Freo's View


Posted in asylum seekers, community, culture, fremantle by freoview on May 19, 2016

aussie 1 aussie 2


Reminding us of our history often gets the points across, as these posters in Henry Street, Fremantle do for me. Too often we are frightened of something new and change, and throughout history we have initially failed to embrace and we even rejected migrants to Australia.

In hindsight though we appreciate how much migrants have contributed to our country, so time to lose that fear again and be open and open-minded to those who come from different cultures and religions.

Don’t judge the majority of good people on the madness of minorities.

Roel Loopers



Posted in australia, fascism, fremantle, racism by freoview on August 28, 2015

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers will check people’s visas on the streets of Melbourne this weekend as part of a police operation in the city’s CBD, the Federal Government has revealed.

The agency says people will not be targeted on the basis of race or religion
Part of a broader operation including Victoria Police and other agencies

Officers will be positioned at various locations around the city and will speak with any individual they cross paths with.

No, Australia this is not a belated April’s Fool joke, this is the reality in Australia in 2015 where the Abbott Government introduces racist and fascist actions! What is next, maybe something like foreigners wearing the Star of David as the Jews were forced to do under Hitler’s regime, or another form of immediate visual indentification?

This is a disgraceful and unacceptable action by the federal government that will affect tourism to Australia!

How are we going to prove on what sort of visa were are, or that we are Australian citizens? No doubt the majority of people who will be stopped and questioned by the Australian Border Force will non-white people. OMG all those broun people who are already subjected to racism in this country often, now will have officials in uniform frighten the living daylight out of them. How many will have poor English skills. Ooooh FUCK Australia. What are you doing!!!!!!

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly Independent


Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 18, 2014

It is always interesting to hear different views on Fremantle issues, so I read with interest what David Bornmann, the General Manager of the Esplanade Hotel had to say to the FREMANTLE GAZETTE.

Bornmann warned against America’s Cup style rejuvenation and that there is a danger Fremantle might end up with an oversupply of hotel rooms, but he also said he believed some of the hotel development proposals are only speculative.

Even more interesting for me is  David Bornmann’s criticism on how Fremantle handles tourism. He thinks it is a rather amateurish approach to get the Fremantle Tram to pick up cruiseliner passengers and drop them off at Kings Square near the vacant looking MYER building.

I have long wondered why there is such a reluctance at Fremantle Council to emphasise the city as a tourist destination, why the City does not invest more money in creating more tourist attractions, and why on cruiseship days, there are no roaming tourguides in the West End to give directions. And of course good wayfinding signs would help, but I have been calling for them for three or so years now without much success.

There is little communication between the City and the tourguides at the Round House, Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, etc. when there should be a weekly sheet of events send through to all the tourist destinations in town, so guides, hotels, B&B operators, etc. can tell visitors what is going on in Freo. Often they do not know about free concerts, new markets, art exhibitions, Kings Square events, etc. Why for example don’t we offer a free Tram ride to the Sunday courtyard concerts at the Fremantle Arts Centre for cruiseship passengers, why is there no art galleries tour, no indigenous tour and interaction with local Nyoongar people. There is so much more that can be done to make the Freo experience even better for our visitors.

There is nothing abhorrent about being a sleepy coastal tourist town with a great port, great beaches, cute cafes, quirky art, and great heritage buildings, that visitors love, but the City of Fremantle does not want to live in the present and concentrates far too much on the distant future, when maybe around 2020 we might see some CBD development happening. Let’s look after what we’ve got already. Let’s improve how we interact with tourists and use modern digital technology to communicate better by installing multilingual information points. If we can entice visitors to stay longer by offering them more to do and see, they will also spend more money, to the benefit of our retailers.

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on August 25, 2013

I met the lovely Helene Markmann of East Fremantle on Saturday and am impressed with her blog that helps new people to Australia to make some sense of our culture, habits and language. As an immigrant myself I know how long it took to make sense of Aussie culture, so if you know anyone who has just migrated or intends to, make them aware of Helene’s

Roel Loopers


Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on August 11, 2013

When politicians Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott are playing games with the lives of desperate people we should all be concerned, because no matter where people are from, what their religion, culture or skin colour is, they are people like you and me.

Returning the boats or not allowing asylum seekers to come to Australia is simply wrong in my opinion. Compassion and care should override any perceived political gain. It is better to lose an election with values and principles intact than being gutless and pander to fear based on ignorance in the hope to receive more votes.

People are people and in our global village we have the responsibility to look after the entire community of this planet. Racism has no place here and we have to reject it strongly.

Let’s welcome all genuine refugees. Stopping them from coming to Australia because some might rort the system is like finding all of them  guilty before a proper trial has been conducted.

I don’t think these colourful young Muslim women look out of place on the Fremantle Esplanade.

Roel Loopers

just human beings like you and I


Posted in australia, fremantle by freoview on January 24, 2013

With many Australian citizenship ceremonies coming up on Australia Day I have been contemplating what is means to change nationalities. What did it mean for me in 1985 to accept I would no longer be a Dutch national but become Australian? This was made even more important because I would lose my Dutch Passport, as the Netherlands did not allow dual citizenship at the time. It meant I would not be able to return to Europe if I no longer liked it here, I would no longer be allowed to work and live in my home country. It was a huge decision, and looking back it was the right one. I love living in Australia, especially Fremantle, and have not once felt the desire in the thirty years I have been here to return to live in Europe.

I have not lost my ‘Dutchness’ though. People often ask if I am Dutch, German, Swiss, even South African. Do I answer no and tell them that I am Australian? I tell them I am a Dutch born Australian. Of course I also still have that Dutch straightforwardness that some judge to be arrogant, abrasive, even rude. I say it as I see it, which does not make me a great diplomat, but I hope some Australian mellowness has crept in over time as well.

Have I lost my Dutch culture and language? No I have not and that is what makes migration and taking on the new citizenship so special. Migrants are lucky we can embrace more than one culture, speak, write and appreciate more than one language and cuisine. Migrants know what it is really like abroad, not just from holidays, but because we lived overseas and lived the life, the language and the culture that is so different from Australia.

I will always miss some Dutch food and even more so some of the yummy German food I loved when living in that country for 13 years. I even miss some of the language because language is not simply the translation of words but the deeply feeling and understanding of every single nuance of a word.

Language is part of the culture and lifestyle and sometimes translations are inadequate. Try to translate the German word schwerfaellig and the dictionary will suggest it means the same as the English word ponderous, but that does not even come close to the real meaning of it for me. Bodenstaendig is another word where the English translation of grounded is too basic and misses the deep cultural essence of the word. Pondering those things make migration very special as well. We do not only adapt to a new lifestyle and culture but also try to deeply understand the new language. For me that is essential to become a real part of my new home country.

For those new migrants who reluctantly live here, who find it hard and look back to the past too often I recommend to fully embrace your Australian life and become an active member of your community. It gives you such good opportunities to meet new people and to learn to appreciate the new culture and country, it will offer networking and job opportunities, fantastic new friends for you and the whole family and it will help you settle in faster and feel at home.

The nostalgia of the past and of the place where we were born will always be with us. History is a beautiful memory, no matter how hard it sometimes might have been, but we are here now in this great, free, peaceful and healthy country and we should warmly embrace that.

Should you encounter racism I suggest you just pity those who are ignorant and who will miss out on your wisdom, friendship and knowledge of a different culture. Those less ignorant know that migrants are assets to Australia and welcome you with open arms.

Australia is not the best country on earth. There is no such thing. Every country and every culture have their own very special attraction and we should cherish them wherever we live.


Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 17, 2012

It is WORLD REFUGEE DAY today, so please make all those people, who came to our shores to find a better future, welcome!

Look back in history and see how Australia has grown, prospered and developed because of all the immigrants to this country.

On Saturday June 23 Fremantle will hold a REFUGEE WELCOME FIESTA on the Esplanade from 11am to 4 pm. So come and join the fun and meet people from different cultures!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 7, 2012

After last year’s successful REFUGEE WELCOME FIESTA at Kings Square in Fremantle there will be another and bigger one this year on the Fremantle Esplanade on June 23, so dot it down in your diaries!

There will be Latin swing, hip hop and other music, international food stalls,  craft, buskers, dance, games, soccer, drum circles, and other family fun. Bring your own games to play and share. It’s all happening between 11 am and 4 pm.

It was touching last year to see so many happy new migrants, especially children learning to kick a non round footy, and trying new games for the first time. It was a day of relaxation, openmindedness and acceptance, held in the belief that it is much better, and so rewarding, to embrace people rather than reject them.

Nyoongar elder Richard Walley will say welcome to country and play the didge.

Roel Loopers





Posted in fremantle by freoview on August 10, 2011

Dear writers of letters to the editor of the West Australian,

Before you point this out yourselves, I know that you are very tolerant and not racist and do have foreign friends, some even with darker skin than your own. All you were doing with your letters of course was only pointing out the obvious. Obvious to you was that there was clearly a racist, Muslim, migrant, and coloured element that started the London riots, and that shows that multiculturalism just does not work and is dangerous. This of course should then be a warning for Australia and we should stop all those foreigners from coming here. Our policies are too humane and those boat people only cost us a lot of money.

Like you, dear letter writers, I too watched the news, read newspapers and listened to radio reports, but unlike you I noticed that the majority of people rioting were Anglo-Saxon, and God forbid might even have been Christians. I also noticed many were just schoolkids, obviously bored with school holidays, so a riot seemed a brilliant idea to have some fun. Police picked up kids who were just around ten years of age.

On ABC radio this morning they played an interview with two young women with very broad London accents, who told the reporter it was all just quite fun and they wanted to show the police that they could do whatever they wanted. It was also great to have free drinks, after they had looted a bottle shop.

So dear non racist letter writers, before you point the finger at minority groups, you might like to check your facts first next time and take your coloured glasses off, so you can see the TV pictures more clearly.

Roel Loopers

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Posted in fremantle, perth, refugees by freoview on June 20, 2011

FREE FROM FEAR is an art exhibition as part of REFUGEE WEEK 2011. Paintings and photos by students with refugee background, from the Balga, North Lake and Aranmore Senior High schools are on display in the foyer of Central Park, George Street, Perth.

“Be treated fairly no matter who you are, where you are from, what language you speak, what you believe or where you live” UN Convention on The Rights Of The Child.

Roel Loopers

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