Freo's View

FOUR DAYS TO CELEBRATE AUSTRALIA

Posted in australia day, city of fremantle, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on November 12, 2017

 

The announcement by the City of Perth that it will extend next year’s Australia Day celebrations to a four-day long weekend shows that the City of Fremantle is on the right track with its changes to the national holiday.

The scrapping of the fireworks in Fremantle last year was controversial, and unfortunately the debate about it became political and sometimes racist for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, there could have been better community consultation, especially with the business community, but from experience we know that community consultations can drag on forever and not necessarily create the best outcomes. Leadership is about making tough decisions, in the knowledge one will never ever please everyone in the community.

Perth now wants fireworks on New Year’s Eve as well, which I consider a huge waste of money. Why have two firework displays just 26 days apart, or will they also walk away from the Australia Day firework display?

But I would love to see the Fremantle ONE DAY event extended and also have a night feature. Projections, laser show, lit-up floats at Bathers Bay, etc.

I would prefer it if BID spend the business money and energy on creating an evening event, instead of supporting only the Fishing Boat Harbour traders and share the cost of the Australia Day fireworks.

Fact is that most shops were already closed well before the spectators for the fireworks turned up, so there was little benefit for other traders, while the One Day event started in the afternoon when shops are still open.

Fremantle is different from Perth and other cities and I support the consideration for our indigenous people who call Australia Day Invasion Day, so let’s move on together, as other councils around the nation are now also doing.

Historically January 26 means nothing to Western Australia as the Britih had not even settled on this side of the country when the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay, so the date is only significant to New South Wales.

Like Perth, let’s celebrate Australia over the long weekend, until our politicians change the date to a more appropriate one that does not upset our indigenous friends.

Roel Loopers

 

RETHINKING OUR FREMANTLE HISTORY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on November 6, 2017

 

DSC_6518

 

The Ghost Ship story-telling in the High Tide biennale hub at Arthur Head on Sunday was very interesting, because it is always good to get an Aboriginal perspective on Fremantle’s history.

The speakers were Brett and Laurel Nannup, Melissa Dinnison, Ezra Jacobs, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington

It was especially important to get an update on what is happening on Rottnest Island and the plans for a long-overdue memorial for the nearly 400 men and boys who died at the Quod indigenous prison, and who were buried on the island where tent camp used to be.

Before the invasion by the British Rottnest used to be a ceremonial site and meeting place and also has high spiritual meaning for the Wadjuk people, but there was no physical connection with the island for many years.

Almost 4,000 men and boys, aged between 8 and 80 years of age were incarcerated in the inhumane Quod prison, and many were kept in the Roundhouse gaol until they had enough Aboriginal prisoners to row over to the island, which took between 7-8 hours.

The indigenous speakers mentioned the cultural tension along the WA shoreline with the Dutch, French and English sailing by, and setting foot on land at times.

For the First Nation people it is all about place and identity and rethinking the history. It is complicated to think about the Australian identity when Aboriginal culture and history is not part of the school education in WA.

For me it is astounding that there still is no proper recognition of our Aboriginal people on Rottnest Island and that it has taken so long to no longer use the former Quod prison cells for tourist accommodation.

It took only two years to build an important memorial in Kings Park for the victims of the Bali bombing, but we are still only planning a significant memorial for Aboriginal people on Rottnest Island. 

There is still no government funding allocated from the state and federal governments, and that is not good enough.

Proper recognition of the Wadjuk Noongar history can’t be left to tiny bits of meaningless tokenism. It is well overdue for our governments to get serious about it.

There is a need for a purpose-build Aboriginal cultural centre in WA and a demand from overseas tourists for an indigenous experience when visiting, so let’s get started on this with urgency and priority City of Fremantle. Take the lead!

Roel Loopers

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SO LUCKY TO LIVE IN FREMANTLE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on November 5, 2017

 

 

Walking around Arthur Head this morning I considered myself very lucky to live in such a beautiful place as Fremantle.

I started with my traditional morning Espresso at Chalkys cafe near the Roundhouse, walked up the steps to have a chat with Glen at the Glen Cowans Underwater Photography Gallery, and wandered down to Bathers Beach where the Indian Ocean water looked sublime and so refreshing, but I did not have my bathers with me.

Back to the High Tide hub next to the Roundhouse where I attended Ghost Ship to listen to Aboriginal history, and I will write a blog post about that in more detail tomorrow.

Ghost Ship is on again from 6-7 pm this evening with a light show. Listen to the story of Yagan, and how important Rottnest Island is to the Wadjuk people.

The Fremantle Festival ends today from 3.30 at Kings Square with the first shopping trolley race, live music and entertainment, so come along.

Before that from 2-4 pm there is free live music in the courtyard of the Fremantle Arts Centre.

The High Tide Biennale will continue for another week, so check out the program as there is some very good stuff in it.

Is it any wonder I love Freo so much?!

 

Roel Loopers

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GHOST SHIPS OF THE PAST

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on November 5, 2017

 

High Tide 1

 

Ghost Ship is an experimental, experiential, site specific performance that offers unique and personal insights into Western Australia’s colonial history. Four Indigenous storytellers will share their individual insights and take us on a complex journey through our shared history and our complex past.

Unlike the books that hold the histories of European civilisation, nationhood and the colonial adventure, these Indigenous stories are momentary, ephemeral and tens of thousands of years old.

Come listen to Brett and Lily Nannup, Melissa Dinnison, Ezra Jacobs, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington

No matter who you are in Western Australia, it’s likely you have a relationship to the port of Fremantle. Many of us came here by ship. Fremantle’s rich history of migrants, exports, imports, exploration and multicultural melting pots culminate in varied social, cultural and political facets to the community.

Ghost Ship is the starting point for ongoing conversations that recognise our silenced histories and to take with us on our own journeys.

Curated Cultural Tours TODAY at the High Tide hub on Arthur Head next to the Roundhouse. 
11am – 12pm : Children Friendly
6pm – 7pm : With light installation

More info: http://www.hightidefremantle.com/line-up/ghost_ship/

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FREMANTLE INDIGENOUS TOURS

Posted in abeautifulcity, city of fremantle, indigenous, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 6, 2017

 

Indigenous Tours WA

 

My mate Greg Nannup is doing indigenous tours in the Bathers Beach, Arthur Head area on Thursdays and Saturdays.

They are really good tours to learn more about the history and culture of the Wadjuk people who lived in the Walyalup area, as the Freo region is called by them.

Greg also does tours for school groups, so if your child’s school has not organised one, suggest it to them.

The tours run from 10.30 am to midday and start from the lawn at the Shipwreck Museum, corner Marine Terrace and Cliff Street.

It costs $ 35 for adults, $ 25 concession and $ 15 for a child.

You can book on http://www.wadjuk.com or phone 0405 630606

Book a tour now!

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

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LET’S GET SERIOUS ABOUT ABORIGINAL TOURISM

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on July 26, 2017

 

When it comes to Aboriginal issues tokenism is always high, and walking the talk less of a reality.

Yesterday WA Minister for Tourism Paul Papalia stated that Aboriginal culture is WA’s secret weapon, but it appears the minister was only talking about giving tourists an outback experience, with no plans to offer an Aboriginal experience in Perth, Fremantle and other major cities around the state.

It is quite disturbing that neither of the two major cities has a serious Aboriginal cultural centre where overseas visitors can find out about Aboriginal history, culture, art, music, story telling, and food.

The City of Fremantle made a half-hearted attempt by running a small historic cottage at Arthur Head as the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre, but it was doomed to failure from the start, because of the inappropriate small building and location.

When one goes up to Derby the Mowanjum Aboriginal Centre is a great place to visit, as is the Aboriginal art centre at Warmun (Turkey Creek) and Mangkaja in Fitzroy Crossing, but there is nothing like that in the Perth metro area, but for commercial art galleries run by white fellas.

It is time the State Government started walking the talk and helped funding some serious Aboriginal cultural centres in our cities!

 

Roel Loopers

CELEBRATING THE ABORIGINAL FLAG

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2017

 

Aboriginal Flag

 

It is 46 years ago today that the Aboriginal Flag was flown for the very first time in Adelaide.

The flag designed by Harald Thomas has now become a real national symbol and is flown daily at many buildings, including the Fremantle Roundhouse.

Many of our First Nation people are still struggling, so we need greater awareness and a lot less judgement and racism.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CELEBRATES NAIDOC WEEK

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on July 2, 2017

It’s the start of the annual NAIDOC Week and the City of Fremantle is hiolding an event from 1 pm this Sunday afternoon in the community centre in Paget Street in Hilton.

All are welcome to enjoy Aboriginal dance, music and food, so take the kids along to connect with our first nation people and learn about their culture!

Roel Loopers

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RECONCILIATION AT FREO NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, indigenous, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on June 1, 2017

 

The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week is Let’s Take The Next Step and that is exactly what Fremantle Notre Dame University did with the launch of the Whadjuk Noongar MANJAREE cultural enrichment centre.

Manjaree means meeting place and UNDA wants it to be for all students to connect and have a place of respect and engagement where one can learn more about Aboriginal culture.

It will also be home to AIME, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience.

Noongar elder Marie Taylor gave a welcome to country.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt received high praise for Freo’s Council’s leadership on reconciliation and for initiating a national debate about a more appropriate  date for Australia Day.

The Majaree centre will open in about two months with a large mural timeline artwork and acknowledgment of indigenous UNDA graduates.

Roel Loopers

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NOONGARS WANT DIDGERIDOO BAN FOR SOUTH WEST

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, indigenous, western australia by freoview on April 1, 2017

The South-West Land Council, the body representing the Noongar people of Western Australia, has called for a ban on the use of didgeridoos during Welcome to Country ceremonies in the South West.

The Council said that the didgeridoo is not a traditional instrument for the Noongar people and that clapsticks should be used instead.

Noongar elder UWA professor Len Colard does use a didge at welcome to country ceremonies and has done that often in Fremantle, but the elder, whose name I don’t remember, who does the WTC at Fremantle Notre Dame University always points out that the use of didgeridoo would be inappropriate and uses clapsticks.

Roel Loopers

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