Freo's View



Fremantle Arts Centre has launched a new series of podcasts aimed at promoting and supporting local artists and musicians during COVID-19.

The podcast ‘FAC Chats’ involves FAC Events Coordinator David Craddock and other staff at the Arts Centre interviewing musicians, visual artists and craftspeople in an effort to connect them and their artwork with the Fremantle community while they are unable to physically show their work.

In addition to providing an insight into artists’ work, the episodes provide a way for the community to support artists by purchasing their work, recordings, merchandise or tickets to rescheduled events.

The first two episodes are interviews with musicians whose gigs at FAC were affected by COVID-19.

The first episode features musicians Tom Fisher, Grace Newton-Worsdworth, Justin Fermino and Brian Kruger discussing how COVID-19 is severely disrupting concerts as we know them and how WA musicians are dealing with the downtime.

The second episode features Triffids members ‘Evil’ Graham Lee and Robert McComb telling the story of how a series of unreleased demo recordings by Robert’s brother and Triffids’ frontman David McComb were uncovered and bought to life by his dear friends as part of the brand new album and live show ‘Truckload of Sky: The Lost Songs of David McComb’.

In Episode 3, released today, Curator André Lipscombe selects six significant and diverse works out of the more than 1500 artworks in the Fremantle Art Collection as part of a virtual gallery talk.

You can subscribe to FAC Chats on iTunesSpotify or Google Play or listen to it on the Fremantle Arts Centre website.




Live streaming of Fremantle Council meetings was suggested at the annual Electors Meeting a couple of weeks ago, and the present coronavirus pandemic crisis makes a good point of introducing that sooner rather than later.

Social distancing and social isolation common sense means that most of us won’t attend council meetings any more, including this keen blogger.

Premier Mark McGowan said this morning he expects the regulations to be in place for at least six months, which is quite staggering, and will kill many businesses, and it will demand a dramatic change in how we socialise.

I would have liked to go to this Wednesday’s Council meeting and even address the elected members to express my support for the Woolstores hotel development by Silverleaf Investments, but it would be unwise to do so, as at 71 years of age I am in the high risk category and that not only means at a high risk of getting Covid-19, but should I have it, of spreading it.

We all need to adapt and local councils need to remain accountable and transparent and give the community a change to observe proceedings, so how fast can we get live streaming of council meetings?

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, health, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 18, 2020




The City of Fremantle has created a new page on its website to provide up-to-date information about its facilities and services as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

The new page – – provides advice on what events and services have been cancelled and what facilities and services remain open for business as usual.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the City was acting on the best advice from health authorities and doing its part to slow the spread of the disease and protect vulnerable people in the community.

“We are obviously in unchartered waters with COVID-19 and the situation is continuing to change very rapidly,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“The City is taking regular advice from the state government about the risks of COVID-19 and what is required to slow its spread, and will make adjustments to our services and facilities in line with that advice.

“We are reviewing whether places like the Fremantle Leisure Centre and the Fremantle Arts Centre should remain open or be closed to protect public health, and we are putting contingency plans in place to make sure we can continue to manage essential services like rubbish collections.

We are also planning strategies to support the most vulnerable people in our community, and will be looking for community volunteers and support with this in the coming days.”

For information and updates about COVID-19 please visit the state government’s HealthyWA website, follow the HealthyWA facebook page or call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.



Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 16, 2020





The City of Fremantle’s outstanding customer service has been recognised with a major award at the Australian Institute of Management WA Pinnacle Awards.

The City’s customer service team last week took out The West Australian Customer Service Excellence Award, which provides recognition for an organisation that has achieved outstanding results through key initiatives that demonstrate leadership and commitment to excellence in customer service.

Entry to the award was open to all organisations across the corporate, government, community and not-for-profit sectors in Australia that have a significant footprint in Western Australia.

Customer Service Manager Jay Ellis said the award was deserved recognition for the City’s dedicated customer service team.

“At the end of the day the role of a local government is to provide services to its residents and ratepayers, so the guys at reception or in the call centre who are the first point of contact with the public are really important,” Mr Ellis said.

“Everyone knows how frustrating it is to be waiting on hold for ages or to never be called back, so over the past two years we’ve worked really hard across the whole organisation to review our processes and update our systems to make sure requests and inquiries from the public are followed up and acted upon quickly and efficiently.

“As consequence we’re now seeing some fantastic results and are delivering a first class customer service experience.

“To win this Pinnacle award, which covers not just local governments but the state government, corporate and community sectors as well, is deserved recognition for our incredibly committed customer service team and the whole organisation.”

To improve our customer service the City of Fremantle has implemented a number of measures such as redesigning our website, introducing phone answering standards and streamlining procedures for responding to enquiries.

As a result customer surveys over the past two years have seen satisfaction with the City of Fremantle’s customer service increase from 70 to 94 per cent.

Call wait times have been reduced from one minute to 10 seconds, and call volumes have gone down by 13.5 per cent because more callers are getting their query dealt with straight away and aren’t needing to call back.

If you have a query regarding City of Fremantle services you can call us on 1300 MYFREO (1300 693 736) or email on

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 30, 2019



Fremantle people can look forward to the new FRE-OH magazine-Celebrating the City of Fremantle, that will be distributed to residents next week and will also be out in cafes so that out of towners can also read the good Freo stories.

There will be four quarterly-seasonally publications per year and 17,5000 copies will be printed. An E-version is in the making so that people can receive the magazine via email.

It is a vibrant magazine with on the cover one of our city’s most noticeable identities Horatio T Birdbath.

The magazine is a showcase about people, places and pastimes that make Freo unique. It covers a lot of ground about cafes, hospitality, sustainable living and eating, recycling, art, culture, Noongar culture, Fremantle Prison, South Fremantle, the Toy Library, young people, volunteers, etc.

It is a great way of telling Freo’s positive stories, of which there are many!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on May 10, 2019


port 1

port 2


The CSIRO Marine National Facility ship in Fremantle Port is an interesting one to look at, so go for a stroll along Victoria Quay and have a coffee at the B Shed cafe.

Good to see Fremantle Ports reaching out with a half page in the Fremantle Herald promoting their on-line PORTFOLIO newsletter.

The Port is such an asset for our city but has not been communicating that very well over the last decades, so nice to see this positive change to inform the community better.

Roel Loopers



Posted in christmas, city of fremantle, communication, community, social media, Uncategorized by freoview on December 26, 2018




When did we humans decide that we are so incredible important that we need to be in contact with the rest of the world every second of every day?

When did we decide that being in the moment is no longer relevant, and that we can take the people we are with for granted by constantly monitoring our smart phones for Facebook, Twitter and text messages and emails?

When did we decide that the world might desperately need our comments when we go for a long walk on the beach, or while we are having lunch, or dinner, or breakfast with friends?

When did we decide that it is polite to talk at length on the phone, or respond obsessively to text messages while in the company of others?

When did we decide it is an acceptable risk to kill or maim others because we just have to answer the phone, or text messages while driving a car?

When did the idiocy start that we need to have the smart phone next to our bed, just in case someone sends a ‘really important’ Facebook message?

When did it become more important to communicate with people far away than with the ones we are with?

The silly advertisement above says it all. Yep, we desperately need to check our emails while doing laps in the pool, or going for a jog, or while having sex, or whatever we are doing.

Enjoy your Boxing Day and switch your phone off for a while now and then and appreciate the moment you are in and the people you are with!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, local government, marketing, PR,, shopping, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on November 21, 2018


Freo map


Check out this great new colourful map of Fremantle! It is of WA’s “Best Open Air Shopping Centre”

It even has the Fremantle Prison on it, contrary to the tourist map that has been handed out for many months, which failed to include one of the most popular destinations in our city.

Roel Loopers




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


Posted in art, city of fremantle, communication, daada, disability, internet, Uncategorized by freoview on June 6, 2018



The beautiful hall of DADAA, the former Fremantle Boys School at Princess May Park, was packed full this morning for the launch of the CENTRE FOR ACCESSIBILITY  by Stephen Dawson MLC.

The CFA’s aim is to promote digital access for people with a disability. This is not about compliance, but about people!

A short video showed the major issues for disabled people when accessing the internet. “Every website has got too many words. Very difficult to find stuff” “You want my cash, make your website accessible”

Stephen Dawson MLC said the Centre for Accessibility was about effectively engaging with on-line content and that it needs to be stressed that it is about independence for people with a disability.

The on-line informations needs to be available to everyone, as every person has a unique contribution to make to the community. Abled people sometimes take for granted what others don’t have. It is about breaking down the barriers!

The first three targets to improve on-line information are local government, providers of disability services and arts organisations. Many others will no doubt follow and make their on-line content more accessible to disabled people, e.g. add captions to video content, provide a transcript for audio-only content such as podcasts, audio volume needs to be adjustable, when using audio alerts also provide the visual equivalent.

The former Chair person of DADAA Helen Errington gave a very insightful speech with a lot of humour. She was not impressed with the early 8.30am launch and suggested to take the A out and make it a lunch next time.

Access to the internet means independence for us, she said, as it enabled her to do on-line food shopping, socialise via Twitter and Facebook, do research, find tradespeople and services, etc.

We were isolated before the internet and going out is often an ordeal. “Through the internet the mountain has come to Mohammed. We just want to be included”

I believe the Centre for Accessibility is a significant step forward toward real equality. It is practical and achievable rather than tokenism. See:

Well done to all involved. This is a great initiative, so very disappointing that I did not see anyone from the City of Fremantle in the crowd.

Roel Loopers



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