Freo's View

LEARN TO SPEAK NOONGAR

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on August 27, 2020

 

Learn to speak Noongar and the names of animals and places with Whadjuk woman Sharon Gregor.

It is on at REPLANTS, 96 Wray Avenue, Fremantle in September. See details on the poster above.

Roel Loopers

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ITS ABORIGINAL CHILDREN’S DAY

Posted in aboriginal, australia, children, city of fremantle, family, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on August 4, 2020

 

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Children are the future. They are very special and deserve to be protected and supported by the entire community. Without children there is no future, so let’s make sure each and every one receives proper care and education and let them enjoy their childhood.

Kids have such enormous potential that only needs to be nurtured by us grownups, but Aboriginal children are often disadvantaged, so let’s all take on that responsibility for all children all over Australia!

It’s Aboriginal Children’s Day today.

Roel Loopers

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BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN COMMUNITY AND MAIN ROADS

 

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The Covid restrictions in the Tannock Hall of Notre Dame University created a graphic entrance to the very first DesignFreo event Old Bridge/New Bridge, with a forum of Member for Fremantle Minister Simone McGurk, City Planner Russell Kingdom, Aboriginal coordinator Brendan Moore, Community Consultant Rebecca Clarkson and Designer and Engineer Dr Anthony Duckworth/Smith, that was well moderated by Meri Fatin.

I really like community forums but was skeptical from the beginning about the fact that Main Roads had not sent a representative, because I feared that all we would be hearing was going to be based on not knowing the facts, constraints and opportunities of this important project for Fremantle.

While Simone McGurk tried hard to convince us that there would be appropriate community consultation by Main Roads it has been rumoured that the design of the bridge had already been commissioned, so that is the end of community consultation to get an iconic bridge that will be a stunning entry statement to Fremantle.

As Anthony Duckworth/Smith said Main Roads is very good at delivering transport functionality, and that is going to be an issue for the Freo community, that would like to see the creation of new public realms at the foreshores at Beach Street and North Fremantle.

There should also be significant acknowledgment of Noongar culture and respect for the Wagyl river serpent, but can Main Roads be bothered about a ceremonial entrance to Freo, when all they want is move as many vehicles as safely and fast a possible over the bridge?

It is going to be a very complex issue because of the existing bridges and the narrow opportunity of location and the challenge will be to not destroy the North Fremantle town centre, or build the bridge too close to the apartments there.

Is keeping the old bridge technically possible, will it be cost effective to keep it and will it create the best outcome? These are things community consultation could address if Main Roads actually told us what the constraints and requirements are, but not even our local Cabinet Minister knew any details about that.

It was agreed that not enough community consultation has happened so far and that is an unacceptable shortcoming by Main Roads, which no doubt will present us with a done deal that we can comment on and that is ‘community consultation’ ticked off for them. Where is the broader conversation of what the gateway in our city should look like? Where is the desire to create great new public realm? Where will the reference be that the area was a significant Derbal Yaragan river crossing for the indigenous people?

The new bridge is going to cost about $ 230 million, so we might as well get it right and spend a lot of time with stakeholders and the community and stress the importance of place making over functional bridge building. As Anthony Duckworth/Smith said ” We need to look at it from a human perspective not a vehicular one.”

I left the forum feeling flat because there were no answers to any concerns, no facts about constraints, options and opportunities, and that gut feeling that what the Freo community wants is a long way away from what Main Roads will give us.

Roel Loopers

WALYALUP ABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE RE-OPENS

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 28, 2020

 

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The City of Fremantle Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre is back in action after the Covid-19 lockdown and above is their program for this season.

Roel Loopers

IT’S A GREAT WRAP

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2020

 

Good to hear that Fremantle has made progress towards delivering the measures outlined in its Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan, since the plan was adopted.

The plan was officially launched in July 2019 after being adopted by the council and endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

It was developed in consultation with Fremantle’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, local Elders and Aboriginal people and other stakeholders through a series of workshops and meetings held over an 18 month period.

The WRAP outlines 19 actions and 106 deliverable outcomes to be achieved by 2022, including establishing a strategy and agreed representation for Aboriginal stakeholder input.

The actions range from symbolic measures such as exploring the viability of a ‘treaty’ or equivalent agreement and identifying the opportunities for co-naming locations, streets and parks to practical steps around increasing Aboriginal employment and the procurement of Aboriginal services.

Since the adoption of the WRAP the City of Fremantle has established two groups to provide representation and consult with the Aboriginal community.

The Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan Reference Group was established to track the progress of the implementation of the WRAP and provide feedback and accountability. An Elders group was also established to meet twice a year with the Mayor, Councillors and the City’s senior management to further build relationships.

The City is on track to achieve an employment target of 4 per cent of staff being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, with six Aboriginal trainees employed as permanent staff. The City has also developed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander procurement strategy.

Aboriginal facilitators have been engaged to conduct classes and share culture and knowledge through the six Nyoongar Seasons at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre and enrolments for Nyoongar language classes have increased.

Cross cultural competence and cultural awareness training is being conducted by City staff and councillors and cultural awareness has been incorporated into the induction process for new staff.

The council has endorsed the name Walyalup Civic Centre for the City’s new administration building and library, with meeting rooms also to be allocated Nyoongar names.

The City has also supported activities for significant cultural dates and key celebrations including NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week, Woylie Festival, Wardanji Festival and the Revealed Art Market, while the City’s One Day event was recognised with an Australian Government award for promoting Indigenous recognition.

To view the City of Fremantle Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan click here.


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WHY RACISM IS SO DEVASTATING

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2020

 

There have been more racist attacks on AFL players, including legend Eddie Betts and West Coast Eagles player Liam Ryan, so to keep the Black Lives Matter momentum going I thought it the right time to copy what Ron Bradfield Jnr. posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.

Ron used to be a familiar face around Fremantle and I used to bump into him in the West End quite often. Ron’s words and experience are sobering and so very sad.

 

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What’s the ugliest word you’ve ever been called?

So, imagine hearing that word, pretty much every day. Imagine it ringing in your ears almost every night. Think about the times you’ve had that word (or similar words – all used for the same effect), beaten into you physically.

Think about being somewhere where every day – most people you pass – use that word in your hearing. Think of all the ways that people have, to make you realise that it isn’t a nice word and that they aren’t thinking nice thoughts about who you are.

Think about the times where people in authority have reinforced the negative use of that word. Think about how – over time – that word has coloured the way that people now look at you still. Think of the laws that have been passed to control your ancestors, who may have been called those words.

Think about fully wearing the shame of that word; how it sits, deep inside your bones and how it feels when it twists your guts inside of you. Think of your face glowing hot and going red with that shame, when people STILL talk like that about you – if not directly – then indirectly, but you still know exactly what they mean!

Think how angry you might get; when you’re out with your children and you hear that behind your back voice, muttering that word – with all its dirty, shitty, fucked up ugliness – behind you, directed at the ones you love and cherish!

Have I got your attention?

Good.

The reality is, if you can’t come up with just one single word – that has been used to make you feel like absolute shit in your life – you are one very, very lucky individual!

If you; like me, have had words used against you your entire life, you will know just how damn deeply they can cut! You will know the damage they can do. You will know the power they can rob from you.

I have survived 51 years of being called disgusting things and being made to feel dirty, as if I don’t belong here and have no value to this Australian society. That’s just me. This happens still to my mother. It happened to her mother. And her mother before her and… look – really – just how far did you need me to go back?

Words are used (and have been used) against some of the most beautiful people I have the pleasure to know (and have known) in my entire life. Only so many of them are Aboriginal.

In your house right now, there are people around you who know how I and many other Aboriginal and Islander people feel.

How surprised are you really, that people finally snap and decide in a single moment – that they can’t bear to hear that word – used against them?

I know I have. There are only so many times, you can turn the other cheek.

Ron Bradfield Jnr.

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BRILLIANT ABORIGINAL ART SHOW AT FAC

 

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The Fremantle Arts Centre re-opened again today with a brilliant exhibition of Aboriginal art.

The REVEALED Exhibition of new and emerging Aboriginal artists from all over Australia is stunning and should not be missed, and neither should the Hunter Dreaming by Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri.

The show is on until July 26, so plenty of time to go and have a look and enjoy a coffee and meal in the courtyard cafe.

Roel Loopers

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MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER MAKING HISTORY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, history, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 14, 2020

 

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History is really important to me. It was my favourite at school and I still love to read all about our past, so the  desire by some people around the world to pull down historic statues of our colonial past is not something I agree with.

The present connects the past to the future, and it is essential that we learn from the mistakes made in the past, to try to create a better world for future generations. That also means we might have to correct some of what is written about our past, because history is always written by the conquerors, and we need to hear all sides of the story and the truth.

We know that our Australian indigenous people consider the British settlement of our country an invasion, hence Australia Day is offensive to them.

We can not change our history, it is what it is with all the achievements of the early explorers and all the wrongs that were committed all over the world, in the name of progress, religion, and of course greed.

I don’t believe that pulling down statues of colonial ‘heroes’ is the way forward, but what should happen is also tell the other side, as is done well here on the Fremantle Esplanade at the Maitland Brown statue. Our Aboriginal people also got to state what they believe is the more correct history, instead of simply accepting the white men’s version of it.

The recording of history has always been selective, but we need those statues to remind us that we need to improve, hence the concentration camps in Europe can be visited. A great and extremely impressive way of dealing with the past is the Memento Park in Budapest that shows what dictatorship is all about, and to remind us all what it is like to be oppressed. We need to move forward together beyond the past.

Slavery and racism were sadly part of the colonial history, not only by the British, but also by the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, so with the worldwide BlackLivesMatter movement having so much momentum it is now time to address the one-sided history of Australia and start telling it also from the Aboriginal view point, and we also need to have more Aboriginal names in recognition of the great culture of our first nations people. The Walyalup Civic Centre is a small start, but we need to and can do better than that!

 

Roel Loopers

BLACK LIVES MATTER RALLY TODAY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, indigenous, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 13, 2020

 

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I dragged this photo of the BlackLivesMatter projections on the Rainbow container artwork off Twitter as a reminder that there will be a rally at Langley Park in Perth today from noon.

The projections were put up last night in Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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WHY BLACK LIVES MATTER

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on June 9, 2020

 

I don’t understand the sentiment of some people that we should have an All Lives Matter movement, instead of the BlackLivesMatter one, that is happening all over the world.

No one argues that not all lives matter, in fact all living creatures on this planet matter. However I have never heard anyone argue that all people matter and not only women, when the Jane McGrath pink cricket day for breast cancer is on every year, or that all lives matter when we raise funds for children medical research during Telethon.

With all due respect, the All Lives Matter sentiments can only be expressed from the privileged position of an entitled white person, who is unlikely to have been racially profiled and targeted since birth and who has never experienced the extreme disadvantage of racism, and being patronised and disrespected because of the colour of one’s skin.

As one of those privileged Wadjelas I have witnessed racism against our Australian Aboriginal people on very many occasions. When I baby sat gorgeous indigenous kids, and took them into Freo to go shopping security guards would follow us, because all black kids are shoplifters.

Black kids get stopped by police when they wear new shoes, because all black kids steal, and taxis are reluctant to pick up dark coloured people because those people don’t pay the fare or might be abusive.

We focus on five drunken Aborigines on the street and totally overlook the hundreds of drunken white people who fall out of pubs every weekend in Freo, Perth and all over Australia. Yep, All Lives Matter!

Let’s stop the nonsense of talking about equality, or that we live in a fair country. Australia has been very fair to me and I am grateful for that, but I am also grateful that I have never had to experience racial abuse. I have never been rejected a job because I am white. I have never been refused entry into a pub because I am white, I have never been stopped by police because I am white, but that happens to our Aboriginal people every day of their lives. All Lives Matter!

The BlackLivesMatter movement is about trying desperately to create a level playing field, where dark coloured people are no longer judged to be inferior to white people, where black people actually will be getting a real chance to shine and show their potential, where we appreciate their beautiful culture, and how special a people they are, and where Australia finally wakes up and sees that our indigenous people have got so much to offer and there is so much we can learn from them.

BlackLivesMatter does not exclude anyone. When we yelled Free Willy, we did not mean that other whales don’t matter, and when we protested Save Ningaloo Reef, we did not say that other reefs are less important. When we support a cause we do not mean that other causes, or other people, are less important.

If our governments are serious about equality why have we not seen huge campaigns on TV and in the print media against racism? Why is there not more community education about racism at local, state and federal level and in schools?

Fr Rod Bower of the Gosford Anglican Church puts it very succinctly: The system is not broken, it is working perfectly well and to the advantage of those for whom and by whom it was created, white, male, western, nominally Christian heterosexuals.

Because of Covid-19 I have thought long and hard about joining the BlackLivesMatter protest this Saturday at 12 noon in Langley Park, Perth, but I have so much respect for our Aboriginal people, their culture and resilience, that I have to show my solidarity, so I bought a face mask and will hop on the train, because black lives matter a lot to me!

Roel Loopers

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