Freo's View

FRESH IDEAS NEEDED FOR ARTHUR HEAD

Posted in art, arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 8, 2017

 

The desire of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge to extend the decision period on the proposed tavern at J Shed by Sunset Events comes in my opinion far too late. What could possibly be achieved in 2-3 months of talking that could not have been achieved in the last four years?

Fremantle Council did have many opportunities to listen to the community but instead created a divide that has now become too polarised to be resolved and end in a good outcome for the proponents and opponents.

Sunset Events has in desperation asked Freo Massive readers what they believe is acceptable for the J Shed studio at Bathers Beach, as director David Chitty also did at the Council meeting on Wednesday. The community already told you that, David, so why engage social media when there has been community consultation, meetings, information sessions, a special electors meeting, written and verbal submissions, etc?

The dilemma is that the two sides are too far apart to find a compromise, and there appears to be a bit of stubbornness on both sides as well. The stuff them attitude is not going to help anyone!

Would Sunset Events be happy to just run a day-time cafe and small bar with a nice deck to watch Bathers Bay and the sunset? I doubt it, as they want big numbers of patrons to make their investment worthwhile, and that is fair enough from a business perspective.

The J Shed artists appear to not want anything but another art studio in that location, so they will probably also object to a small bar at the No 1 studio.

Community groups might well be happy with a 150-patron small bar there, as I would be, but I don’t think Sunset Events will want to scale down its proposal that far.

Fact is that the City of Fremantle should not have wandered off so far from the initial Expression of Interest and CoF should not have signed a 21-year lease for a tavern and outdoor music venue.

Councillors and the administration have to accept all the blame for this fiasco and they now will have to do their utmost best to get Sunset Events to relinquish the lease and start from scratch.

It is however also important for the J Shed artists to show more willingness to compromise as they should not dictate who their next door businesses can be. A small bar and cafe is totally acceptable for the venue and would become a good attraction for tourists and local residents.

The A Class reserve is very suitable to support the artists and create a sculpture park, with the addition of some shade structures and more seating. That would also support a new cafe/bar at J Shed. And a small playground for the kids would also be a nice addition for the area.

The Bathers Beach Art Precinct should go back to the drawing board as it is not working. The Pilot’s Cottages at Captain’s Lane are closed too many days of the week and do very little to help activate the area. The only exemptions up there are the Glen Cowans photo gallery and the very popular Roundhouse which attract a lot of visitors, and so did the High Tide biennale by the way.

I still wonder if the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre would not have been far more successful at the J Shed No 1 unit and complement the existing art businesses there better.

Fremantle Council need to acknowledge they got it wrong as far as the activation of Arthur Head is concerned and should start all over again with an open mind. This might well be the opportune time to engage an outside consultant to get some new and fresh ideas.

In the meantime the Roundhouse volunteer guides want to put new displays inside the popular tourist attraction, and they need big money to do that. Time for Fremantle Council to engage with them and collaborate and also to give them some assistance!

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

STUNNING ABORIGINAL MURAL AT NOTRE DAME UNI

Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on December 6, 2017

 

NDA Aboriginal

 

It was full house at Fremantle Notre Dame University’s Manjaree Place this morning for the unveiling of the major 5.5 x 2.2 metre  Manjaree Mia Kaart Aboriginal painting.

The work was created by WA Aboriginal artist Neta Knapp with help from indigenous NDA students, who each tell their own story on the big mural.

Fifty indigenous students are enrolled at Notre Dame’s Fremantle campus.

Manjaree Place was opened earlier this year to provide a place for reflection and cultural awareness at NDA. It is a beautiful place for quiet meditation in between studies.

 

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE COMMITMENT TO ABORIGINAL CULTURE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 5, 2017

 

FINALLY!!!!  Fremantle Council has committed $30,000 towards a feasibility study for an Indigenous Cultural Centre at Victoria Quay.

The study will include consultation with the local Aboriginal community and investigate issues including location and funding opportunities.

The concept for the centre includes galleries and exhibition spaces, theatres for lectures and performances, office space for local Aboriginal tourism and cultural businesses, and outdoor areas connected to the Swan River.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said  “If traditional owners support the concept, the addition of an indigenous cultural centre near an upgraded cruise ship terminal would make Victoria Quay a substantial tourism destination.”

Other ideas the study will explore include partnering with local universities to create a world class centre for indigenous studies that will attract international conferences and events.

The centre could also host touring exhibitions from other parts of Australia and the world.

The study is expected to commence later this year and be completed early next year.

This is in my opinion a well-overdue process as our local Aboriginal people, and those calling for more  tangible reconciliation and less tokenism, have been advocating for an Aboriginal cultural centre in Fremantle for very many years.

Well done Fremantle Council for finally allocating money for the significant process!

Roel Loopers

 

WONDERFUL ABORIGINAL SHOW AT FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE

Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on November 26, 2017

 

 

The IN CAHOOTS exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre is a wonderful show of Aboriginal art and should not be missed.

The show by six remote Aboriginal art centres takes over the entire FAC galleries and is a collaboration across Country.

Leading artist were invited to communities as artists in residence, resulting in the very creative, intriguing and fun exhibition.

There are paintings, sculptures, photographs,installations, mirrors, recycled car doors, video, figures, etc.

The participating art centres are Mangkaja Arts from Fitzroy Crossing, Baluk Arts, Victoria, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts Centre, Northern Territory, Martumili, WA and Papulankutja, WA.

Roel Loopers

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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

 

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RETHINKING OUR FREMANTLE HISTORY

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

 

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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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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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GOOD CITY COMMUNICATION A PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2017

 

A major issue in Fremantle is the lack of proper community consultation. The resentment in the community about it creates an us and them attitude, where Council becomes the enemy of the people, so we need to make a real effort to change that.

It is essential in my opinion to take the community with you when Council makes decisions and unfortunately that has not always been the case. I know they will never be able to please everyone, but they have to do better.

The Australia Day controversy is a good example of that, where only one community group was consulted, but not the entire community, and not even the business community. That is not good enough.

It does not matter how well Councillors meant and that they showed great sensitivity toward the Noongar community, they should have taken the entire community with them on this extremely important journey on how we can improve celebrating our history. They did not do that, so the issue became divisive, and sometimes even racist, and that was very disappointing.

The fact that the date of Australia Day is now a national discussion is good, and I acknowledge that Fremantle Council started it, and I do support that, but surely this should have been handled so much better, and we need to learn from that.

The Smoking Ceremony during One Day was quite emotional and it was great to see so many people tun up to witness it, and so was the concert in the afternoon, but we need to have a chat with the entire community about how we can accommodate a better outcome that will be embraced by more people.

Communication is insufficient at many levels. Social media comments show that very many people in Fremantle do not know what goes on and are quite ignorant about facts, and that is due to lack of good communication by the City of Fremantle, I believe.

If thousands did not know that there are free parking permits for residents available, until it became a political election issue, that is a clear sign of bad communication.

The City needs to reach out more and better, as it cannot expect that people will try to find important information on websites or social media. The City of Fremantle needs to ‘home deliver’ information, not wait for people to come to them to find out what is going on.

Lack of communication creates an us and them sentiment in the community, where council becomes the enemy of the people, and that is plain silly. It also creates conspiracy theories and innuendo, because there is a lack of trust, due to a perceived lack of transparency and accountability. Excellent communication can solve most of these issues.

Councillors are part of our community, and we elect them to make the hard and good decisions. Many Fremantle City officers live in Freo and are our neighbours and friends, so let’s stop treating them as opponents.

If I get elected on Fremantle Council I would like to have monthly meetings with the board and committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Fremantle Society, FICRA, the Fishing Boat Harbour, Cappuccino Strip, West End, South Freo, North Freo traders, etc. and also attend precinct meetings, because only when elected members constantly listen to the community, and communicate with them, will they understand what the issues and priorities are.

We are all in this together, and the better we work together the greater the outcomes will be! There is a great future ahead for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

TOURISM SHOULD BE FREMANTLE PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 17, 2017

 

 

The rather optimistic prediction by Sirona Capital that the Kings Square Project innovative and exciting FOMO retail concept will double tourism in Fremantle made me think on how we can increase tourist numbers and offer a better tourism experience in the port city.

For reasons I cannot understand there is reluctance to sell the great brand of Fremantle in destination marketing, and our retail marketing is not anywhere good enough. Retail is hard to sell anyway, as Fremantle lacks variety in shopping.

There is lack of coordination between the major players, and I have the feeling there are a few egos in the way. The City’s marketing people don’t really believe BID is necessary and the Chamber of Commerce is also not a big fan of it, and the major players in town are often left out, so everyone does their own bit, instead of working together on major strategies.

There is an assumption of communication, simply because visitors to Fremantle can access the Fremantle Story on-line or go to different Facebook pages about festivals, etc.

Fact is though that there are many people who do not engage with social media and who can’t be bothered to do long searches to see what is available to them.

Why can’t a visitor to Fremantle, who is staying Tuesday and Wednesday night, find out where live music is on those nights, which pubs have got specials on, etc?

At the Roundhouse we are not supplied with information about events. Many of the volunteer guides don’t live in Fremantle, so they do not know what is going on. It should be a matter of routine that the City’s marketing department emails a list of events, etc. every Monday morning to the Maritime and Shipwreck museums, Fremantle Prison, the Roundhouse, etc. but that is not happening.

Every year we have to contact the City to beg for festival programs, flyers, even a small poster about the Winter, Beer, Chilli festivals, whatever, but it is not forthcoming.

The City of Fremantle does not see tourism as a priority and great opportunity to boost the retail and hospitality industries. If thousands more people come to Freo and stay longer they will shop, eat and drink and support our traders, but BID mainly does cutesy things for locals during school holidays and festivals, which already attract people, instead of being a conduit for all the major players, such as developers, Fishing Boat Harbour, museums, etc.etc. come together, and work on strategies for Freo’s tourism.

The majority of overseas visitors are looking for an indigenous experience, but can’t find it. There is an opportunity here for Fremantle, but we do tokenism better that high impact stuff. There is no big picture thinking on tourism.

We light up the Arthur Head cliff face at night, but close the Whalers Tunnel at 7 pm, so there is no direct access from High Street. Why?!

We should have substantial tourist promotion for Fremantle at the airport, in the Perth CBD, and in Kalgoorlie and Esperance for those who drive here, but we preach to the locals mainly.

The Roundhouse volunteers want to improve the displays, but the City is not pro-actively involved in supporting them, and appears quite happy to leave it to the mostly senior amateurs to sort something out, while they could do with good professional advise and financial support.

The City should lobby the Royal Australian Navy and ask them to reconsider putting the planned Sailor monument on the North Mole, and instead put it on Victoria Quay or in Pioneer Park, or even Kings Square, because tens of thousands of visitors to Fremantle will miss out on seeing it. The North Mole is too remote for people who don’t have a vehicle, and riding one’s bike there is a challenge with all the trucks in the area.

The City of Fremantle needs a think tank on tourism, something substantial and outcome based. We have plenty of talkfests and don’t even do those well, because they procrastinate into nothing.

Our traders deserve and demand support, and we need to have a more innovative approach on how we can sell brand Freo, because our promotion is stale, and Fremantle does not get much help from the Perth-centric state tourism promotions.

Many tourists to Fremantle comment on how different we are, and that Perth is just like other big cities, but we do not sell our heritage beauty well, or even our gorgeous High Street that ends up at Bathers Beach.

Fremantle needs creative people who are willing and able to think outside the box, and who don’t do same same every year, time and time again. Fremantle’s marketing is boring, uninspiring and not working!

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

HISTORY HAS AT LEAST TWO SIDES

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, Uncategorized by freoview on August 28, 2017

 

MB 1

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt made a good point on his blog and here on Freo’s View about the Mailand Brown monument on the Esplanade, that tells both sides of the Langrange massacre that happened in the Kimberley in 1864.

This came in response to Councillor Sam Wainwright writing, a non council related article, that monuments of early explorers and settlers who committed crimes against Aboriginal people should be removed and street names changed.

The Lagrange history is controversial, as three explorers Frederick Panter, James Harding and William Goldwyer disappeared in the remote Kimberley, and a search party by Maitland Brown found them, allegedly speared and clubbed to death by Aborigines.

The alleged massacre saw some ten Aborigines killed by the search party.

Go and have a look yourself at the monument and read both sides of the story.

I wonder why the monument of Captain Fremantle that used to be on the Esplanade was removed some 20 years ago. There is controversial and contradicting history there as well.

Roel Loopers

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