Freo's View





The annual Fremantle Australia Day citizenship ceremony was held at the Maritime Museum and the winners of the Fremantle Citizen of the Year were announced as well.

Heidi Mippy was announced as Citizen of the Year. She is an advocate striving to create greater opportunities for Aboriginal families in the Fremantle area.

Mippy has worked as a youth worker, police officer, child protection worker and in many other roles before focusing on establishing the Djidi Djidi Girls Academy at Fremantle College.

As a director of the Djidi Djidi Aboriginal Women’s Corporation, Ms Mippy volunteers her time helping to develop better relationships between families in need and support agencies.

Nyoongar Elder Betty Garlett was named Fremantle’s Senior Citizen of the Year.

Ms Garlett is a member of the City of Fremantle’s Walyalup Reconciliation Reference Group, the Board of Management of Fremantle Women’s Health Care and the Silver Chain Community Advisory Group.

Fremantle’s Young Citizen of the Year was artist Alice Ford, who has painted two murals in North Fremantle. Ms Ford has completed commissioned works for local businesses, bands and artists including Spacey Jane, as well as assisting in running art classes for young students.

The Active Citizenship Award was won by Hilton Harvest Community Garden, which on a weekly basis has dozens of volunteers who come together to garden, work in the new nursery, exercise and build community spirit.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the Citizen of the Year recipients embodied the qualities that make Fremantle such a special community.

Roel Loopers


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I had tears in my eyes a few times today, because it was really very special to be part of the One Day in Fremantle event at Bathers Beach and made feel so welcome by all.

It was a true day of active reconciliation where Aboriginal people and Wadjelas connected in a very relaxed way. There were a lot of smiles, great kids, great music, just truly wonderful.

I love hanging out with blackfellas, even when it is politically incorrect to call them that, and it was a special day because I caught up with Reuben, a young Aboriginal man I have known since birth and used to babysit quite a bit. I had not seen him for ten years or so. His mum Michelle is my oldest, well she’s not old, but my most long term friend, in Australia. She’s a proud Irnjibarndi woman from Roebourne and curator at the new WA museum.

Roel Loopers

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Posted in aboriginal, australia, city of fremantle, community, culture, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 25, 2020



Here a few impressions of the ONE DAY IN FREMANTLE event at Bathers Beach.

There is live music, dance, story-telling, art, culture, fun, face painting, sand painting, etc.

It goes till 8pm this evening and finishes with the burning of balga trees on the beach at sunset.

It is a much more intimate event than the previous years on the Esplanade and it is easier for everybody to connect. It feels good. I really like it!

Go and say KAYA!

Roel Loopers




The ONE DAY IN FREMANTLE reconciliation event started at 8am this morning with a smoking ceremony at Bathers Beach.

A huge crowd of around 500 people attended, and that is special so early in the morning at the start of a long weekend.

There were a lot of Aboriginal elders and younger generations and federal, state and local politicians.

It was a lovely relaxed gathering with a lot of mutual respect shown.

There are activities, live music, food, and much more at Bathers Beach all day and it finishes at sunset with the burning of six Balga trees on the beach.

Come and join in. Connect with our indigenous friends, have fun together, lose the fear and prejudice!

Roel Loopers


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Posted in aboriginal, australia, australia day, city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on January 24, 2020




ONE DAY IN FREMANTLE is on this Saturday, January 25, so come and enjoy Aboriginal music, food, art, etc. It is on all day at Bathers Beach.

Roel Loopers



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




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


Roel Loopers





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




Fremantle Society president John Dowson is losing all his credibility when he sends these kind of nonsense messages and photos to FS members:

JD perspective

Australia Day Gone – Now Fremantle

Australia Day was cancelled without consultation.

Now, without consultation, the name Fremantle has been supplanted by Wanju Nidja Walyalup Whadjuk Boodja.

The sign above blocking the view of one of Australia’s most important heritage streets, High Street Fremantle, mentions Fremantle as an afterthought.

Mayor Brad Pettitt has been paid over $1 million already to be mayor of Fremantle, not another name that has not been discussed with the community.


Let us look at a more objective perspective, because the reality is that any face-level sign will block the view when one is very close to it, so below the photo I took of the same sign this Christmas morning.

A more objective perspective than John Dowson’s photo.


It is also remarkable that John Dowson must have discovered the Fremantle way-finding signs just now at the end of December 2019 when they were installed in June 2016, so three and a half years ago.

Dowson appears to have an issue with the Noongar message on the signs, and that is astounding for someone who has made his reputation on the protection of heritage. Would Dowson want the City of Fremantle to simply ignore the 40,000+ years of Whadjuk Noongar heritage and pretend it all just started in 1829 when European settlement started?

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, art, bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on December 10, 2019



If you are looking for a colourful and unique way to decorate your Christmas tree, stop by the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Mrs Trivett Lane on Arthur’s Head, just a hundred metres from the historic Roundhouse in Fremantle.

Drop in Wed-Fri 10am-3pm or Sat 12-3pm and grab these baubles made by artists from Halls Creek and Yuendumu while they are still available!

Individual baubles are $8 and gift boxes are $25.

While you are up there, don’t forget to visit the Glen Cowans underwater photography gallery for great Christmas gifts! Mounted prints from $ 35 and jewellery from $ 25. Brilliant and unique gifts!

Roel Loopers


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