Freo's View

HARMONY DAY CELEBRATING OUR MULTICULTURAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, multicultural, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on March 21, 2019

 

Harmony Day

 

It is HARMONY DAY today, so let’s make a start and make Australia that tolerant and change-embracing country again.

Let us all stop politicians from using race, religion and culture for fear mongering and political gain and tell them we are better than that.

We live in a peaceful multicultural society and should not fear new migrants or claim they take jobs away from those who have lived here longer.

The contributions migrants have made to Australia is enormous. The Ghan, Indian Pacific railway lines and other major projects would not have been built without the Afghan camel caravans. Muslims have lived in Australia peacefully since the 1830s!

We live in a good country full of freedom and opportunities and we should by now have enough self-esteem to no longer fear those who come from foreign countries. Hatred, racism and ignorance are the enemies, not different cultures and religions.

Today is a day to smile and look back at our achievements and how all of us together made Australia the great country it is!

Roel Loopers

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RESPECT CREATES A BETTER COMMUNITY

 

There is a lot of hypocrisy gong on in the mainstream media and from politicians in the wake of the white supremacist terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques.

Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to play the blame game about irresponsible social media without taken responsibility for their own contributions.

Mainstream media has moved so far right that it is not funny, with the West Australian newspaper becoming the mouthpiece for the Liberal/National Federal government and right-wing  columns by  Andrew Bolt, Paul Murray, Gemma Tognini and others.

Federal politicians have been engaging in fear mongering about Muslims and refugees, while the ultimate hypocrites must be Sunrise which puts Pauline Hanson on a weekly panel to sprout her racist nonsense, but suddenly attack her for those views after the Christchurch massacre.

There is no doubt though that social media has created a terribly negative community conversation that spreads hatred, ignorance, racism, innuendo, conspiracy and name-calling and where all respect for people with a different view point has disappeared, and that also happens on a local level here in Fremantle.

I want to believe that Australia is better than that! I want to believe that we are still the fair-go and tolerant multicultural country, where every law abiding person from all over the world can make a new home and where we welcome those who need a safe haven away from war, violence and abuse.

But we all need to be more aware of what we are writing on social media and try not to engage so dismissively and angrily when we don’t agree with posts of others, and the mainstream media needs to start to be more considerate and respectful as well and understand how damaging sensationalist reporting can be to individuals. The Jesse Hogan story of the Fremantle Dockers is such a case. This young man does have a mental health issue and he does not need to be humiliated in the media for that. Leave him alone and let him heal!

We should all take a lesson from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. What empathy and compassion, what dignity, strength and integrity, and what outstanding leadership!

Roel Loopers

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I AM RUNNING OUT OF TIME FREO. HURRY UP!

Posted in city of fremantle, community, history, immigration, multicultural, Uncategorized by freoview on March 13, 2019

 

 

The long-hair dude is me in 1982 and the short-hair one is me now, so just a bit of nostalgia and history

Today on March 13, 1982, 37 long years ago, I arrived as a new migrant in Sydney, after having lived as a migrant in Germany for 13 years as well.

My life has been an amazing adventure and I loved every city I lived in; first The Hague in the Netherlands, then Nuremberg in Germany, then Sydney and from September 1985 it was WA. Our first house in Como, the move to Swanbourne, and when I became single after twenty years I moved to Fremantle and discovered this is the place I really love.

I have seen many changes in my 25+ years in Freo, some good, some bad, but I fear I am running out of time to see an Aboriginal Cultural Centre purpose-built here, and new interpretive displays at the Roundhouse.

I am 70-years-old so I am worried that there might not be much time left for me and that I could not be here for the opening of the new Civic Centre, and to see if Fremantle Council’s decision about the Kings Square Redevelopment Project was the right one and created all the inner city activation so desperately needed.

Will urban infill kill Freo, as some critics claim, or will it help to create vitality and rejuvenation of a tired city? Will I ever find out?

Whatever the outcome and different opinions about it, I love good old Freo. It is a very special place that has so much to offer to so many people. It has given me a home where I have a very strong sense of belonging to a caring community with many great people. I feel blessed. Thank you all!

Roel Loopers

 

 

FREO’S ITALIAN BUTCHER’S FRANKS MULTICULTURAL AUSSIE DAY

Posted in australia, australia day, city of fremantle, food, multicultural, Uncategorized by freoview on January 26, 2019

 

franks oz day 1

 

This is a pretty impressive multicultural celebration of Australia Day at Franks, the Italian butcher in Wray Avenue, Fremantle.

Moroccan, Italian, German, Thai, American, Spanish, Aussie, Chines and Portuguese, and probably food inspired by foreign cuisines.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO WELCOMES 67 NEW CITIZENS

Posted in australia, australia day, citizenship, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 26, 2019

 

 

Fremantle welcomed 67 new Australians from all over the world at the Fremantle Arts Centre this Australia Day Saturday.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Minister and Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk handed out the citizenship certificates to the new Aussies in front of friends and family.

Roel Loopers

AUSTRALIAN FLAG BACK ON FREMANTLE TOWNHALL

Posted in australia, australia day, citizenship, city of cockburn, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 25, 2019

 

flag

 

All those people who wrongly believe that Fremantle Council is un-Australian, whatever that means, can sleep in peace and have happy dreams again now that the City has raised the Australian flag on the Townhall again.

The big flag will stay up 24/7 as it will be illuminated at night, so check it out.

Talking about being Australian, tomorrow at 10.30, yes, on Australia Day, the City of Fremantle will hold its annual citizenship ceremony at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

67 new Aussies will pledge their allegiance to their new country. It will be a very special moment for them.

The new Aussies are from France, Spain, Israel, USA, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Columbia, Brazil, Turkey, UK, Ireland and Austria.

Roel Loopers

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POLITICS IN THE PUB ABOUT AUSTRALIA DAY

Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, fremantle network, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on January 24, 2019

 

The first Politics in the Pub of 2019 by the Fremantle Network will deal with a very controversial topic. Should We Change the Date of Australia Day?

It is happening straight after the Australia Day long weekend on Tuesday the 29th at The Local hotel in South Fremantle.

Proceedings start at 7pm and all are welcome. The bar and kitchen will be open!

Roel Loopers

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AUSTRALIAN DAYS TO CELEBRATE INCLUSIVENESS

 

So what is the fuss about again about Australia Day? It was all over the news yesterday but there is very little new in what ScoMo and other politicians said, besides a new dress code for those who receive the citizenship certificate, which is soooooo un-Australian.

Already last year local councils were told by the Federal Government that citizenship ceremonies had to be held on January 26 and the City of Fremantle obliged, but also held the One Day event two days later on Sunday the 28th.

This year again we will have the very good One Day event on Sunday the 27th in Fremantle and the citizenship ceremony at Fremantle Oval on the 26th, and then we have the Australia Day Monday to do whatever we like.

And after we heard all the political stuff about how sacrosanct Australia Day supposedly is, it turned out that the ScoMo government only wants to introduce the changes in 2020, when they are most likely no longer in power. What a waste of time!

And just for the sake of the argument, why isn’t the Australian of the Year announcement on Australia Day, but the day before, and what actually is Australian Citizenship Day on September 17 for?

Personally I am looking forward to being at the citizenship ceremony in Freo because as a migrant myself I know how special and important that is, and I am very much looking forward to the Smoking Ceremony on Bathers Beach at 8am and the all day One Day event on the 28th. There is something for everyone. It is inclusive and it should not offend anyone to celebrate that way together!

Roel Loopers

 

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IS HERALD GRANT REFUSAL WORTH FRONT PAGE ?

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle herald, media, newspaper, publishing, Uncategorized by freoview on January 11, 2019

 

I am not sure why Andrew Smith, the owner, publisher and editor of the Fremantle Herald and Perth Voice, believes the fact that his company did not get a Federal Government grant is worth a large comment on the entire front page of today’s Chook. Is it really THAT important to the readers of the Herald and the Freo community? I doubt it.

Rumours that Smith will now publish front page comments by any Fremantle individual and company that did not receive the grants they applied for are malicious nonsense of course. ; >)

But far more important to me is the fact that Andrew Smith “had sought funding to train ‘citizen’ journalists for online publishing” So-called citizen journalism is basically amateurs doing the work for free for which professional journalists should get paid, so does that really deserve a government grant, I wonder?

Journalists are being sacked in droves by the big media companies, which are all stream lining their operations, hence there is very little difference in the reporting of the West Australian, Sunday Times, Perth Now and Channel 7, all owned by the same owner, where journos are sharing the same newsroom, and the same articles and photos are shared and published in all of the publication on-line and in print.

But to put Andrew Smith’s lament in perspective though, from 186 applicants across Australia for the new innovation fund grant, not one from WA received one, so that is indeed a worry as it feels far too much like election pork barreling.

Roel Loopers

WE ALL GOT RED BLOOD AND BROWN SHIT

 

There is plenty of time for contemplation and soul searching during the cold and wet winter days and nights, so when it was suggested to me that I should try to speak at one of the new TEDx Fremantle events about Perception and Reality, I wondered what it was I would like to speak about.

My thoughts don’t comply with the TEDx Fremantle categories of; only good science, no political agenda and no religious proselytizing, so I decided to just write down my contemplations and publish it here on Freo’s View instead. Here it is:

When we talk about reality and perception we should start with the elephant in the room first, and that is that Australia is not the best country in the world. Simply because no country is! There are many great countries in the world. I lived in three of them.

Our soldiers are not braver than those from other countries, and there is nothing specifically Australian about people helping each other in a crisis. When there are floods in Bangladesh, earthquakes in Mongolia, or wars and disasters in other parts of the world, the communities rally to give a helping hand.

Australia has lived on the urban myth of being the fair go country, but how can we claim that when the British settlers mostly ignored Aboriginal culture and language and treated our indigenous people as primitive idiots. How can a fair country take children away from their parents to bring them up as Christians and does not allow them to speak their native languages, and how can a fair country allow many of these children to be abused and raped?

How can we believe to be the fair country when we ban genuine refugees from coming to Australia, but lock them up instead in camps of neighbouring countries, but want priority immigration for supposedly ‘endangered’ white South African farmers?

How can we claim that we live in the best country on earth, when tonight, like every night, 115,000 homeless Australians sleep rough in the cold and wet?

The perception of greatness has always confused the Australian identity and that’s why we are still looking for one. We are not the Akubra hat-wearing cowboys, who live in the red dirt outback, but 90% of our population lives on the coastal plains and in big cities.

You might be surprised now when I say that I really love living in Australia, and even more that I live in Fremantle. But we need to start cutting the crap and let go off the hubris, because to be able to move forward together as a community and nation we need to acknowledge the harsh reality that Australia is far from perfect and that there is a lot of room for improvement.

We at the grassroots need to insist that political debate is about issues and has substance, and is not about point-scoring and name-calling, and we need to let all politicians know that we will no longer put up with their infantile behaviour in our parliaments.

We need to stop believing in the urban myth of our own greatness and start by showing real compassion for the less well off in our society.

It is not acceptable that we spend millions of dollars on non-essential things when our pensioners are barely making ends meet, when our hospitals are over-crowded and have long waiting lists, as does social housing, and when so many suffer from serious mental health issues.

Australia joined the so-called war on terrorism, but why haven’t we begun a war on poverty, and a war on unemployment and homelessness?

We are not all equal when multinational companies don’t pay tax, but low-income earners, pensioners and people on social benefits constantly get scrutinised to the point that is causes anxiety and depression for many.

It is good to have dreams, but it is not good to live in dreamworld and ignore the pragmatic reality of Australian life. Racism is a daily experience for those who are not white, and verbal abuse is also a daily worry for Muslim women, who have become the easy targets for ignorant fools. Western Australia has the highest rate of domestic violence in the nation!

Australia is a beautiful country, and I strongly believe that most people are good, caring and tolerant, and even more so here in Fremantle, but there are also many intolerant haters, who do not positively contribute to our community.

The Australia I love was summed up pretty well one evening in the Fitzroy Crossing pub in the stunning Kimberly when a drunk and huge Aboriginal man looked down on me in the toilet and said “Isn’t it amazing brother that we both have red blood and brown shit.” Yes indeed. We have a lot more in common than what divides us!

My wish for Australia is to wake up to reality and stop claiming that this is the best country on the planet. There is a huge different between being proud of one’s nation or becoming dangerously-and unrealistically- nationalistic. We can only find Australia’s real identity when we stop the tokenism and engage in real reconciliation with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. To do that we need to use the word RESPECT more often.

To show real respect we need to acknowledge Aboriginal people in our constitution, we need to build a substantial Aboriginal cultural centre in Fremantle, so that overseas visitors can engage and learn about our indigenous history and culture, and we need a memorial on Rottnest Island telling the awful story of the inhumane Quod Aboriginal prison, where nearly 400 boys and men from all over Western Australia died.

Only with real mutual respect, and only with real, deep and soul searching honesty can we make Australia the best country in the world. Dismissing and patronising others is only holding us back.

Roel Loopers

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