Freo's View


Posted in art, artsource, fremantle, western australia by freoview on June 13, 2016

There are some rumblings among the members of the WA ARTSOURCE organisation, who are not happy with the changes the board wants to make to the very popular Basel Exchange.

Artsource started over 25 years ago in the Old Customs House in Phillimore Street as the Fremantle Artist Foundation, a support organisation for Western Australian artists, and has since grown into the very effective Artsource which promotes and supports local artists, rents out affordable studios around Perth to artists, etc.

It has also been involved for over twenty years in the Basel Exchange program where WA artists are sent to Switzerland and supplied with studio space and accommodation for a six months period. In exchange artists from Basil come here and stay at the international studio in Fremantle.

The six months gives artists from both countries sufficient time to get a real feel of the foreign culture and art, and  to collaborate with local artists, but now the Artsource management wants to cut the exchange period to just six weeks.

Many Basel artists who stayed in Fremantle have travelled WA to see our outback and have responded to that experience in exhibitions they had here and back at home, and Perth artists have connected with the Swiss lifestyle and countryside and their new art reflected upon that experience.

I agree with the disgruntled Artsource members that six weeks is not enough to get a real insight into a foreign culture, travel and have a meaningful exchange with overseas artists.

I hear the reason the management wants to make the change is to add more exchange destinations and that is a good idea in principle, but not at the cost of cutting down the Basel Exchange program so drastically. From six months to six weeks is ridiculous and should be reconsidered. Maybe a compromise could be reached with four months?

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, sailing, world match racing tour by freoview on March 2, 2016


The first of the races of the international World Match Racing Tour started at Fremantle’s Bathers Bay this morning and what a great spectacle it is to watch.

The Fremantle Doctor sea breeze came in quite early, but sitting at Bathers Beach I thought how privileged I am to live in such an amazing city. It brought a tear to my eye.

It is disappointing that this world event has been so badly promoted, so please spread the word and come out to watch it over the next five days.

There are 20 international teams participating and the races are with five boats. The teams use the same five boats, so they swap crews for the races. After tomorrow the bottom ten teams will be eliminated and then the finals can get started, culminating on Monday in the grand final where only two boats will be racing.

Roel Loopers/ROEL.COM.AU


Posted in fremantle, roundhouse, tourism by freoview on February 18, 2016

What an absolutely brilliant, positive and interesting day we had at the Fremantle Roundhouse today! It is such a delight to talk with people from all over the world who all love Freo and have got nothing negative to say. Only a few might mention that it is expensive in WA.

Volunteering as tourguide at the state’s oldest public building really makes you appreciate people and how nice, funny and delightful most of them are.

We had school kids from the Manjimup area, groups from Malaysia and Brasil, many German, Dutch, French and Swiss people, and Chinese, Korean, Italian, Belgian, USA, Canadian, Japanese, Ukrainian, Kiwis, English, Scottish, Irish, Aussies from all over the country, and more from elsewhere.

If you are thinking of doing volunteer work, contact the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides and bring international positivity into your life!

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle by freoview on December 30, 2015

According to WordPress statistics I have been beavering away and worked hard in 2015 to keep this Freo’s View blog relevant and interesting for the Fremantle community. I have published 1054 articles so far this year. This one is 1055.

The importance of the blog to Fremantle and as a promotion for our city is also relevant with the WP figures showing that most readers come from Australia, but are closely followed by readers from the United States and UK. Readers in 132 countries clicked on my blog this year to find out what is going on in good old Freo!

Writing this blog is a commitment and dedication to the Freo community as it has become a platform for people and politicians to voice their opinion.

I will keep plugging away to keep Freo’s View interesting and up to date with information about events, art exhibitions and also to scrutinise Fremantle Council. I can only do that if you all participate by sending me information about what great things are planned for Freo, what new development is around the corner, when new shops open around town, or when you see or hear something that is worth writing about.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, fremantle markets by freoview on December 15, 2015

It is disappointing that the owners of the Fremantle Markets pub have called it a day because of a steep 38 per cent rent increase by the Murdoch family who operate the markets. The pub was a bit of an iconic go-to destination for many Freo locals and regular visitors to the markets and it is a shame that the financial bottom line mattered more to the market operators than the pub’s historic tradition and community aspects.

The word greed is mentioned a few times on Facebook by disgruntled supporters of the pub and while every business has got the right to maximise profits they also have a corporate responsibility to the community. There is still huge resentment in some parts of the Fremantle community that the Murdochs were given the lease for the markets by the City of Fremantle and some people also resent the changes and modernisation of the historic markets.

I believe the markets have improved with a much better food hall, so it is a shame that the closure of the pub will see more negativity popping up.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, notre dame university by freoview on December 9, 2015


Hundreds of students have been graduating at Fremantle NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY this week and what a delightful sight it was in the west end this morning. It is fantastic to see young people from all over the planet come to Fremantle to study and more and more want to be here with the application numbers for next year up substantially.

Once I’ll get the numbers from UNDA I will let you know, as the university greatly contributes to Fremantle’s economy, even when the whingers say they don’t pay Council rates.

Roel Loopers

Transparent Loopy: I did a paid photo shoot for UNDA last week. ; >)



Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on December 8, 2015


I took these photos yesterday afternoon at Fremantle Port. There is not a day that I don’t visit the working port to see what is going on. It’s never the same and it’s never boring with international ships coming and going, and I often see dolphins playing in the water, which is an added bonus. Love the Port!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on December 7, 2015

Experts at the CEO Voice session of the Australian Institute of Management believe that tourism has the potential to be a key economic growth area for Western Australia and it is something Fremantle should tap into and not take tourism for granted.

Statistics show that 62 million Chinese people visit Australia so we need to start embracing them and entice them to come to Fremantle.

What is severely missing in Fremantle are multilingual signs to help direct visitors around our city. Chinese and Japanese visitors, to name just two, can’t read English so they can’t make sense out of street or directional signs. Maybe a phone App would help as even on-line translations might not be helpful when it comes to street names.

At the Fremantle Roundhouse we have many translations for overseas tourists and they appreciate it very much. We have Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Serb/Croat, Italian, French, German, Dutch, Indonesian, etc. so if a small volunteer group can supply a multilingual service than surely the City of Fremantle can do it even bigger and better.

Freo is in a kind of development frenzy, and some of it will be hotels and tourist accommodation, so it is time to start thinking international not only for the City but also for tourist operators and the hospitality industry. What about translating your menu, or part of it, in foreign languages which can be presented to diners on a tablet where all they need to do is click on the ikon of the flag of their country to get the menu in their own language. That’s the kind of stuff BID could be involved in.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on December 2, 2015

I have been thinking about the Committee for Perth suggestion that Fremantle should market itself as Little Italy because we have a high percentage of Italian restaurants and residents with an Italian background. It would be the same kind of  silly real estate marketing that suggests that Mandurah has a resemblance to Venice just because it has some canals.

Fremantle is Freo. It is unique and multicultural and has great character, and we have many Italians living here and many mainly mediocre ‘Italian’ restaurants. Let’s be honest, it is hard to find a true Italian restaurant in Fremantle that would be given more than a 12/20 rating by restaurant reviewers.

Our outstanding heritage architecture in the west end is British rather than Italian, so why should Fremantle pretend it is a little bit like Italy? It isn’t!

Fremantle is a fantastic summer festival city with the, in my opinion, outstanding Street Art Festival at Easter. That is what we should be promoting to overseas and interstate visitors, not the fact that we have a lot of restaurants who sell more or less the same kind of uninspiring pasta dishes.

Fremantle also has a real multicultural feeling with people from all over the earth living here, and making it even more exciting are all the international students at Notre Dame University who add colour and vibrancy to our city.

Fremantle does not look or feel Italian, it feels just like Freo and that is a very good thing and a great brand to promote, so why bother putting it into a drawer and pretend we are more Italian in Fremantle than Croation, English, Greek, German, Macedonian, Dutch, Irish, or whatever.

Freo is a great place to live and tourist who visit love it because it is so different from Perth. Only last week a couple who had just driven around Australia said for them Fremantle was the most beautiful city they had visited on their long journey. That is the stuff we need to be proud off and promote, not just one ethnic group who have made Freo their home.


Posted in cruiseship, explorer of the seas, fremantle by freoview on November 13, 2015

Summer and the cruise ship season has well and truly started in Fremantle. The Explorer of the Seas, the largest cruise ship based in Australia, did berth in Fremantle Port this morning. The vessel is 138,000 ton and capable of accommodating 3,800 guests. With a whopping 311 metres-long it is 62 metres bigger that Perth’ biggest building Central Park.

The Passenger Terminal and surrounds looked like an ant hill this morning with so many people coming and going. Great fun!

Roel Loopers


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