Aboriginal concerns, received huge criticism when it was initiated four years ago, and this change is not the right way forward toward reconciliation, in my opinion. Changes were needed, Fremantle Councillors, but not these ones.

Roel Loopers


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