Freo's View

FREMANTLE ABORIGINAL CENTRE A GREAT IDEA

 

I reported about a purpose-built Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Fremantle before, but it is important to start the conversation here in Freo and with the State Government, so I copy and past the entire media release I just received:

Aboriginal Centre

 

The City of Fremantle is pushing for the state government to build a major new Indigenous Cultural Centre adjacent to the Round House at Fremantle’s Arthur Head.

The original plans for Elizabeth Quay in Perth included an iconic Indigenous Cultural Centre but to date those plans have not progressed.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said Fremantle was the obvious choice to be home to Western Australia’s pre-eminent showcase for Aboriginal art and culture.

“The Manjaree site around Arthur Head and Bathers Beach is of tremendous cultural significance to the local Whadjuk Nyoongar people,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“As an important crossing point of the Derbarl Yerrigan – the Swan River – it was a meeting place, a trading place, a ceremonial place and a spiritual place.

“It was also the site where the first British colonists landed in 1829, and where thousands of Aboriginal people from across Western Australia were locked up in the Round House before being shipped to the notorious prison on Wadjemup – Rottnest Island.

“It would be a powerful statement of reconciliation to have a world-class Indigenous Cultural Centre built in a place of such significance for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal history in WA.

“The WA Maritime Museum on Victoria Quay is a fantastic facility, but at the moment it’s isolated from other heritage attractions in Fremantle like the Shipwreck Museum and the Round House.

“An Indigenous Cultural Centre at Arthur Head would help make that connection between the Maritime Museum and Bathers Beach and give that whole area the critical mass it needs to be a major tourism drawcard.

“The underlying principle of the Cultural Centre will be to create a place for living culture, which will not only mean interactive experiences for tourists but also a meaningful place for all Aboriginal people.”

Fremantle Council recently endorsed the concept of establishing an Indigenous Cultural Centre of state and local significance in Fremantle, with a focus on tourism, Aboriginal culture and heritage and being a place to experience Aboriginal cultural practices.

The concept was outlined in a visioning report prepared in consultation with the Aboriginal community and other key stakeholders.

The council agreed Arthur Head was the preferred location, subject to further investigation and community consultation.

The existing J Shed building on the site could be used as a temporary facility before being relocated to make way for a new purpose-built centre.

The council will give consideration to an allocation of $50,000 as part of the 2019/20 budget process to prepare a detailed feasibility study and business case for the centre.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S ABORIGINAL HISTORY NEEDS TO BE TOLD

 

I feel honoured to have been asked to join the City of Fremantle Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, which will meet this morning and will guide Fremantle Council toward a new Aboriginal policy, as last night’s ABC TV documentary Will Australia Ever Have A Black PM? showed how disadvantaged our indigenous people still are, with a one in a million chance of an Aboriginal person becoming Prime Minister of Australia and hardly any Aboriginal people in a position of political or corporate power in our country.

The percentage of Aboriginal students reaching high school and university is also disappointingly low, but at least it has been improving over the last years and hopefully that will continue and increase.

There is a lot of talk and a lot of money spent, and often wasted, and there is a lot of near useless tokenism when it comes to acknowledging our Aboriginal culture and history, and only when that changes will we make real inroads.

While Frematle Council has allocated $ 50,000 for a feasibility study for an Aboriginal cultural centre it is clear that this could only become reality if the State or Federal governments are willing to financially support it.

But in the meantime there are many things we could do in Fremantle to give our city an Aboriginal context, such as giving streets and sites Noongar names. We could also have ‘story poles’ all around Fremantle telling snippets of Whadjuk Noongar history.

It would also be great to have entry signs to Fremantle that read:

KAYA. WELCOME. City of Fremantle. Whadjuk Noongar country.

It is simple, fast and not expensive to do, so let’s do it!

Roel Loopers

 

 

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ALL SMILES AT FREMANTLE STREET ARTS FESTIVAL

 

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Here just a few impressions of what Fremantle looks like during the Street Arts Festival. I did my back so could not stay on, but will shoot some more pics the next two days

Hundreds of people were wandering around the Cappuccino Strip well before noon, so not really sure why the performances there only start at 1pm, but a few lucky ones knew the entertainment did start on the Esplanade at 12.

Really good vibe around town, happy people and happy smiling children, and the sun was shining.

Come and enjoy the fun. It is on all day Sunday and Monday from midday!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE BEST LOCATION FOR ABORIGINAL CENTRE

 

“It is well beyond our capacity of funding” said Councillor Andrew Sullivan about the Council agenda item to do a $ 50.000 feasibility study for a Fremantle Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the preferred J Shed location at Bathers Beach.

And that is unfortunately the huge problem, because indications from the WA State Government are that they want to built the Aboriginal centre in Perth, ideally in Burswood, the electorate of Ben Wyatt, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and the Treasurer.

While I would absolutely love to have an Aboriginal Centre in Fremantle, and have been calling for it for many years, I believe it is unrealistic for the City of Fremantle to do a feasibility study before getting funding commitment from the State. Should we spend $ 50,000 of ratepayers money on what might only be a pipe dream that will never be realised because the State Government is so bloody Perth-centric?

If I were wealthy I would be very happy to donate my own money for an Aboriginal Centre in Freo because the story of our indigenous people needs to be told, and international tourists need to and want to have an Aboriginal experience.

Now how can we convince the Premier and Cabinet that Fremantle deserves another tourist attraction?

Roel Loopers

JOIN THE FREMANTLE NOONGAR CHOIR!

Posted in aboriginal, choirs, city of fremantle, culture, indigenous, music, Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2019

 

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Kaya! Walyalup Kannajil (Fremantle in Truth) Community Choir is calling out to anyone interested in learning and singing in language – all ages, backgrounds and abilities are encouraged – no audition required.

The group is starting on 8 May with 2018 NAIDOC Youth of the Year winner Kobi Morrison facilitating the choir. Join the Walyalup Kannajil FB page for more info.

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AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS IGNORE WA’S OLDEST PUBLIC BUILDING

Posted in city of fremantle, culture, fremantle prison, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 10, 2019

 

 

I just became aware of a new website Cultural Attractions of Australia and of course wanted to find out what this site is all about and how well it promotes Western Australia and Perth, and especially Fremantle.

When I clicked on Perth only two attractions appeared, the Fremantle Prison and the Maritime Museum, no other historic and cultural attractions in Perth or Freo, such as WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse popped up, so that is not actually giving comprehensive information to all those around the world who are interested.

But it became more clear what the site is all about when I Googled it:

Cultural Attractions of Australia will provide a single point of contact for travellers, trade partners and media to access premium, behind-the-scenes cultural experiences in iconic locations. As a collective, its strength lies in the diversity and iconic nature of the sites and collections represented, as well as the direct connection they hold with the people and cultures of Australia.

The founding members of Cultural Attractions of Australia are: Adelaide Oval, Arts Centre Melbourne, Australian War Memorial, WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, Melbourne Cricket Ground, MONA, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Opera Australia, Parliament House, Port Arthur Historic Site, Qantas Founders Museum Longreach, Sovereign Hill and Sydney Opera House.

It is just plain self-promotion of certain cultural attractions and is not at all as inclusive as what the name lets us to believe. Very disappointing!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE WELCOMES AUSTRALIAN TOURISM EXCHANGE

 

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Fremantle welcomes the delegate for the Australian Tourism Exchange 2019. We hope you love your time in our gorgeous city!

Around 1,500 Australian seller delegates from approximately 550 companies, 650 key buyer delegates from over 30 countries, and 70 international and Australian media attend this global event.

Organised by Tourism Australia in partnership with Tourism Western Australia, ATE19 will take place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from 8 to 12 April.

The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event.

The event brings together Australian tourism businesses, and tourism wholesalers and retailers from around the world through a combination of scheduled business appointments and networking events. It also provides international travel buyers with the opportunity to experience Australia’s tourism offering first-hand through pre and post-event familiarisations.

Have fun!

Roel Loopers

 

J SHED PREFERRED FOR ABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE

 

 

J Shed at Bathers Beach has come up as the preferred location for a new Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Fremantle, with the possibility of the relocation of J Shed and building a site specific centre at Manjaree(Arthur’s Head).

In November 2017 Council agreed to do a feasibility study for a dedicated Aboriginal centre in Fremantle and engage in extensive consultation with the Whadjuk Noongar people.

Three locations were considered; Pioneer Park, Victoria Quay and J Shed, and the latter came out as the preferred option.

The new centre would be celebrating Aboriginal history and Noongar culture with focus on tourism.

The J Shed location has been chosen due to its cultural significance, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage and walkable connection to key visitor points within Fremantle’s historic foreshore. The programming of the Cultural Centre would be developed around three spaces, being public, private and transitional. These spaces allows for cultural sensitivities through to outright public display/tourism. Although programming of the Cultural Centre is recognised as flexible there is a focus on ‘the keeping’ and ‘sharing’ of cultural knowledge including promotion and practising of the arts. This provides a solid framework from which the project can develop.

A conceptual agreed direction has been reached which followed the principles developed through the process. This is focused on providing appropriate space for multiple programs, including outdoor space. The Visioning Report takes into account economic as well as cultural sustainability issues with a strong focus on preservation and sharing of the knowledge and culture of the Traditional Owners.

The scope of such project demands funding from the State and Federal Governments as the total cost would be beyond the City’s capacity to fund, so a strategic approach is recommended to funding and partnerships for the construction and operation of the centre.

I am delighted that we are finally at this stage as I have been among many who have been shouting out for an Aboriginal centre in Fremantle, however I believe it needs to be a WA Aboriginal centre that tells the history of Yagan in the South West to Jandamara in the Kimberley.

It would also be essential for City officers and Councillors to do a study trip to look how and why other centres, such as Mowanjum, Warmun and Mangkaja work well, and even have a look at the excellent Visitor Centre at Karrinjini for reference.

It is important to make sure the centre is independently and professionally managed to avoid family feuding. While is should be a meeting place for local Noongars, it should also become a meeting place for all Fremantle people, Western Australians and overseas and interstate visitors. That will require a lot of money, so it needs to be a WA facility and not a Fremantle one. If it is not inclusive it will not be successful.

This is going to be a long-term project, but I am very hopeful that Fremantle will get funding and management support from the WA Labor Government and the Labor Federal Government after the May election.

The item is on the agenda of this Wednesday’s FPOL Committee.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE’S DESTINATION MARKETING LEAD BALLOON

 

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Fremantle’s new Destination Marketing campaign was launched at the Maritime Museum on Thursday evening.

All the right people were there for all the right reasons and there was a real sense of anticipation in the room.

The Minister for Tourism Paul Papalia spoke a few words and so did Mayor Brad Pettitt, who said the new marketing campaign shouts what we love about Fremantle. “Freo is proud to be different”

But the explanations for the Spirit-Soul-Sea campaign came from Linda Wayman, the Chair of the Destination Marketing working group. There is a lot of integrity when Wayman speaks about Fremantle’s history, both Indigenous and European. One can feel it comes from the heart.

She said it was about the complexity of Fremantle’s past and its diversity, a place of cultural celebration and that history, like little stones, form Fremantle’s narrative.

What makes Fremantle different? What is it’s essence?

A video with great music was shown with good Fremantle images. This is….This is… This is… This is Fremantle! and then the bubble burst for me.  Wayman had said “We burst the Fremantle bubble” and very short only a few seconds long promotional clips were shown and for me that was like a lead balloon and nothing at all like the invigorating and inspiring long video clip they had shown before.

For me personally the short clips lacked impact. They were boring and do not convey what is special and unique about Fremantle. Mediocre photography shot in mostly uninspiring locations. The one with two people sitting on a bench drinking coffee is pathetic.

I walked away extremely disappointed. It took over a year to come up with the new Destination Marketing but the very short clips are outrageously average and do not give an impression about what Fremantle is all about. The best one is shot inside Fremantle Prison where a young girls gets a fright because of a loud noise.

That is just my personal opinion so many people will disagree with it and that is absolutely fine.

Roel Loopers

BEAUTIFUL FREMANTLE WITH GREAT COMMUNITY

 

 

There is so much noise and chatter about the negativity of social media currently, with many politicians and those in the mainstream media ignoring they are part of the problem, that it is time to remind ourselves that while not everything is perfect here Fremantle is a very special place to live in with people who have a great sense of community.

So here just a few photos I took yesterday afternoon while trying to walk off my hay fever.

Opening your eyes, heart and mind to beauty is so much better than focusing on the few negative aspects of life. Most people in the world are good people, so let’s not concentrate on the few bad apples.

Roel Loopers

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