Freo's View


Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on August 26, 2020



A study by Fremantle’s Notre Dame University will try to find out how the Covid-19 lockdown affected our physical and mental wellbeing.

What lessons can be learnt from the lockdown we collectively experienced between April and June this year? That is the question researchers from The University of Notre Dame Australia are trying to answer.

The study is being led by Director of the Institute for Health Research Fremantle, Professor Jim Codde, and includes a project team of subject matter experts in Dr Paola Chivers; Professor Caroline Bulsara; Dr Ben Piggott; Michelle Lambert; Dr Lynne Millar and Dr Ranila Bhoyroo.

Those interested in taking part in this state-wide study are asked to complete a short online survey that explores any changes in diet, exercise, and mental well-being during both the COVID lockdown period and currently. 

The results of the study will not only give researchers an understanding of the effects of Western Australia’s first lockdown, but will also inform health promotion campaigns that aim to help all Western Australians better cope physically and mentally in the event of any future lockdown periods.

By completing the survey, participants will be contributing to a broad database of answers that will allow researchers to answer three key questions:

·         What changes in nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behaviour occurred during the COVID-19 lockdown?

·         Why did these changes occur and what was the impact on mental well-being and Quality of Life?

·         Did the social and economic impact of the lockdown affect mental well-being and Quality of Life?

While it is uncertain whether WA will re-enter lockdown, to put ourselves in the best possible position for any eventuality it is vital that we can understand not only how we ourselves were affected, but also the rest of our community. 

The survey is open now and can be accessed by visiting this link.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, community, covid-19, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on April 19, 2020




It is interesting how we all cope in different ways with the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions on our moving around town and socialising.

I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is for those who are suddenly unemployed and had to queue up at Centrelink, or for business owners who were either forced to close in the hospitality industry, or closed because people are not out and about and shopping.

For a person living on their own it might seem enviable at times to be surrounded by family or living with a partner, I have no doubt though that creates different challenges the longer the restrictions are in place.

For me personally this is a good time with less pressure to be part of the community, to engage with people, go to concerts, art shows, council meetings, or catch up for a drink in a pub with friends.

I am more relaxed today after three weeks of only going out for a morning walk, having a coffee and do food shopping, and another walk late afternoon. There is no pressure to perform, although I am keen to continue with daily posts on Freo’s View, and that is getting harder because a lot less is going on.

While I love people I also really like my own company and the solitude of reading a good book, or having an afternoon siesta. Reading has always been the great escape for me, from broken hearts to depressions and business concerns. When I read my brain does not wander off to negative thoughts. I love cooking, so preparing the daily dinner is another form of relaxation for me.

What I most miss is communication and not talking with people. There are days when I have only exchanged a few words with the lovely ladies at Chalkys cafe in the morning and nothing else.

I find this time of contemplation very relaxing. I think more about the past and the adventure life has been for me, and all the fantastic people I have met on my journey. I think about how special it is to live in Fremantle and being part of such a great community, so instead of feeling anxious I feel grateful for the life I have and the life I lived.

We all deal with crisis in different ways, but for me acceptance and knowing this is well outside my control is important, and I am thankful for the Dutch pragmatism that is part of my heritage.

Stay well Fremantle and keep up the social distancing and isolation, because it is much better for us than having thousands of people die from Covid-19.

Roel Loopers



Posted in children, city of fremantle, community, covid-19, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on April 9, 2020


Play 1


There is a sense of sadness to see children’s playgrounds closed, but it is essential to continue doing it to protect the young ones in our community from the coronavirus.

I took these historic photos at the Fremantle South Beach playground yesterday morning.

While so many people are struggling there is also something special about this period in our lives. There is so much time for stillness and contemplation, and the realisation we don’t actually have to be entertained and connect with people 24/7.

The fact that we no longer can go out to pubs and bars, concerts, restaurants and cafes will hopefully bring us back to realising what our priorities in life should be, because now more than in a very long time do we see how precious life is, and how awfully short it can be.

This is a time to spread love and support and show real great community spirit. This is the time for property owners to take on corporate responsibility and trying to support their tenants as best as they can.

We cannot allow the silence and loneliness to make people depressed and anxious, so we need to connect, while allowing life to take its course.

The overriding sentiment should be that most people are good people, and that most are willing to help, especially in Fremantle.

Stay safe and well, Freo!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, mental health, photographer, Uncategorized by freoview on October 3, 2019


I am deeply saddened to hear from the Fremantle Herald that beautiful soul Beaconsfield photographer Matthew Dwyer has been found deceased at Bluff Knoll.

Matthew was a truly delightful and gentle human being and a great photographer who loved going hiking at Bluff Knoll.

Fremantle has lost a very special man. May he be at peace.

My heart goes out to his family and his large group of friends.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, health, mental health, Uncategorized by freoview on September 12, 2019



It is R U OK? day today and like every day of the year we need to be asking that question.

There are so very many people in Australia with mental health problems, with depression and anxiety, and suicide far too often seems to be the only solution for those in despair.

As someone who suffered from depression for a very long time, now thankfully years ago, I know the struggle, the feeling of being abandoned by the world and the black hole that seems to be getting deeper and darker as there appears to be no future.

It is so very important to turn to friends of family and tell them how you feel, without being judged or pitied, and it is very important that we all ask ourselves and those around us R U OK?

Life can be an enormous struggle sometimes, and no one should feel ashamed when they are down in the doldrums, not even when it is self-inflicted. There is always hope and there is so much beauty in our world and so many very good people!

Be honest with yourself and don’t pretend to be happy, because acknowledging the problem is the very first important step to recovery and healing.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on ARE WE REALLY OK?


Posted in city of fremantle, homelessness, social services, st patricks, Uncategorized by freoview on August 8, 2019


Friday 10-12 mall talks



COUCH CONVOS is on tomorrow-Friday in the Fremantle High Street mall between 10-12am and will help people to get over some of the ignorance about homelessness.

People who have been homeless will talk about their experience; how they got there, how they coped with it and what the challenges were and are.

Many homeless people have mental health issues and far too many of those who sleep on the street are only in their teens.

Take the time to go and listen and engage with homeless people and don’t judge them as being the enemies of our society. Homelessness is a very serious social issue that needs priority in our governments as it is not acceptable that so many thousands of people have to sleep rough every night.

Roel Loopers






A partnership between state and local government, the private sector and community service providers to address rough sleeping in Fremantle was announced today.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt joined Community Services Minister and Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, Sirona Capital Managing Director Matthew McNeilly and other key stakeholders in Fremantle today to launch the 20 Lives 20 Homes campaign.

20 Lives 20 Homes is two-year initiative which will provide housing and wrap-around support to some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Fremantle.

It is based on the 50 Lives 50 Homes collective impact project, which has successfully housed more than 147 rough sleepers in Perth over the past three years.

The program will be coordinated by Ruah Community Services in conjunction with St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, Fremantle Foundation and the City of Fremantle.

Sirona’s Matthew McNeilly has driven private sector support for the program, raising almost $1 million from a small number of individuals with strong Fremantle connections.

The state government is contributing a further $395,000 over two years, while the City of Fremantle has committed $40,000 this year with a further $40,000 proposed for next year.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said the program was an important step towards addressing homelessness in Fremantle. “This commitment to solve rough sleeping, rather than just manage it, is potentially a game changer on an issue that has sadly become more prevalent in many communities.

“I look forward to seeing some of the most vulnerable people in Fremantle being given a home and the support they need to get their lives back together.”

Mr McNeilly said the plight of homeless people in Fremantle hit home when the Kings Square Renewal project was about to commence.

“At the point Sirona was about to turn Kings Square into a construction site, I realised the redevelopment would displace a significant number of people who were using the doorways and vacant shops of the old Myer and Queensgate buildings for shelter,” Mr McNeilly said.

“I didn’t want anyone to be negatively impacted by the redevelopment, particularly the people sleeping rough.

“I remember overhearing a local business owner’s disparaging comment about a homeless person, saying that someone should do something about these people. The reality is it takes multiple ‘someones’, hence this initiative.”

Ruah Community Services Chief Executive Debra Zanella said 20 Lives 20 Homes would deliver a person-centred approach that links people to accommodation and support services that can address personal circumstances.

“We are privileged to be invited to deliver this targeted program to Fremantle, in partnership with St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, the state government, the City and the private sector,” Ms Zanella said.

“We believe the success of the 50 Lives 50 Homes program is proof that ending rough sleeping in WA is achievable, as we work toward tackling the much broader and complex issue of homelessness.”

Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk said the state government was proud to support a program that would make a difference for people sleeping rough in Fremantle.

“The 20 Lives 20 Homes program takes a housing-first approach and will help people experiencing homelessness get a roof over their head, which is an important first step, but it will also connect them with the support services that can get them out of homelessness permanently,” Ms McGurk said.




Aug 5 Homelessness Week


It is HOMELESSNESS WEEK so a reminder that many thousands of Australians sleep rough on the streets and in the wet and cold every night without protection for their safety. It is estimated that there are 9,000 homeless people in WA and we see quite a few in Fremantle as well.

Homelessness is shameful in a wealthy country like Australia and its needs to be prioritised by our federal and state governments because a very large percentage of homeless people are under the age of 18. They especially deserve our care and protection.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, health, indigenous, racism, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on March 28, 2019


While there has been a huge outrage, and rightly so, about the online racial abuse of West Coast Eagles indigenous player Liam Ryan we should never underestimate the daily racist abuse that is going on elsewhere in our society.

I just heard this disgusting little episode that happened in Fremantle this week. The Aboriginal Health Council of WA has a conference in the Esplanade Hotel Lead The Way; Challenge The Possibilities; Imagine the Future, where Aboriginal health workers from all over the state are gathering, and what happened?

Several of the female participants had a smoke outside the hotel during a conference break when a white male drove by and yelled out to them “Why don’t you get a job you black c….!”

Yes, this is still happening in 2019 in Australia! Our indigenous people still get racially abused daily by ignorant dickheads and we need to call it out, every time, each time, always, because it is unacceptable.

On behalf of the Fremantle community I want to apologise to the health workers for the racist fool’s abuse you had to suffer. Fremantle is better than that. I am so sorry!

Roel Loopers




Last night our time my oldest sister Marja died in the Netherlands. She was euthanised.

I am not sharing this with you because of narcissism but because the Western Australian government also want to legalise doctor assisted dying and I believe that is a very humane intent. There are community information sessions and community consultation and a very long online survey that took me 20 minutes, but is worth doing.

I am so grateful that my sister died in her own bed in her own home and with dignity and that she had plenty of time to receive family and friends and say goodbye.

The process she had to go through was lengthy and very thorough before an expert committee decided that she was eligible for euthanasia.

Legalising assisted dying is about giving people a choice instead of forcing them to commit suicide in awful and very lonely ways. It should not be politicised or being kidnapped by religious leaders.

There is no threat to religious or cultural values. No one can be forced to be euthanised and neither can doctors be forced to administer it. In my sister’s case her new doctor-the old one had retired-told her it was too early in his young career to feel comfortable assisting her so she was referred to an older colleague.

My sister Marja was assessed on her health and mental health by different practitioners who wrote reports which were considered by an independent panel. There was nothing easy or flippant about that process and not at all what some panel members at last year’s Notre Dame university forum claimed.

Call me an old cynic, but it comes as no surprise to me that the billion dollar age care industry and the billion dollar palliative care industry are against euthanasia, and so are those who believe that only a god can take a life. For those of us who are not religious the promise of heaven, paradise or nirvana is irrelevant, but euthanasia is our pragmatic and humane choice if life is coming to a painful, slow and unstoppable end. We don’t let animals suffer, so why not apply the same compassion to human beings.

It is astounding how unprepared we are for death. It is the elephant in the room that not many people want to talk about. We are not taught how to deal with it, so at the end we try to deal with it the best we can with empathy. I was lucky to be able to Skype with my sister often over the last couple of months and that was good for both of us.

Marja was just three years older than I am and was always there for me. She had inoperable cancer. I am so grateful that she was allowed to die with dignity. All her pain and worries are now over.

Roel Loopers

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