Freo's View

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

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

CONTROVERSIAL ONE DAY IN FREMANTLE CHANGES

 

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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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FREMANTLE ABORIGINAL DANCE NATION

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, culture, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on December 1, 2019

 

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The national Aboriginal DANCE NATION  was held all over Australia today and of course also in Fremantle.

There was a big mob of moorditj people who were all there to show respect for our Aboriginal culture.

Roel Loopers

Feel free to pass on the link and drag and drop any of the photos to share them around!

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FREMANTLE SHOWING RESPECT FOR ABORIGINAL LEADER

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 29, 2019

 

 

The Aboriginal flag is flying at half mast on the Fremantle Townhall to show respect for the Reverend Sealin Garlett who died recently.

A memorial service will be held today from 5-7pm in Manning Park.

Roel Loopers

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MANNING PARK SERVICE FOR SEALIN GARLETT

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on November 27, 2019

 

Memorial

 

A memorial service will be held for the Rev Sealin Garlett this Friday in Manning Park from 5-7pm.

Sealin was a delightful and gentle man, and a very good leader for his people.

Roel Loopers

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BIG CROWD ENJOYS FREO’S ABORIGINAL FESTIVAL

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, festival, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 16, 2019

 

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It was packed full at the Fremantle Arts Centre on Saturday evening for the Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival. It was pretty moorditj-deadly, as our Noongar friends say.

There were a lot of great young, and a bit older, dancers, good music, and a nice relaxed ambience where our indigenous culture and Australia’s multiculturalism was showcased at its best.

This old fella  had a big day on our hottest November day on record, and I was too tired to stay on all evening, so here just a few impressions of the first hour of the great event.

Roel Loopers

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WARDARNJI ABORIGINAL FESTIVAL TONIGHT

 

The annual WARDARNJI Aboriginal Festival is on at the Fremantle Arts Centre this evening from 6.30pm. Gates open at 5.30pm.

Aboriginal dance, music, food, is perfect for this warm Saturday evening, so don’t miss it!

Over 100 dancers will perform traditional Noongar dances as well as original, contemporary pieces which take you to the heart of our rich cultural history. Dance groups involved include Middar, Wadumbah, Kwarbah Djookian, Kwobidak Yok Kenning, Mungart Yongah, Koolangkas Kreate, Djiripin Djindas and Bigirrda Dancers.

A highlight of this year’s Wardarnji will be the Story of the Wargyl who weaved through the land in the Dreamtime and created our waterways in Noongar country. The story will be narrated and performed by a giant Wargyl puppet.

Roel Loopers

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ABORIGINAL CENTRE UNLIKELY TO BE IN FREMANTLE

Posted in aboriginal, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 25, 2019

 

The desire by Fremantle Council to build an Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Arthur’s Head is more a pipe dream than reality because the State Government wants the centre to be part of the East Perth power station development.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt prefers an Aboriginal arts and culture centre to be close to Perth, so one has to wonder why Fremantle Council insists on continuing with an expensive feasibility study when the only way the centre could be built here is with the financial backing of the state and federal governments. There is no way the City of Fremantle can afford to build the centre from ratepayers’ money only, so it’s either private sponsorship or government.

While the City is spending $ 50.000 on the feasibility study Arthur’s Head has been a total mess for nearly two years with large sections of it fenced off due to rock fall danger, so why not prioritise the stabilisation of one of our most popular tourist destinations first.

Roel Loopers

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ABORIGINAL GAMES AT FREMANTLE OVAL

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, fitness, health, indigenous, sport, Uncategorized by freoview on September 11, 2019

 

 

 

 

Two hundred year 5-9 students from ten schools came to Fremantle Oval today for the Culture through Sport event organised by the Stephen Michael Foundation, where they played traditional Aboriginal games most of us Wadjelas have not heard about.

Footy legend Barry Gable and former Dockers player Michael Johnson were in attendance.

The students participated in Meetcha Boma, a hockey game played by Noongar people of the south of WA, where a Meetcha-red gum-was used as a ball and a piece of wood with a crooked root as the hockey stick.

Marn-Grook, or game of ball, was played by Aboriginal groups in Victoria. The ball is kicked high into the air and players try to catch it, similar to a mark in the AFL.

Noongar Wana was played by girls where a small stick was put on the ground and one girl tried to defend the stick while other girls outside a circle around her tried to hit it with a ball.

Edar, a game of chasing and tagging, comes from the Aurukun Aboriginal community.

The kids had a lot of fun.

Roel Loopers

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