Freo's View



olwyn willams


The position for a new CEO for the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is advertised on SEEK, so that means that the vivacious Olwyn Williams will be leaving the Freo Chamber.

Williams took over from Tim Milsom three or four years ago and was a very strong voice for Fremantle’s traders.

From the website:

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce (FCC) is focused on economic development across the Fremantle region and its purpose is to build, support and sustain strong business activity and growth. As an advocate for business, FCC has been part of the fabric of Fremantle for well over a century and is committed to its future.

Fremantle has an eclectic mix of economic sectors including one of the Western Australia’s major tourism destinations, main street retail and commercial centre, a key hub for port, marine, trade and logistics, a university town, an innovative industrial zone and a centre of creative economies.

A strong and robust business sector is a conduit to develop Fremantle’s economy and workforce and grow its community

About the role

The Chief Executive Officer is to promote the Chamber as a recognised voice and forum for business opinion on matters affecting the retail, tourism, commercial and industrial base of the City of Fremantle.

Key Responsibilities include but not limited to:


Making Fremantle the place for business and include representing the business community to influential stakeholders.

Leading the region’s business community by promoting a robust environment and enhancing economic activity throughout the Fremantle region.

Identify new avenues for future economic growth.

Prepare a strategy on how to deliver the Greater Fremantle Action Plan (GFAP) with key stakeholders.

Sustainability & business growth:

Strengthen FCC’s three business revenue streams, namely membership, building management and export documentation.

Prepare a comprehensive business development strategy which connects all three revenue streams.

Business operations & finance:

Responsible for the finance performance of the organisation.

Prepare annual budgets, monitor and control expenditure.

In association with the FCC Book Keeper and Treasurer ensure that accurate financial reports are submitted, on time, monthly to the FCC Board.





chamber function


Future Freo chairman Adrian Fini launched the Greater Fremantle Action Plan by the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce in the Australia II gallery of the Maritime Museum on Thursday evening, in front of Minister Simone McGurk, Mayor Brad Pettitt and several councillors and CoF staff, as well as representatives from Notre Dame University, Fremantle Port, Silverleaf Investments and business leaders.

The 28-page Action Plan is well worth reading and I assume the Chamber will put it on line, as it is too substantial to address every item in it here on the blog.

FCOC chair Ivan Dzeba said that Fremantle is already a great place but it can be better, while Adrian Fini said that we do need change and will fall apart if we don’t move forward.

We need to ask ourselves what is Fremantle’s strength and cultural identity, and we have great opportunities which need great leadership, but growth in technology will take shoppers away, but Fremantle has unique offerings that other shopping precincts do not have.

There is a deep journey ahead that demand teamwork with council, businesses and the community working together, Fini said.

The Greater Fremantle Action Plan records Freo’s strengths as having:

  • Dynamic economy particularly in transport and related industries, the arts and receational services, accommodation, food and health care
  • A unique profile consisting of heritage strength and character
  • Fremantle Port remains Fremantle’s most important industry
  • Fremantle has a unique combination of the knowledge economy and creative industries
  • Health services and related sectors continue to play an important role despite the downsizing of Fremantle Hospital
  • Fremantle has a global reputation as a tourist destination


So what are the plans for action?


Create the Conditions

  • Business attraction plan
  • Destination marketing campaign
  • Develop financial incentives
  • Policy and regulation review
  • Complete structure plan
  • Develop infrastructure to support a cultural plan

Connecting People, Places & Markets

  • Planning for affordable housing
  • Improvements to urban realm in commercial areas
  • Improvements to public transport
  • Sophisticated city centre parking plan
  • Connected cycle path network
  • Improvements to regional connections
  • Improvements to visitor booths and wayfinding
  • Improvements to pedestrian access

Promoting our Place

  • Broader and more unified approach to marketing
  • Develop relevant Fremantle ‘apps’
  • Unique brand development
  • Expand toursim accommodation
  • Explore new tourism opportunities
  • Grow conference/events industry


Roel Loopers





Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 20, 2018


The City of Fremantle is seeking the community’s views on the best way to promote Fremantle as an attractive destination to shop and enjoy.

The City of Fremantle’s current marketing activities include the Fremantle Story website, magazine and social media platforms, school holiday activities and other promotions and also the Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID).

Fremantle BID is funded through the City Centre Differential Rate levied by the City of Fremantle on commercial properties with the Fremantle CBD.

Local businesses are being asked if they support continuing the existing model, or would prefer to see the City’s destination marketing budget combined with the differential rate funds to expand the overall program.

The one-year funding agreement with the BID due to expire at the end of June.

The City worked with the business community to set up Fremantle BID in 2012 to address the economic impact of many years of decline in daily visitor numbers to Fremantle’s CBD.

It was a five-year program to support local businesses, with funding extended for a further year in 2017. In that time, the City has contributed around $2.2 million to the BID in differential rate funds.


The alternative model would establish a group of marketing professionals and business representatives to advise the council on how to get the best value from marketing activities and the biggest benefit for local business.

Under this proposal, the City’s funding of Fremantle BID would cease at the end of the current financial year.

People can find more information and provide their views on the proposal on the My Say Freo website.



Posted in bid, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2017

It comes as a shock to me that Tim Milsom, the energetic CEO of Fremantle BID, has suddenly resigned after only three months in the job, giving personal issues as the reason for his resignation.

It is very disappointing that the well-liked Milsom has gone because the City of Fremantle has just prolonged the life of BID, that was deemed not to have performed satisfactory in its first four years.

I have no doubt the appointment of Milsom as the new BID CEO was one of the reasons Council agreed to extend the Business Improvement District model.

I hope you are well Tim!!!!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, western australia, women by freoview on March 8, 2017


It is International Women’s Day today, so a good opportunity to celebrate all the great and strong women all over the world.

In Fremantle we are lucky to be represented in State Parliament by Simone McGurk and Lyn McLaren, and we have three female Councillors in Hannah Fitzhardinge, Ingrid Waltham and Rachel Pemberton.

W.A very first female Senator Dorothy Tangny is recognised in a mural at the Norfolk Hotel.

Notre Dame University is also lead by a female Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO is Olwyn Williams.

There is an abundance of wonderful, strong women in Fremantle who are community leaders in their own right.

Equality remains a dream unfortunately when women still get paid less than men and the top positions in Australia are predominantly occupied by men. That needs to change!

I am not a fan of quotas though because I believe women can make it on their own merit. Quotas are a bit of tokenism to make political parties, or governments look good.

I do recognise however that it is difficult for women to climb the corporate and political ladders when the majority of decision-makers are men.

Today is a day for women to celebrate their achievements and for men to contemplate why women are still not treated the same in 2017 and why there is still so much domestic violence against women.

We need to do a whole lot better and that starts with one simple word. RESPECT!

Roel Loopers



Posted in bid, business, chamber of commerce, city of fremantle by freoview on January 26, 2017

I hear there will be fantastic news for the Fremantle business community when the former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce will be signed up as the new CEO of the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District.

Unlike other FCoC heads the ever-smiling Milsom hardly ever complained about Fremantle council but with his can do attitude proactively initiated events to the benefit of everyone in Freo.

I fondly remember when Milsom suggested to have an Indonesian show at the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Market and he found out on the Saturday morning that the musicians had arrived but without instruments. No worries for Milsom who borrowed, begged and hired the instruments required and the evening was a great success.

That is the kind of positive problem solving attitude that Fremantle needs, so welcome back Tim. I am delighted!

Roel Loopers


Posted in business, city of fremantle, fremantle, retail by freoview on October 23, 2016

I always enjoy the FREMANTLE NETWORK events as one learns about new initiatives in Fremantle, meets new people and can share ideas.

I am happy FN appears to agree with the suggestion I made last month to include more business and older people as speakers and not prioritise young people with new ideas.

This Monday October 24 at 6 pm upstairs at the National Hotel the Fremantle Network presents Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams, Fremantle Markets CEO Natascha Atkinson, Kate Hulett of Many 6160 and Karl Bullers of the National Hotel, so it could be an interesting event.

The discussion will centre on the current challenges and opportunities for business in Fremantle. Each of the panelists will be asked what their vision for Fremantle is, and how the community can help make it a reality.

“The Fremantle Network is a community based forum for discussion on Fremantle issues, providing a much needed opportunity for “inclusive networking”.

Through open discussion of issues and constructive community engagement, we believe that creative solutions can be found to improve our lives here in Fremantle.”

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, local government by freoview on October 2, 2016

As someone who only has approximately 15-20 years left to live I have been wondering for quite some time why society does not tap into the experience and wisdom of older people more and why it is that here in Fremantle council is very keen to engage with younger people and create a youth culture, while older people are ignored and often dismissed as being negative and against change.

We have a Youth Council in Fremantle, so why not also a Circle of Elders, a select group of older people who engage and want to contribute, people who come up with constructive new ideas. I don’t mean whingers who tell us everything that is going on in Fremantle is wrong, but I also don’t mean shoulder clapping one-eyed supporters of what Fremantle Council has been doing.

Personally I believe change is essential to move forward and progress in Fremantle, but change needs to be sensible and restraint, as it is often challenging and can even be confronting for many in our community who would like to hold on to the status quo.

I believe the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it attitude is wrong because often things can be improved, and I believe councils have a duty to make positive changes and long-term plans, and I believe the community can and should constructively contribute to that. Fremantle Council needs to get over its fear of being criticised, that is part and parcel of being in government.

We can start better community involvement by being more inclusive about who speaks at the monthly Fremantle Network events, because there is in my opinion an imbalance there that needs to be adjusted. I for one would like to hear Olwyn Williams the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce’s vision for Fremantle, and also that of Celia Hammond the Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame University. I would also like to hear constructive ideas from Fremantle Society president John Dowson on how his group believe we can move forward together and make Freo an even better place to live, and I like to hear from independent people who are not part of community or political groups.

There are many people in Fremantle who really care, who want to share, who have new innovative and realistic ideas and who want a positive debate about the future of our great city, so why don’t we embrace those, even when they sometimes are critical of Fremantle Council, why don’t we get to hear their stories, their dreams and visions?

I love engaging with young people as it is refreshing to hear their ideas, even if they are sometimes not that new and a bit naive. I enjoyed listening at the Fremantle Network to the very bright Liam Carter of the Youth Council and to the people of Soup. It’s great to see the enthusiasm and the willingness to get involved with local issues, but we need to engage all sections of our community, the left ‘loonies’ and the right ‘loonies’ and the old and young ones, and everyone in between.

If we can create real positive and respectful engagement between the community and the elected members and staff of the City of Fremantle we can truly make a difference, so let’s give it a go!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, economy, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, western australia by freoview on September 14, 2016

The Fremantle BID (Business Improvement District) has been going for nearly five years and wants the City of Fremantle to keep it going for another five years, so what do Freo CBD business owners and operators think?

Has BID made a tangible difference to the CBD retailers, has their turnover increased, have BID organised enough events, and the right ones, or is BID a waste of money and a duplication of services that the Economic Development and Marketing Department of the City of Fremantle should handle itself?

What do you think? Post a comment below so COF can make the right decision.

For those who don’t know, this is what BID is:

Business Improvement Districts (BID) are not-for-profit companies that promote the shared interests of commercial property owners and businesses located within specified geographic areas. Established by local government BID’s are funded through a special city centre differential rate that is collected by the local government and passed on entirely to the BID. These funds support programs such as marketing promotion, street enhancement, safety security, events festivals and business development.

The Fremantle BID Company is independently managed by a Board of Directors, with autonomy for decision-making and priority-setting. The Fremantle BID area is made up of approximately 600 businesses with the boundaries being Parry Street to South Terrace south to King Street and north to Victoria Quay. Within these boundaries are five business precincts: Victoria Quay, Fishing Boat Harbour, West End, City Central and the Cappuccino Strip.

Fremantle BID is made up of a diverse range of dining, retail, entertainment and professional service businesses. Fremantle is internationally known as a festival city and is a favourite place to visit for tourists and locals alike.


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on March 14, 2016

Freo’s View reader Paul L. asked ENKEL some questions before they move into the former Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill and I believe it is fair to them to post this information.


* enkel is a not-for-profit community organisation, which cannot pay dividends or profits out to members.

* enkel is registered under the name ENKEL COLLECTIVE CO-OP with ABN 29473353107.

* enkel was formed during a series of meetups under the name Makers & Changemakers Fremantle during 2014. The participants co-created the organisation, which was registered as a co-operative in October 2014. The current members who drive enkel are listed on our website – On the board of directors are myself, Pete Van Schie and Elaine Olsen.

* enkel is a member-owned non‑distributing co‑operative without share capital, registered under the Co‑operatives Act 2009. From the act: “This type of co-operative, being one without shares and the prohibition on distribution of profits, is akin to either an incorporated association or company limited by guarantee in being a “not for profit” legal entity that can pursue community goals”.
More information on this can be found here

* The mission, vision and values of enkel are found here on our website;

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