Freo's View


Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 10, 2011

The AUSTRALIAN GIRLS CHOIR, the longest running and biggest choir in Australia, will perform at the Fremantle Markets at 12.30 today, Sunday July 10.

This is the launch of the institution in Western Australia, which started in Melbourne in 1984 and is also in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

These girls have sung at the Australian Open, for Oprah Winfrey and also at the G’Day USA Week in the United States.

Combine your fruit and vegies shopping at the markets today with a wee bit of culture. With luck you can listen to the choir while munching on a special burger at one of the outdoor tables at the new JUS Burgers.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Amazing! They have been performing as long as I have been in Western Australia! I arrived in Perth in September 1984 after having enjoyed Sydney for two and a half years.



Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 21, 2011

I have been reading RED LIGHT DARK ROOM- Sex, Lives & Stereotypes by Brisbane photojournalist Gemma-Rose Turnbull, and highly recommend it!

Gemma spent a year as the artist in residence at the St Kilda Gatehouse in Melbourne, a non profit organisation who work with street workers. The women were given their own cameras to capture their lives and Gemma photographed and interviewed them, as well as writing down her own observations.

Turnbull’s writing is sublimely sensitive and gentle. She shows all her emotions, from deep frustration to anger, when writing about violence, rape and drugs, but most of all her compassion for the women who become her friends. She is a writer and photographer with a huge and kind heart, who does not judge the women or their addictions. She observes, supports, cries with them, and often feels immensely powerless.

The photos in the book are just like the writing-compassionate observations of the lives of a small group of women who are outsiders in our society.

Fremantle people may remember Gemma-Rose Turnbull’s Show Us Ya Tits exhibition at Artsource in the Old Customs House during FotoFreo 2010.

Order a book via Gemma’s Facebook page, or contact the St Kilda Gatehouse. It’s 208 page hardcover for only $ 50.00 plus postage. A must read for all open minded people!

Roel Loopers



Posted in tourism, western australia by freoview on June 16, 2010

It is 15 years ago that I started my trip around Australia on June 18, 1995, and I wanted to share some of the highlights. I sold my house and most of my possessions and bought a new Pajero.

I drove up to the magic Cape Leveque and spend every day at One Arm Point watching the blackfellas fishing. From there up to Fitzroy Crossing where I caught up with a lot of the Aboriginal artists, whose paintings my ex-partner Brigitte exhibited at her Artplace gallery in Perth. My old mate, and law man, Janagoo Butcher Cherrel showed me around his country and in the evenings sang songs in his language in the tiny motel room I had rented at the inn. That was very special.

I loved the Bungle Bungle and stayed eight nights there. It was an incredible spiritual feeling to be between the dome-shaped hills. The most unreal moment was the night I spend under the full moon in Piccanini Gorge all by myself. One moment I was at total peace while the next moment I felt I should not be there and that I was intruding. I had goose bumps all over.

Another full moon experience was driving with my lights off on the Gibb River Road towards Derby. Life can be so full of beauty.

Flying over Lake Argyle in a helicopter with my Dutch friend and photographer Richard Woldendorp was another highlight of the journey.

Uluru was another special moment. Out of respect for the Anangu people I never climbed it, but walked around the massive rock instead.

In the Gulf country at the Burketown pub I was lucky enough to be able to buy stunning Vasse Felix cabernet for only $ 10.00 a bottle, because no one knew the value. The female pub owner was in jail for having done grog runs to dry communities in a light aircraft.

Travelling along the coast of Queensland north of Port Douglas through the Daintree was simply sublime. Some of the most stunning nature I have ever seen, with the rainforest sloping down towards the ocean, while out in the ocean are all the islands.

In gorgeous Cooktown I befriended a local Aboriginal musician who’s girlfriend was a Dutch auto mechanic. We went picking bush tucker together near his community just north of the town. From there I drove up along the old telegraph track all the way up to Cape York and the most northern part of Australia.

Months later I was up in the high country of Victoria driving through the clouds in freezing cold and wet weather, and later again through the South Australian hills full of wine.

I came through Coober Pedy, Bourke, Ballina, Ballarat, Mackay, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Mount Isa, went up to Darwin and down to Esperance. I zigzagged and drove wherever I felt like going. I had no plans or fixed destinations and my mood decided on the day if I drove north, south, east or west. I agree there was a certain madness there, but so good to do things on the spur of the moment, rather than doing the responsible thing I had done all my life.

Towards the end I became exhausted from all the driving and unsettled in the knowledge I had no home to go back to. I saw so much beauty and met so many good people on my 58.000 kilometre trip, but sadly also witnessed racism towards Aboriginal people often.

The racism upset me so much, because I had experienced the dignity, resilience and culture of many Aboriginese, so when I arrived back in Fremantle, after seven months on the road, I wrote my very first letter to the Fremantle Herald about it and also joined the Walyalup Reconciliation Group.

The trip was the most challenging and best thing I have ever done. It defined for me who I was and who I wanted to be. I realised how much I like people, and that respect and consideration for them would be of utmost importance to me.

Although my trip made me financially broke, I have no regrets about it and would love to do it all over again, the next time however I’d like to share it with the new love in my life. I haven’t met her yet though. 9>)

Roel Loopers

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