Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, culture, fremantle prison, history, maritime, museum, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on September 24, 2018


Fremantle Prison



Not sure what to do on this longs weekend Monday or during the school holidays? Why not visit our great Fremantle museums!

The World Heritage Listed Fremantle Prison conducts tours throughout the day, the display at the Shipwrecks Museum about the Dutch history of WA is fascinating, and at 1pm witnessing the cannon fire behind the Roundhouse is a booming experience.

And at the Maritime Museum is a very good exhibition about the French captains Baudain and Freycinet.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2018


I am delighted to hear that Fremantle Prison is considering adding light and projection shows to their already very good and popular offerings.

Fremantle needs a few more tourist attractions to keep visitors in our city longer, and we have not much on during evenings but live music in pubs sometimes.

I am hoping that the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides will also offer light and projections shows inside, and on the exterior of the Roundhouse, as stage two of the project to install new interpretive displays in WA’s oldest public building, so we can activate it at night.

In that context I also welcome the announcement by Premier Mark McGowan to protect Lotterywest and ban Lottoland from operating in our state. Lotterywest contributes so much to our community with grants for amazing projects, heritage conservation, etc. and we can’t really do without their funding.

Roel Loopers





When Fremantle Council and the Fremantle Oval reference and steering groups are looking at the potential and opportunities for the development and activation of the area one of their main priorities must be the connectivity between the north and the south of Parry Street, as this is going to be a major challenge.

Pedestrian crossing is already a challenge on weekends when the Fremantle Markets are open. The roundabout at William Street is not the safest place to cross Parry Street since motorists are occupied with navigating the roundabout and rarely give way to pedestrians who are on their way to the oval or Fremantle Prison.

The entire precinct will attract a lot more people when Fremantle Oval is activated and when Silverleaf Investments have developed the police and justice complex down the road with a hotel and community spaces and activation, so vehicular and pedestrian movement will increase substantially.

When one also considers that the City of Fremantle has plans to extend Norfolk Street all the way to Mews Road in the Fishing Boat Harbour, which will make Parry Street even more into a ring road, one can start contemplating the challenges ahead to create safe pedestrian access between the markets and the oval.

Serious thoughts need to be had about a possible pedestrian underpass or at least a zebra crossing somewhere halfway along Parry Street between William Street and South Terrace.

There will be events and concerts at Fremantle Oval and residential and commercial accommodation in new buildings to the south and west of it, and the Kings Square activation project will bring heaps more people to that part of Freo, so a lot more people will be in the area, that already is home to two of Fremantle’s most popular tourist attractions Fremantle Prison and the Fremantle Markets.

If Fremantle Council is serious about making Parry Street even more into a ring road from Queen Victoria Street in the north east of the CBD all the way to the Fishing Boat Harbour, it will need to address especially pedestrian connectivity and safety between the new developments in the precinct as a priority.

Roel Loopers



Posted in children, city of fremantle, education, heritage, roundhouse, Uncategorized, volunteers by freoview on July 27, 2018



school at Roundhouse


The Fremantle Roundhouse was full with students from the Margaret River Primary School this Friday.

150 of them, with teachers and parents, made the day trip to good old Freo to visit the Fremantle Prison, Maritime and Shipwreck museums and the state’s oldest public building the Roundhouse prison.

I helped out with the time ball at 1pm as we were short staffed, but it is a truly delightful volunteer job to talk to people from all over the world and with local and country students about Fremantle’s history.

We are always looking for new volunteers, willing to commit themselves for a day a week or a fortnight.

Did you know that Centrelink does allow this to be a work for the dole occupation and what better one to do! No stress, great and funny colleagues and getting to know all those lovely people from our global village. Come and try it!


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 1, 2018




Not all change is good, as the new Fremantle tourist map shows.

For many years we had perfectly good maps to hand out at the Roundhouse, but while on duty yesterday I noticed the new maps and they have one major flaw, that they no longer show Fremantle Prison!

One of the most asked questions by tourists is how to get from the Roundhouse to Fremantle Prison, so we hand out the maps and show them to walk down High Street, turn right into the Cappuccino Strip and then left at the church on the corner of Parry Street, walk past Fremantle Oval and then right up the steps to the former prison.

But now the map stops and cuts Fremantle Oval in half and no longer includes Fremantle’s most popular museum.  It’s a remarkable and unacceptable oversight and needs to be addressed, City of Fremantle!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, history, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 15, 2018


The World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison is calling for donations of artefacts to grow the Prison’s collection and encourage the return of objects with a connection to the Fremantle Prison site.

The Fremantle Prison collection holds approximately 12,000 items, including photographs, documents, furnishings, artworks, tools, clothing and textiles, institutional paraphernalia, letters, weapons and archaeological material.

The collection spans the entirety of the Prison’s operational life, from the beginning of construction in 1851 through to 1991 when the Prison was decommissioned and closed.

Fremantle Prison will be holding two ‘open days’ during which people can bring their items and discuss the donation and care of the items with the Prison’s curatorial team.

The first open day is planned for 18 May on International Museum Day, and the second on
26 May, as part of the Fremantle Heritage Festival. Both open days are from 10am – 3pm.

Fremantle Prison is visited by around 200,000 people annually, so a big tourist attraction in Fremantle.

Roel Loopers




H 1

H 2

H 3


The Planning Committee of Fremantle Council last night recommended for approval by the WA JDAP the development of a five-storey hotel, restaurant, tavern and shops at the heritage listed Henderson Street Police and Justice complex and Warders Cottages by Fremantle’s Silverleaf Investments.

The Fremantle Society was concerned that five storeys on the site did not fit in with the City’s own criteria, but planning staff and Councillors had a different opinion.

It was agreed that further work needed to be done on dealing with the noise of the future live music venue of the Drillhall, but the overall concept was welcomed by the elected members and officers.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was a good outcome and Councillor Dave Hume said it was a really good outcome and good interpretation of the historic site, and the access way through the development from Henderson to Parry streets was excellent.

Councillor Adin Lang said he had given it a lot of consideration and while the sightlines might impact somewhat the development showcases what is inside the old buildings. We are lucky we don’t have the site empty for ten years as was the case with the Warders Cottages, Lang said.

Councillor Ingrid Waltham said it was a fantastic adaptive re-use of the convict precinct and a good outcome.

The City’s heritage architect Alan Kelsall said the additional fifth storey allows the developers to have a minimal impact on the heritage buildings. “The benefit on the heritage buildings out weights the impact of the higher building.”

The deciding authority for the $10 million development is the state’s Joint Development Assessment Panel.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on February 26, 2018




Congratulations to Fremantle Prison for receiving the Gold Medal for Cultural Tourism at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards!

Visiting Fremantle Prison is a great experience which I recommend to young and old.

Knowing one’s history is very important to staying connected to our roots.

Have you tried the new CONVICT HISTORY tour there yet?

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, history, Uncategorized by freoview on February 14, 2018




Fremantle Prison’s CONVICT TOURS start today.

Discover the history of Fremantle Prison from its construction in the 1850s until the end of the convict era in 1886.

Find out why almost 10,000 men were transported from Great Britain, how they built their own prison and helped shape the future of Western Australia.

Discover our history through their stories.

Tours are hourly between 10am and 5pm. Duration 1hour and 15 minutes.

Tickets: $ 21 adults, $ 18 concessions, $ 11.50 child, $ 59 family.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle society,, Uncategorized by freoview on December 7, 2017


Warders 2


The Planning Committee of Fremantle Council last night recommended for approval by JDAP the development of a boutique hotel, tavern and restaurant at the Henderson Street  historic Warders Cottages next to the Fremantle Markets.

The development is valued at $ 3.5 million and the application will be decided by the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel on December 16.

Fremantle Society President John Dowson said hotel accommodation was a good outcome for the cottages, but questioned the size of the tavern and heritage issues such as a two storey walkway at the back of the cottages, which is contrary to heritage policy.

Dowson was justifiably outraged when he spoke again later in the evening that none of the Councillors had mentioned heritage considerations when they deliberated the proposal.

It was good to see Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge reaching out to the Fremantle Society president, as all Councillors and planning and heritage staff should be doing, because the Society has been very influential for over forty years in protecting Fremantle’s heritage.

Without the interference and protests of FS Fremantle would not have become the tourist attraction it now is, as many of our heritage buildings in the West End would have been demolished, and so would have Victoria Hall.

About eight years ago the Society published an nine-page flyer, which I wrote, in which it was recommended that developers and Council engage the Fremantle Society as early as possible when proposing new development, to avoid frustrating delays and negativity. No one ever took up that offer and it is time for Fremantle Council to revisit that and collaborate more and better with FS and other relevant community groups.

The chair of the new Westport task force was adamant a few weeks ago that only when all stakeholders are engaged and consulted a new outer harbour and all relevant infrastructure will get the best outcomes and community acceptance, and Fremantle City needs to move that way as well and reach out to community groups like FS, instead of dismissing them as NIMBY or negative old farts who are against change.

During the recent election Mayor Brad Pettitt and other elected members acknowledged that community consultation in Fremantle needed to be improved, and the administration is also working toward it, so Councillors need to meet regularly with the Fremantle Society and other groups, so we can work all together for a better and modern Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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