Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, art, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on February 3, 2018



I am a big fan of the Fremantle Aboriginal art gallery Japingka in High Street and its owners Ian and David and have directed dozens of overseas and interstate visitors to the gallery, but these guys are really stretching the friendship and challenge my patience with their outrageously bad and long media releases. It is annoying because it means I have to take more time than I want to make something succinct and coherent out of what they send me.

This time their media release was a whopping 874 words, the equivalent of a full page in the Herald, accompanied by eleven photos! and yes, they always send the text in colour.

So here is the very shortened version:

The first art exhibition of 2018 at Japingka Gallery is exploring the use of the blue palette in Indigenous fine art. Blue features the handful of artists such as Kudditji Kngwarreye and Judy Watson Napangardi, and emerging artists Faye Nungala Hudson, as well as established artists Rosella Namok, Fiona Omeenyo and Gloria Petyarre, who have confidently embraced the avenues that this striking colour provides.

 In gallery 2 Ngarrindjeri Artist Amanda Conway-Jones from Victor Harbour in South Australia displays her talent in an exhibition of aerial views of her coastal country hometown and the surrounding ocean.

Exhibitions open 6.30pm Friday 9th February, and run daily until 14th March, 2018.

Japingka Gallery is at 47 High Street in Fremantle’s gorgeous West End.

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, city of fremantle, community, Uncategorized by freoview on January 28, 2018




They came out of nowhere at 4.30pm this afternoon to enjoy the City of Fremantle’s ONE DAY concert event at the Esplanade.

It officially started at 2pm but most people decided to stay away until the national performers came on the stage.

The Djuki Mala group from Arnhem Land got the message across when they performed Zorba the Greek during their dancing performance. Two of the oldest cultures in the world, and it was fun!

It was a real delight to see so many Aboriginal people at the event and the call for Change The Date was very strong, as it was in Melbourne where 60,00 people marched!

Roel Loopers

P.S. I am as disappointed as regular Freo’s View readers are, as I would have liked to show you more photos. Unfortunately I do not get issued with a media pass by the City of Fremantle for events, so it was very limiting to try to take photos in a packed crowd.

I pride myself on the high standards of my photography and refuse to just take amateur happy snaps, so left early.


Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, history, Uncategorized by freoview on January 28, 2018



KAYA! The ONE DAY Noongar Smoking Ceremony at Bathers Beach in Fremantle/Walyalup this morning at 7 am attracted a lot of Wadjelas, keen to connect with our Aboriginal friends.

The symbolism of these events often overwhelms me and I can’t keep the tears out of my eyes, but at least I can blame the smoke for it and don’t have to admit I am just a softy. ;>)

The event was scaled down from last year’s magnificent event with a lot fewer Aborigines participating, and that was a little disappointing, but I sincerely hope that the smoking ceremony will become an annual tradition in Freo.

From 2-8pm the ONE DAY concert and activities are on at the Esplanade, so make sure to join in and bring all your friends and family.

The Fremantle community can be very proud today about our inclusiveness!

Roel Loopers


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Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on January 27, 2018


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Tomorrow is a very special day for Fremantle, a day where we celebrate our diverse and inclusive community during two events.

It starts at Bathers Beach at 7am with the important Whadjuk Noongar SMOKING CEREMONY.  It is something not to be missed because it connects us with our significant Aboriginal culture and history.

We cannot change the past but we can make sure that we acknowledge and respect our indigenous history and work together toward a better future for all.

After the smoking ceremony we can all walk down to CHALKYS cafe is High Street for a nice breakfast and cup of coffee and reflect on what we have just witnessed.

One Day poster


From 2pm on the ONE DAY event will be held on the Esplanade with a concert and activities for the children. There will be foodstalls and of course the CARRIAGE cafe and Fishing Boat Harbour traders will all be happy to serve us with some great snacks and beverages.

I am really looking forward to the great day, so please bring your family and friends and make people from outside Freo aware of the fantastic Sunday we will be having!

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 aboriginal, city of fremantle, nature, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on January 18, 2018




Noongar woman Jacinta Taylor is holding her first photo exhibition Balga at REPLANTS in Wray Avenue, Fremantle.

The show of nature photos will open this Saturday January 20 from 6-9pm.



Posted in aboriginal, australia day, bathers beach, city of fremantle, history, Uncategorized by freoview on January 16, 2018


Bathers Beach Smoking Ceremony 2018_web



Advance notice that the Aboriginal SMOKING CEREMONY will be held at Bathers Beach on January 28 at 7 am.

It was first held last year as part of the ONE DAY alternative Australia Day celebrations in recognition of Fremantle’s Whadjuk Noongar history.

The smoking ceremony was very moving and attracted a lot of people, so make sure not to miss it. It is a great way to connect with our Noongar people and work toward reconciliation together.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 22, 2017



I am very disappointed that a few members of the Whadjuk Noongar community are complaining in the Fremantle Herald today that the City of Fremantle’s ONE DAY event on January 28 is just tokenism as it does not showcase enough of their culture.

Fremantle Council last years decided it would no longer hold the Australia Day fireworks, out of consideration for Aboriginal culture and instead have an event on the 28th.

The Whajuk Noongar smoking ceremony at Arthur Head in the morning was a big and very moving event, attended by many people, and the concert on the Esplanade attracted some 15,000 people in the afternoon.

One Day was never intended as an Australia Day protest or the celebration only of Aboriginal local culture, but it was and should be all about multiculturalism and the entire Fremantle community connecting.

It is disappointing that those in the Noongar community who complain won’t recognise that One Day is a big step forward to genuine reconciliation and a sign of respect for their culture.


Roel Loopers

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