Freo's View

CITIZENSHIP DRESS CODE IS UNAUSTRALIAN

 

citizenship, tiff

 

The directions from the Federal Government to local councils to make the Australia Day citizenship ceremonies more formal and enforce a dress code are as ridiculous as they are un-Australian.

Australians are loved around the world for their daggy dress sense, and that is understandable when one knows that thongs, ugg boots and singlets are considered fashion items in the land down under.

A citizenship ceremony is not about dress code or formality, but all about new Australians committing themselves to their new country, and as an immigrant myself I know what a big step that is to take, and even more when one loses the  passport from one’s birth country, as I did.

Becoming a new Australian is showing acceptance of one’s new home and culture and it is a very proud moment to receive the citizenship certificate from the mayor. It is wanting to be part of the nation, being allowed to vote and being eligible to stand for local, state and federal government. It is not only a privilege to become an Australian, but also a strong commitment.

Many people turn up at the ceremonies in dresses, shirts or T-shirts made out of the Australian flag, and others turn up in their national dress from their birth country. Some come in shorts, and why not on a stinking hot day in a country where boardies are the norm.

There is no disrespect in dressing who we are and what reflects our personality, and it is nonsense to believe people will turn up in formal wear to become citizens of a country that prides itself on freedom of choice.

Only three more weeks till Australia Day, and I am looking forward to being at the Fremantle ceremony, although we will celebrate our city’s diversity at the ONE DAY event a couple of days later.

And ‘well done’ again TRANSPERTH for closing the Fremantle line from January 27-30 at night, after the 7.55pm train to Perth. All those who want to come to the One Day concert on the Esplanade will now have to hop on buses. Our WA public transport authorities closed the Freo train line a few years in a row during the Fremantle Street Festival as well. Very inconsiderate!

Roel Loopers

HARMONY DAY CELEBRATING OUR MULTICULTURAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, multicultural, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on March 21, 2019

 

Harmony Day

 

It is HARMONY DAY today, so let’s make a start and make Australia that tolerant and change-embracing country again.

Let us all stop politicians from using race, religion and culture for fear mongering and political gain and tell them we are better than that.

We live in a peaceful multicultural society and should not fear new migrants or claim they take jobs away from those who have lived here longer.

The contributions migrants have made to Australia is enormous. The Ghan, Indian Pacific railway lines and other major projects would not have been built without the Afghan camel caravans. Muslims have lived in Australia peacefully since the 1830s!

We live in a good country full of freedom and opportunities and we should by now have enough self-esteem to no longer fear those who come from foreign countries. Hatred, racism and ignorance are the enemies, not different cultures and religions.

Today is a day to smile and look back at our achievements and how all of us together made Australia the great country it is!

Roel Loopers

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FREO WELCOMES 67 NEW CITIZENS

Posted in australia, australia day, citizenship, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 26, 2019

 

 

Fremantle welcomed 67 new Australians from all over the world at the Fremantle Arts Centre this Australia Day Saturday.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Minister and Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk handed out the citizenship certificates to the new Aussies in front of friends and family.

Roel Loopers

AUSTRALIAN FLAG BACK ON FREMANTLE TOWNHALL

Posted in australia, australia day, citizenship, city of cockburn, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 25, 2019

 

flag

 

All those people who wrongly believe that Fremantle Council is un-Australian, whatever that means, can sleep in peace and have happy dreams again now that the City has raised the Australian flag on the Townhall again.

The big flag will stay up 24/7 as it will be illuminated at night, so check it out.

Talking about being Australian, tomorrow at 10.30, yes, on Australia Day, the City of Fremantle will hold its annual citizenship ceremony at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

67 new Aussies will pledge their allegiance to their new country. It will be a very special moment for them.

The new Aussies are from France, Spain, Israel, USA, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Columbia, Brazil, Turkey, UK, Ireland and Austria.

Roel Loopers

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AUSTRALIAN DAYS TO CELEBRATE INCLUSIVENESS

 

So what is the fuss about again about Australia Day? It was all over the news yesterday but there is very little new in what ScoMo and other politicians said, besides a new dress code for those who receive the citizenship certificate, which is soooooo un-Australian.

Already last year local councils were told by the Federal Government that citizenship ceremonies had to be held on January 26 and the City of Fremantle obliged, but also held the One Day event two days later on Sunday the 28th.

This year again we will have the very good One Day event on Sunday the 27th in Fremantle and the citizenship ceremony at Fremantle Oval on the 26th, and then we have the Australia Day Monday to do whatever we like.

And after we heard all the political stuff about how sacrosanct Australia Day supposedly is, it turned out that the ScoMo government only wants to introduce the changes in 2020, when they are most likely no longer in power. What a waste of time!

And just for the sake of the argument, why isn’t the Australian of the Year announcement on Australia Day, but the day before, and what actually is Australian Citizenship Day on September 17 for?

Personally I am looking forward to being at the citizenship ceremony in Freo because as a migrant myself I know how special and important that is, and I am very much looking forward to the Smoking Ceremony on Bathers Beach at 8am and the all day One Day event on the 28th. There is something for everyone. It is inclusive and it should not offend anyone to celebrate that way together!

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO WELCOMES NEW AUSTRALIANS

Posted in citizenship, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on January 26, 2018

 

AAAA

 

A relaxed City of Fremantle citizenship ceremony at Fremantle Oval this morning saw forty people becoming new Australians.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and WA Minister Simone McGurk handed the citizenship certificates to people from such countries as  Zambia, Brazil, Philippines, Belgium, France, Scotland and Ireland.

Also present were Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham and Councillors Hannah Fitzhardinge, Bryn Jones and Dave Hume and friends and families of those who committed to the luck country.

Roel Loopers

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SHEILAS UP BUT RELIGION DOWN IN AUSTRALIA

Posted in australia, fremantle, multicultural, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

 

The fear that Australia is being swamped by a tsunami of Muslims has been proven unfounded by the latest CENSUS 2016 statistics, which shows that Buddhists are closing in on the only 2.6% of Australian residents who claim to be Muslims, while 2.4% are Buddhist.

In general people who claim to have no religion increased to 29.6% in 2016, compared to 0,8% in 1966.

The good news for us blokes is that there is a small majority of females with just over 50 %.

There have been 1.3 million new immigrants to Australia since 2011 and the most common countries they came from were China and India.

And the Turnbull government does not have to worry too much about the language skills of migrants with 72.7%  of CENSUS participants stating that they speak English at home.

The most important thing we should not underestimate is the enormous contribution immigrants to Australia are making. Without them we would not be the great multicultural and tolerant community we are!

Roel Loopers

 

WHY I LOVE LIVING IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, growers green markets, Uncategorized by freoview on June 5, 2017

It is WA DAY today when we celebrate the foundation day of Western Australia, and it’s yet again going to be a gorgeous day.

It is good to remind ourselves now and then what we love about the place we live in because we far too often complain about the negatives of life.

My visit to the Fremantle Growers Green farmers market yesterday made me aware again why I love Freo so much. There is such a great sense of community and people catching up over breakfast. Families, dogs, fresh produce, live music under a brilliant blue sky. How much better can it get.

I was barely out of my car when I bumped into Bryn Davies who often rigs himself up the mast of the Roundhouse to put new flag ropes up and makes repairs. He is studying and renovating his house, so he’s a busy boy.

I love having a chat with Farmer Damian, who has his patting sheep and ducks there for kids, as he is always down to earth and has a great sense of humour. We worked together on a couple of markets some years ago.

Then it was pollies time and receiving the warm smile from new Freo state Minister Simone McGurk and a hug from federal MP Josh Wilson, who was out food shopping with his wife Georgia and dog. Georgia works at Fremantle Press.

While there the person I have known longest in Australia crossed my path. Beautiful Michelle Broun, an Injbarndi woman who is now the curator for Aboriginal and Torrest Straight Islander art at the WA Art Gallery. She was there with her cousin Khris. I used to babysit Michelle’s sons Simon and Reuben, but now Simon has his own children and is  a teacher in Broome. Yep, I am getting old. ; >(

My mate Tom Fisher of Clancy’s fame was on stage doing fine tunes.

The foodstalls were busy so it’s not easy to have a chat with the operators, but I managed to have a few word with Nick who sells frozen yoghurt and who also builds food carts, musician and poet Dave Pensa was selling Mediterranean anti-pasto, and the always smiling Umir from Zab Salad served his yummy smelling and looking curries. You can buy them during the week at the restaurant he and his wife Kulsum have opposite Victoria Hall. Try it!

Also had a chat with Sarah and Shaun from the High Street Dispensary cafe, who also used to own Chalkys. They had their 14 month-old boy with them of course.

And last but not least I had a chat with Linda from Treacle Treat who sells Dutch Flavourites; stroopwafels, kroketten, bitterballen and the delightful tiny Dutch poffertjes pancakes. You need to try them!

Talking Dutch with Linda, who is a relatively new migrant, reminded me that I left the Netherlands 50 years ago for my first big adventure when I migrated to Germany. How time has flown and what an exciting life I have had. The grand finale is here in Freo for me, the place I love more than anywhere else in the world!

Roel Loopers

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MOST IMMIGRANTS ARE GOOD

Posted in citizenship, fremantle, immigration, Uncategorized by freoview on April 21, 2017

If Australia, as the Prime Minister claims, is the most successful multicultural country on the planet then we need to embrace that multiculturalism when accepting new citizens.

Immigrants to Australia have made immense contributions to our country and many did so without ever being able to speak English to native standards. Look at the many very successful Chinese, Vietnamese, Italians and Croats. Go to Chinatown and experience that some of those who serve you in restaurants barely speak English, and there are quite a few old Italians walking around Freo who have lived here for sixty plus years whose English language skills would not be good enough to get Australian citizenship today.

Fact is that holding on to one’s language, culture, food, traditions and religion when one migrates gives a sense of belonging, safety and security in a foreign country, even more so for those who were forced to leave their countries.

But it does not matter because the actual integration starts with the children and grandchildren of the original immigrants, and see how they too are successful with many immigrant children being the top students at high schools and in universities, to the benefit of Australia because they will become our future leaders.

By introducing questions about domestic violence to obtain citizenship the government emphasises difference in culture when it should realise that people change when migrating and most of them will accept the rules and laws of their new country, because most have been brought up to be law-abiding people no matter where they live.

Christians don’t break the law and kill people because the Bible preaches and eye for an eye, so why would Muslim men break Australian laws and beat their wife because the Koran says they can?

Domestic violence is rampant in Australia where drunken men beat up their female partners. Muslims don’t drink alcohol so it is more likely that there is less domestic violence in their culture because of that.

We need to have a bit of a reality check in our country. Politicians always talk about values when often they set the standards very low themselves, and many Australians still believe the urban myth of fair go and that we are the best country in the world.

As someone who was born in the Netherlands, where I lived for 19 years, and who lived in Germany for 13 years, before migrating to Australia 35 years ago, I have often been staggered by the racism, ignorance and lack of tolerance of many Australians. There is no doubt in my mind that Australia is more racist than those two countries.

The difference between the countries is that many Australians only tolerate foreigners and different cultures while the two European countries I lived in actually accept and respect migrants for what they are. That is a big difference we in Australia still need to work on.

The cute thing about it all is that all these bogans who get drunk on Friday night and eat kebabs, curries and fish&chips don’t realise they are eating Hahal food often prepared by Muslims.

Migrants from all over the world generously contribute to Australia. They volunteer in community groups, schools, mosques, churches, sporting clubs, etc. and their respect for their new country and involvement with their community makes up for their lack of English language skills.

My own personal experience travelling the world has been that most people are good, caring, compassionate, hospitable and law-abiding, but that there are morons and criminals in every culture and religion.

Accepting and respecting difference should be one of Australia’s core values because it enriches all of us and we should welcome those who want to commit themselves to become new Australians.

Roel Loopers

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GENIUS MOVE TO FREMANTLE

Posted in culture, fremantle, immigration, lifestyle by freoview on March 13, 2017

Today is my personal Australia Day! Thirty-five years ago today on March 13, 1982 I landed in Australia with my then partner Brigitte to start our new life on the other side of the world, and what a journey it has been.

The decision to migrate to Australia was seen by many friends and colleagues in Germany as foolhardy and naïve, but how wrong they were.

There is no doubt that my Australian years have been the most challenging and often very difficult years of my life. I went through all the highs and all the lows, from a highly successful photography business to a financial disaster triggered by severe depressions, from beautiful houses to awful granny flats, and from great love affairs to a badly broken heart, but as the French say c’est la vie. Shit happens.

But overall it has been a wonderful adventure where I learned so much about myself and life, and at the end I came through it wiser, tougher, more considerate and more tolerant, so these are good gains and lessons.

Moving from Sydney to Perth in September 1985 was stroke of genius, and moving to Fremantle in the early 1990s was pure brilliance as I love living in our beautiful little port city.

Fremantle taught me so much about community engagement and passion and yesterday’s huge Labor election win shows that the enormous Roe 8 people power movement made a big difference and that politicians who ignore the people will be punished. There is an important message for the elected members of the City of Fremantle in that as well.

The good thing about integration in a new culture is that it does not come at the cost of losing one’s identity and culture and while I became an Australian citizen in 1985 much of me will always remain Dutch as the education I received and the values instilled in me in the Netherlands will be with me forever.

Respecting people and being compassionate was something my parents showed me daily, and that being generous and honest and standing up for people less fortunate are good things. They are beautiful values to have.

I love people and the Fremantle community is my family. They are the people I want to look after and support and while I have failed dismally on a few occasions I have always tried my best.

Fremantle has given me a deep sense of belonging and a purpose that is much more than just surviving and earning money. It has taught me that looking after the community one lives in and supporting positive change can make a real difference and that doing that is very rewarding.

I don’t have all that many years left in life but as long as I can do it I will try to help make Fremantle and even better place to live and love in.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of my Aussie life so far. It has been a mind-blowing journey!

Roel Loopers

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