Freo's View



art precinct


This mess is what visitors to the Bathers Beach Art Precinct saw yesterday at one of the art studios at Mrs Trivett Lane.

Behind it there is bedding from homeless people, and in the garden of the cottage where the Roundhouse guides have their office people also had left bedding and rubbish and trampled the bushes.

Fremantle safety officers drive up to Arthur’s Head a couple of times a day but police officers are rarely seen up there any more.

Arthur’s Head is a ghost town at night, since Fremantle Council decided to make it into an art precinct and evicted the people who lived in the Pilot’s Cottages. I warned them at the time that this would be happening but my concerns were ignored because I was one of the people who lived there as caretaker for the Fremantle Society, hence I was considered a NIMBY whose concerns were irrelevant.

Fremantle Council is currently reconsidering the art precinct, but whatever the outcome they need to create a better night environment up on our historic hill.

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 29, 2019






The complaints about the lack of funding for the Duyfken Replica Foundation, expressed today in the West Australian by Graeme Cocks, are shared by the Fremantle Roundhouse, Western Australia’s oldest public building.

Prime Minister Scott Morison has committed $ 6,7 million to let the Endeavour replica sail around Australia next year to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Captain’s Cook first journey to this continent, but Western Australia’s most significant historic building does not receive any annual Federal, State or City of Fremantle funding.

The Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides manage the tourism aspects of the Roundhouse and with just 30 volunteers open the historic jail 363 days a year and fire the cannon behind the building every day at 1pm, all just on meager donations from tourists.

Arthur’s Head, on which the Roundhouse stands, was vested in the City of Fremantle by the State Government, but with a small ratepayers’ base the City does not have the funds for the ongoing expensive maintenance of the area. Where is the State funding for that?!

The Roundhouse volunteers are in the process of getting all new modern interpretive historic displays, which will also tell the important Aboriginal story of the area, but the main funding of the estimated $ 200,000 project will have to come from Lotterywest, so we hope for the best as first indications have been promising.

As a Roundhouse volunteer myself I am asking why there is no yearly State and Federal funding and why the City of Fremantle does not spend more on this important tourist destination.

Why for example do Fremantle Ports not sponsor the Roundhouse when we fly their flag every day? Even paying for the explosives(Maroons) for the cannon would help, but that too has to be paid for from the few donations, and so do the summer and winter uniforms for the mainly senior guides, promotional leaflets, etc.

I find it unbelievable that such a significant historic building and tourist attraction does not receive support from our governments on an annual basis.

Roel Loopers



I don’t like Christmas very much because I dislike the hype of frantic shopping, buying too much food, giving often useless presents, and drinking far too much alcohol, as if there is no tomorrow, or a New Year’s party coming up.

What I want from Christmas is for it to be a time of reflection, to see what we can learn from the past year, and how we as individuals can help improve the community we live in.

All I want for Christmas is real leadership from our politicians, and not the childish point- scoring bulling and hypocrisy we are getting from Canberra.

I want for Christmas respectful dialogue about the differences we have in Fremantle, and in WA and Australia, and stop the name-calling, innuendo and conspiracy.

I hope that one day soon people will return to being in the moment with the people they are with, instead of engaging on the internet with those far away, who are probably also in the company of others, who, like me, would enjoy the face to face communication and connection.

For Fremantle I want substantial State and Federal Government investment and the stop to the attitude that Freo is a safe Labor seat, and hence does not require support from Labor and does not warrant support from the Liberals.

What I want for Christmas is much harsher punishment for child abuse and domestic violence because the victims deserve much better protection.

I have given up on wanting peace on earth, because that is not going to happen until the human species is wiped out. We are too stupid to learn from the past and there are still those in power who believe that violence is a solution to the problems in the world.

What I want for Christmas is more communities like Fremantle, where we don’t take ourselves too serious, and where we care and share, and where we habitually blame everything that goes wrong on our local council.

What I want for Christmas is more temporary public artworks, like the yellow Felice Varini one, in Freo, but less problems when removing them.

And what Loopy wants for Christmas is just good health, and that the new interpretive historic displays at the Roundhouse will become a reality next year.

Have a very Happy Christmas everyone and look after those who are vulnerable at this time of the year!

.. and PLEASE, Santa, make Donald Trump disappear!

Roel Loopers



Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, history, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on December 14, 2018


RH 3

RH 2

RH 1


It’s lucky I had a very quiet start of the day volunteering at the Roundhouse yesterday, as I browsed through some of the information displays on the wall and discovered that the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides, who look after WA’s oldest public building, were established 20 years ago in 1998.

I am no doubt a bit biased, as one of the volunteers, but I still believe it is significant that a small group of mainly seniors for twenty years have opened the Roundhouse every day of the year, but for Good Friday and Christmas Day, for visitors from all over the world, and fire the cannon every day as well.

I have been volunteering for eight years now and loving it, but there are quite a few who have been there much longer. One of them is my good old mate Nan Jackson. I often tell visitors that Nan actually built the old jail. She is the one in the photo close up at the stocks

Happy anniversary FVHG and thank you to everyone who participated in the last two decades. It would not have been possible without you!

Roel Loopers





The FRANKENSTONE production by Genrefonix in the Fremantle Roundhouse last night was brilliant! I was expecting it to be good because the team had spent so much time on it, but I did not expect it to be so professional.

The setting in Western Australia’s oldest public building was perfect for it, especially the old-style Black&White silent movie, that also features Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt. Very good cinema-photography!

Great music and acting. I am so glad I saw it.

What a great place the under-utilised Roundhouse is in the evening for plays, events, projections, concerts, functions, etc. This is how we can help activate Arthur’s Head, Fremantle Council!

There are still two shows on this Saturday at 7.15 and 8.15pm and they start at the Old Custom House building from where everyone walks over to the Roundhouse following the bagpipe piper.

It is a fundraising event for the Fremantle Roundhouse, which had four volunteer guides present on the night.

Roel Loopers




Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, entertainment, heritage, history, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on November 30, 2018




The day has finally arrived! FRANKENSTONE is on tonight and tomorrow night in the Fremantle Roundhouse. There are two shows each night, so only four in total, so don’t miss it!

Expect the unexpected, along with fresh Freo-Frankstein film sequences, rocking live music, chilling soundscapes, true facts and reimagined fiction, and much over the top theatrics!

In the show Roundhouse architect Henry Reveley (1788-1875) is cast as key protagonist in a gothic tale so wild that only WA’s most infamous building could contain in it. Henry’s lifelong bonds with Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, both emotional and intellectual, are exposed through a theatrical retelling of the recorded facts, revealing a contorted sketch of a dark, talented genius – presented, tongue in cheek, as WA’s own Dr Frankenstein……

Henry not only brought the spirit of Shelley’s “novel of ideas” with him from Europe to the Swan River Colony, he co-owned it. He drank from the deep reservoir of radical thinking that Mary’s circle had created through her influential father, mother, husband, friends and acquaintances. He lived, loved and worked in their vortex, his soul trapped, his actions untempered. Like Mary he too was stalked by family secrets, death, sadness and financial worries. Henry escaped however, to establish a remote outpost down under where his program of public works could conceal his true passion for natural philosophy and investigations into animal electricity.

‘Frankenstone’ presents an engaging patchwork of influential thinkers and historical figures, morbidly stitched together to deliver compelling conclusions for the true heritage of Western Australia. WA’s Netflix generation will be thoroughly comforted in the knowledge that a real gothic touchstone lies hidden in plain sight in Fremantle’s West End.

The show begins in the relative serenity and abundant hospitality of the Old Custom’s House Atrium, at 9 Phillimore Street Fremantle, before the audience is led up to the imposing Roundhouse to witness its many secrets unleashed through music and film. At the show’s dramatic conclusion audiences can once again seek refuge in the Atrium and raise a glass to our fallen romantic heroes and villains.

The event is a fundraiser written and produced by Genrefonix in partnership with the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association. All proceeds from ‘Frankenstone’ will go to the Fremantle Roundhouse to assist with developing special event resources to bring the venue to life once more.

Date: Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December

Shows: 7.15pm and 8.30pm

Location: Meet at Old Customs House Atrium, 8 Phillimore Street Fremantle

Tickets: Eventbrite



Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, history, local government, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on November 29, 2018



It is good to see that Fremantle’s historic Arthur’s Head is getting some maintenance, but disappointing that it is only painting.

A contractor is giving the old Pilot’s Cottages at Captain’s Lane a facelift, while a City of Fremantle painter has been painting the picket fences at Arthur’s Head for a few months.

But serious maintenance need to be done as walls are crumbling and the steps up to the Roundhouse look very uncared for.

A section of the low wall near the grassed area has fallen off next to the sign that warn for Unsafe Cliff.

And maintenance should be properly and respectfully done! Just putting a blob of the wrong colour cement on damage really is not good enough, as the photo shows.

Roel Loopers





I hear that J Shed artists have been told by the City of Fremantle that license/lease negotiations will be on hold until Fremantle Council has debated the future of the shed, and presumably the entire Bathers Beach Art Precinct, at their monthly meeting in February next year.

While this has created some uncertainty and stress for the artists, whose future at J Shed is not secure again, it is not necessarily a bad thing that Council wants to revisit plans for Arthur’s Head, as the Bathers Beach Art Precinct in its present form is flawed and not working as well as it could.

I would like to see a real Masterplan with long-term goals for the historic precinct and the City spending money on infrastructure such as public toilets at beach level, an outdoor deck at Unit 1, and making the area into an attraction instead of an afterthought.

It is clear from the Sunset Events fiasco that ‘applicant driven’ ideas can grow out of proportion, as was also the case with talking about a large burger restaurant for the small Esplanade hub. Council struggles to contain these ideas so that they are actually what the elected members wanted to achieve and don’t get kidnapped by commercial profit thinking.

Arthur’s Head is an amazing precinct with huge potential to make it into a real tourist attraction for visitors and the Fremantle community, but that requires financial commitment and creativity from Council and not just filling up vacant spaces ad hoc.

It is time to get back to the drawing board, conduct some intense community consultation, make the Roundhouse a much bigger drawcard with proper marketing and evening events, light up the Pilot Cottages at night and create better connectivity between Victoria Quay and the Fishing Boat Harbour.

The historic significance of Arthur’s Head needs to be the main consideration, but that does not mean a good arts and culture component can’t be part of the future there. A stunning sculpture park on the A Class Reserve in front of J Shed could be amazing.

Roel Loopers






It is going to be a pretty big week for Fremantle so come along and enjoy all the fun!

It starts of with the Long Table Dinner all along historic High Street on Thursday evening, with the added bonus of a Christmas Market in Henry Street.

On Friday and Saturday evening the fantastic Frankenstone will light up inside the Roundhouse, and the Bazaar at the Fremantle Arts Centre starts and will run all weekend.

On Saturday from 1.30pm the Fremantle Folk Festival will be held in Princess May Park, Clancy’s and DADAA, so make sure to go there as well.

And on Sunday the Growers Green Farmers CHRISTMAS Market will have their big Christmas market.

Maybe it’s time to book a sicky for next Monday, hey? ; >)

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, entertainment, heritage, history, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on November 19, 2018




Great to see a half-page article on page three of the West Australian today about the FRANKENSTONE event in the Fremantle ROUNDHOUSE gaol on November 30 and December 1.

The creative people of Genrefonix found a link between Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, and Roundhouse architect Henry Reveley.

The Frankenstone event will have experimental filmmaking techniques and sound engineering, live performances and rock music to show the connection between Mary Shelley and the Roundhouse.

Comment: It is fantastic that the Roundhouse is being used for all kinds of events after hours, as it has the potential to become a great community space. On Friday we had over 100 people in WA’s oldest public building for the Protect Ningaloo fundraiser and it was such a brilliant evening.

Currently the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides, who manage the Roundhouse, are in the process of creating all new historic interpretive displays, to make them more professional and modern.

Roel Loopers


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