Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, community, education, men, mental health, social services, Uncategorized by freoview on June 22, 2020



The Freo Men’s Shed is not at all a meeting place for grumpy old men, but instead a real community hub were people gather, relax and do handy and community work together.

Of the 330 members the shed has 50% are under the age of 50 and there are 50 female members among them. I heard there was a meeting in Booyeembara Park yesterday to start a women’s shed.

I had a chat with president Mark Thomas and lifelong member Bill Johnstone on Friday and they told me about the many things the Freo Men’s Shed has been involved in, from woordworking classes for Christian Brothers College students, to looking after the organic vegetable gardens, helping out at the women’s health centre, supporting the Hilton PCYC, doing handy services for single women who need support, making a book tree for a local school, assisting with mental health programs for youth, music jam sessions, etc.

There are wood and metal workshop spaces, a music space, and they are happy to help out and give handy tips

They also have a team removing non spray graffiti every Tuesday around Fremantle, and told me they are very disappointed about the bad and incorrect press they have been getting lately.

The official name is the Fremantle Men’s Community Shed, and one can see why, because the shed is a place to hang out, meet mates, help out in the community, tend to the gardens.

They also make beautiful woodwork for the shop, which is in an old railway carriage, so if you are looking for great handmade cheese or cutting boards, etc. make sure to visit the shop.

Find out opening times by emailing or give them a call on 9337 8614


Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, covid-19, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2020




It is interesting how we all cope in different ways with the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions on our moving around town and socialising.

I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is for those who are suddenly unemployed and had to queue up at Centrelink, or for business owners who were either forced to close in the hospitality industry, or closed because people are not out and about and shopping.

For a person living on their own it might seem enviable at times to be surrounded by family or living with a partner, I have no doubt though that creates different challenges the longer the restrictions are in place.

For me personally this is a good time with less pressure to be part of the community, to engage with people, go to concerts, art shows, council meetings, or catch up for a drink in a pub with friends.

I am more relaxed today after three weeks of only going out for a morning walk, having a coffee and do food shopping, and another walk late afternoon. There is no pressure to perform, although I am keen to continue with daily posts on Freo’s View, and that is getting harder because a lot less is going on.

While I love people I also really like my own company and the solitude of reading a good book, or having an afternoon siesta. Reading has always been the great escape for me, from broken hearts to depressions and business concerns. When I read my brain does not wander off to negative thoughts. I love cooking, so preparing the daily dinner is another form of relaxation for me.

What I most miss is communication and not talking with people. There are days when I have only exchanged a few words with the lovely ladies at Chalkys cafe in the morning and nothing else.

I find this time of contemplation very relaxing. I think more about the past and the adventure life has been for me, and all the fantastic people I have met on my journey. I think about how special it is to live in Fremantle and being part of such a great community, so instead of feeling anxious I feel grateful for the life I have and the life I lived.

We all deal with crisis in different ways, but for me acceptance and knowing this is well outside my control is important, and I am thankful for the Dutch pragmatism that is part of my heritage.

Stay well Fremantle and keep up the social distancing and isolation, because it is much better for us than having thousands of people die from Covid-19.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, covid-19, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on April 9, 2020


Someone has put a lot of motivational slogans on the pavement and hoardings in Suffolk Street.

Yes indeed, Freo, keep your chin up! ;>))

Roel Loopers


Posted in children, city of fremantle, community, covid-19, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on April 9, 2020


Play 1


There is a sense of sadness to see children’s playgrounds closed, but it is essential to continue doing it to protect the young ones in our community from the coronavirus.

I took these historic photos at the Fremantle South Beach playground yesterday morning.

While so many people are struggling there is also something special about this period in our lives. There is so much time for stillness and contemplation, and the realisation we don’t actually have to be entertained and connect with people 24/7.

The fact that we no longer can go out to pubs and bars, concerts, restaurants and cafes will hopefully bring us back to realising what our priorities in life should be, because now more than in a very long time do we see how precious life is, and how awfully short it can be.

This is a time to spread love and support and show real great community spirit. This is the time for property owners to take on corporate responsibility and trying to support their tenants as best as they can.

We cannot allow the silence and loneliness to make people depressed and anxious, so we need to connect, while allowing life to take its course.

The overriding sentiment should be that most people are good people, and that most are willing to help, especially in Fremantle.

Stay safe and well, Freo!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, mental health, photographer, Uncategorized by freoview on October 3, 2019


I am deeply saddened to hear from the Fremantle Herald that beautiful soul Beaconsfield photographer Matthew Dwyer has been found deceased at Bluff Knoll.

Matthew was a truly delightful and gentle human being and a great photographer who loved going hiking at Bluff Knoll.

Fremantle has lost a very special man. May he be at peace.

My heart goes out to his family and his large group of friends.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on September 12, 2019



It is R U OK? day today and like every day of the year we need to be asking that question.

There are so very many people in Australia with mental health problems, with depression and anxiety, and suicide far too often seems to be the only solution for those in despair.

As someone who suffered from depression for a very long time, now thankfully years ago, I know the struggle, the feeling of being abandoned by the world and the black hole that seems to be getting deeper and darker as there appears to be no future.

It is so very important to turn to friends of family and tell them how you feel, without being judged or pitied, and it is very important that we all ask ourselves and those around us R U OK?

Life can be an enormous struggle sometimes, and no one should feel ashamed when they are down in the doldrums, not even when it is self-inflicted. There is always hope and there is so much beauty in our world and so many very good people!

Be honest with yourself and don’t pretend to be happy, because acknowledging the problem is the very first important step to recovery and healing.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on ARE WE REALLY OK?



Last night our time my oldest sister Marja died in the Netherlands. She was euthanised.

I am not sharing this with you because of narcissism but because the Western Australian government also want to legalise doctor assisted dying and I believe that is a very humane intent. There are community information sessions and community consultation and a very long online survey that took me 20 minutes, but is worth doing.

I am so grateful that my sister died in her own bed in her own home and with dignity and that she had plenty of time to receive family and friends and say goodbye.

The process she had to go through was lengthy and very thorough before an expert committee decided that she was eligible for euthanasia.

Legalising assisted dying is about giving people a choice instead of forcing them to commit suicide in awful and very lonely ways. It should not be politicised or being kidnapped by religious leaders.

There is no threat to religious or cultural values. No one can be forced to be euthanised and neither can doctors be forced to administer it. In my sister’s case her new doctor-the old one had retired-told her it was too early in his young career to feel comfortable assisting her so she was referred to an older colleague.

My sister Marja was assessed on her health and mental health by different practitioners who wrote reports which were considered by an independent panel. There was nothing easy or flippant about that process and not at all what some panel members at last year’s Notre Dame university forum claimed.

Call me an old cynic, but it comes as no surprise to me that the billion dollar age care industry and the billion dollar palliative care industry are against euthanasia, and so are those who believe that only a god can take a life. For those of us who are not religious the promise of heaven, paradise or nirvana is irrelevant, but euthanasia is our pragmatic and humane choice if life is coming to a painful, slow and unstoppable end. We don’t let animals suffer, so why not apply the same compassion to human beings.

It is astounding how unprepared we are for death. It is the elephant in the room that not many people want to talk about. We are not taught how to deal with it, so at the end we try to deal with it the best we can with empathy. I was lucky to be able to Skype with my sister often over the last couple of months and that was good for both of us.

Marja was just three years older than I am and was always there for me. She had inoperable cancer. I am so grateful that she was allowed to die with dignity. All her pain and worries are now over.

Roel Loopers




The FPOL-Finance, Policy and Legislation- Committee  of Fremantle Council unanimously agreed on Wednesday evening to sponsor the Fremantle Street Doctor services for $ 20,000 and will also write to the State Government to seek reconsideration for ongoing funding, since the Health Department slashed all funding for this great initiative by the end of this financial year.

Councillors also agreed to lobby the members for Fremantle Simone McGurk MLA and Josh Wilson MP.

The Fremantle Foundation’s Impact 1000 could be perfect to sponsor the Freo Street Doctor, I believe.

The Mayor and Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that if the City sponsors these important social services it should make the community aware of it through a logo or something.

Your ratepayers’ money at work with the council logo would be great!

Roel Loopers




One of the problems going to many forums about homelessness and (affordable) housing is that you have heard it all before and wonder when the action will start and the talk fests stop.

Nothing I heard last night at the Politics in the Pubs event by the Fremantle Network at The Local Hotel was new, but that isn’t the fault of the two speakers, who were equally frustrated about it.

Sam Knight of RUAH said the fundamental thing is that homeless people need homes, but they also need support workers to help with social, health and mental health problems.

The cost on the health system by not supplying sufficient affordable houses is enormous and governments fail to recognise that.

Victor Crevatin, the Director of Housing and Support Services at Fremantle’s St Patrick’s, said St Pat’s has been working with homeless people since 1971 and in 2017 had supplied 31,000 meals and 1,200 clothes to those in need, and 500 people were given accommodation.

Like Sam Knight, Crevatin said it is not just about providing houses, but that it needs support services to get people back on track.

There is the need to turn the generational NIMBY attitude around, and it is all about education to get rid of the bullshit myth about affordable housing and anti-social behaviour!

Sam Knight said it was also about offering the right mix of housing. We need to give choices about accommodation from shared accommodation to single apartments. “What are the best low-cost constructions we can do?” We need to recognise housing has a social and health aspect!

As I heard a week earlier at the Fremantle Safety Forum, there appears to be a serious issue with support agencies not collaborating well and the state government should do something about trying to streamline that, so that there is better coordination and information sharing, to the benefit of those in need.

Comment: I have supported the Fremantle Network since it started and have very often found the meetings very good, but the nice bloke, who shall remain unnamed, who took over from Rachel Pemberton to organise the Fremantle Network loves hogging the limelight. Last night again his introduction of the topic and two expert speakers was far too long. Just a short and succinct intro will do instead of babbling on for 15 minutes. Participate in the Q&A as Rachel used to do, but don’t give a very long speech. It’s not about you!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, community, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on October 10, 2018




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