Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, fremantle foundation, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on February 20, 2018


The Fremantle Foundation is holding a Vital Conversation about Australia’s shared history – opening hearts, opening minds

It is an intensive one day workshop exploring ‘Australia’s Shared History’.

We learnt about Captain Cook, Stirling and Fremantle and the history of British colonisation but most of us know very little about Australia’s history from the Indigenous perspective.

With discussions around Australia Day increasing and the success of One Day in Fremantle, this Vital Conversation offers the chance to take the next step in your personal understanding.

This one day intensive brings knowledge and deep insights into the shared history of Australians. It looks through the eyes of the First Australians and with this Indigenous perspective sheds light on a past we all share.

Specifically it will increase effective and respectful professional and personal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by:

  • gaining knowledge of our shared history from an Indigenous perspective
  • increasing awareness of the impacts which continue to affect Aboriginal Australians today
  • learning to be comfortable and confident in the third space

It is on at 8.30AM – 4.30PM, Tuesday 27th February in the Big Hall in the Old Boys School, 92 Adelaide St. Fremantle, just opposite the Basilica.

Cost: $80 per person

Lunch and refreshments are provided.

The day is facilitated by Jenny Hunter and Kelly Terry, with guest Aboriginal presenters including respected Aboriginal elder Dr Noel Nannup.


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, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on February 1, 2018




The clouds over Fremantle created an unpleasant humidity for the Roundhouse volunteers and the sea breeze came in rather late and quite weak, so it was a bit of a struggle for just two of us.

But school holidays are over so it was rather quiet anyway. Nice view though.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 29, 2018




I hear that one of the reasons for the scaled-down Noongar Smoking Ceremony yesterday was because of several elders pulling out of the event at the last minute in protest of Neville Collard’s support in the West Australian for not changing the date of Australia Day.

Elder Ben Taylor who was going to be involved in the ceremony called Mayor Brad Pettitt on Saturday to say it was not okay to have someone conducting the ceremony who was agains changing the date, but Taylor was told that the Mayor did not want to make it political. But it is political of course.

Disappointing to see this happening when the Smoking Ceremony as part of ONE DAY is very important and special for Fremantle and should become an annual tradition.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 25, 2018


Tomorrow many Australians will celebrate Australia Day to commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet in Botany Bay on January 26, 1788, while for many Aboriginal people the day is considered Invasion Day, a historic day that caused them pain, hardship and displacement.

In Fremantle we will have no official Australia Day celebrations but will instead celebrate our achievements and cultural inclusiveness on One Day, January 28 instead. There will be a citizenship ceremony at Fremantle Oval at 10am on the 26th though.

One day of the year, whatever date it is and whatever it is called, will not make a real difference to Australia and its First Nations people. What is needed is all year genuine collaboration to improve the quality of life for those Aboriginal people who are marginalised, with many still living in third-world conditions.

There are many well-meaning white people who want to help improve the life of our indigenous people, who on average still die ten years younger than white people. The suicide rate of Aboriginal people is alarming and youth suicide among Aboriginal children is so high that it should make us all cry and feel ashamed we have not combatted this better.

But Aboriginal people are often their own worst enemy according to some of their prominent outspoken leaders, and also need to help improve their own life. Part of the problem is that there is no consensus among Aborigines on how to attack the unique issues they are facing. There is far too much family feuding and power games going on, and as long as our Aboriginal friends don’t speak with one voice governments will largely do their own thing, and that is often not good enough and ignorant of what is really needed.

I don’t believe that most Australian people are racist in general terms, but sadly many are racist when it comes to our indigenous people, for reasons I don’t understand. 50,000 years of Aboriginal history is ignored, or maybe just taken for granted, when we could have learned so much from our indigenous people.

There are still levels of a colonial patronising attitude when we address indigenous issues in Australia, because some white people feel superior to those with a different skin colour, culture or religion.

When someone like former Prime Minister Tony Abbott claims British settlement was good for Aborigines because it brought them civilisation, there is blatant disregard that ‘civilisation’ brought European diseases, the rape of Aboriginal women and girls and abuse of boys, the Stolen Generations, denial of their own culture, languages and beliefs.

The Rottnest Island Quod prison, Sister Kate, New Norcia, etc. were not holiday camps for Aborigines, but places where abuse was prevalent and constant, and we should never ever forget that or sweet talk it.

Australia Day and how and on what date we celebrate our combined history since the British settled in New South Wales, and many years later in 1829 in Fremantle, should be debated with sensitivity and respect and without playing the blame game on any side of the argument.

Fact is that January 26 is not a significant date in Western Australia, but only in NSW.

There are no easy and fast solutions, and the abuse of Aboriginal women and girls, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse needs to be addressed without fear or favour by the indigenous community and state and federal governments. Only when we work very closely together will we see a change in these disgraceful conditions.

Aboriginal culture is beautiful and its history extremely significant to our country. That is a good starting point for a national discussion about a more appropriate date for Australia Day . We cannot change what happened in the past but we can all make an effort to make the future a whole lot better for our indigenous brothers and sisters.

As with most things in life we do have a choice tomorrow. Those who want to be part of fireworks and a big Australia Day celebration on the 26th can do that in Perth, while others like me will be at the Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony at Bathers Beach at 7 am and the One Day concert that celebrates are Fremantle community on the Esplanade on January 28 from 4pm.

Roel Loopers

My personal Australia Day is March 13, the day I migrated to Australia in 1982.


Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 20, 2018


Channel 9 TV had a bit of a beat-up story yesterday about Fremantle not having Australia Day fireworks this year because the local business group BID did not want to finance them.

Federal Liberal MP Ben Morton claimed that this was due to activists abusing small businesses. It’s the first thing I have heard about this and was not reported in the local media, so where does Morton’s claim come from?

Fact is that the Business Improvement District-BID did a survey among their 400 members and there was no clear support to continue with financing the fireworks.

As I pointed out last year the fireworks in Fremantle were never a great trading day for the broader business community because all shops had closed well before the masses arrived, and so had many cafes.

Australia Day fireworks were an excellent trading day for Fishing Boat Harbour operators, but did not do much for the rest of the CBD traders, as most people arrived late and left the city straight after the fireworks were over.

It’s a done deal for the time being, so let’s move on. Those who want big Australia Day celebrations and fireworks can enjoy them in Perth, and Freo has it’s ONE DAY celebrations on January 28.

A survey this week showed that most Australians don’t care about the date or even know why January 26 is supposedly significant.

Let’s be happy that we live in such a good country and great city!


Roel Loopers

ONE DAY poster


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on January 19, 2018



1963 – corner of High St and Newman Court. Newsagent on the corner, with the Hall behind and in the rear left the back of the Centennial Building

ARCHAE-AUS Cultural Heritage Management have opened two more trenches near the corner of High Street and Newman Court for their archeological dig at Fremantle’s Kings Square  to look for remnants of late 1800s shops and a hall.

They report to have found substantial foundation of the hall, so that is exciting historic news for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 18, 2018


harbour views


Fremantle is such a special and lovely place according to the thousands of visitors who come to visit the Roundhouse.

It is such a joy when I volunteer at WA’s oldest public building to hear only positive comments about Fremantle from overseas and interstate visitors.

They all love it that Freo is so different from the norm and, that in contrast to Perth, we kept many of our beautiful heritage buildings, and they love the view corridors from the West End streets to the port.

People from Sydney on their second visit to Fremantle commented today on how friendly people here are and that we take the time to engage with our visitors, and all of them love the blue sky and Indian Ocean, the beaches and Rottnest Island, and the lack of people.

My love for this old port town gets reaffirmed every  day I volunteer at the old gaol.

We are blessed to live in Freo!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on January 18, 2018



The demolition for the Fremantle Kings Square Project has started with workers removing the exterior awnings while preparing the interior for the main demolition.

There is also an archeological dig going on to find remnants of the original St John’s church, so go and have a look. On Monday they found a horse shoe and what looked like some small bones.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle arts centre, growers green markets, Uncategorized by freoview on January 14, 2018




BOM predicts that it will get very wet for a few days from late this afternoon, so make sure to go and enjoy the outdoors while you can today.

Tripl J UNEARTHED winner Stella Donnelly will be performing her emotive songs at the free Fremantle Arts Centre concerts from 2-4pm, supported by Mei Sarawati.

Stella’s emotive song writing and intriguing stage presence make her performances an unforgettable experience.




The homely Growers Green Farmers Market is back at Lefroy Street from 8am till midday, so head out there for yummy breakfasts, coffee, breads, fresh produce, eggs, organic stuff, etc.

And it is the last day of the Fenians Fremantle Festival, so check out the events on their Facebook page. I hope the Hougoumont Street Dinner tonight will not be too wet.

There is a very good exhibition about the Fenians at the Fremantle Prison.

Roel Loopers

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