Freo's View

FREMANTLE PHOTOGRAPHER DECEASED AT BLUFF KNOLL

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

ARE WE REALLY OK?

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

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WHY PEOPLE BECOME HOMELESS

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

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FREMANTLE HELP FOR THE HOMELESS

 

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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.

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HOMELESSNESS WEEK A REMINDER OF AUSTRALIA’S SHAME

 

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

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ABORIGINAL HEALTH WORKERS DESERVE FREMANTLE APOLOGY

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

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THANK THE LAW MY SISTER DIED WITH DIGNITY

 

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

FREMANTLE CITIZENS OF THE YEAR AWARD

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on January 26, 2019

 

 

An advocate dedicated to preventing Aboriginal families from being evicted from their homes has been named Fremantle’s Citizen of the Year.

Jennifer Kaeshagen is the founder and director of the First Nations Homelessness Project, which supports at-risk families and specialises in helping families avoid eviction from public housing.

With the assistance of an army of volunteers, the project has reduced the eviction rate of Aboriginal families from public housing by 25 per cent.

In the past 15 months alone Jennifer and her team have prevented the evictions of more than 100 households.

Nurse and midwife Ronelle Brossard was named Fremantle’s Senior Citizen of the Year for her decades-long commitment to providing culturally diverse women access to health and well-being support services.

Ronelle was a champion for the founding of the Meeting Place in South Fremantle, which still provides community programs today, and in 1984 established the Fremantle Women’s Health Centre which provides medical and counselling services as well as a program of health education and activities.

Fremantle Young Citizen of the Year award was presented to local Nyoongar woman Sally Gamble, who works with the Fremantle Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and volunteers her time with the Hilton PCYC.

The Active Citizenship award was won by the Fremantle Men’s Community Shed, while a certificate of appreciation was presented to Boomerang Bags Fremantle for their efforts to reduce plastic bag use.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said all of the Fremantle Citizens of Year embodied the community spirit Fremantle is famous for.

“The Citizen of the Year awards recognise and celebrate active citizenship and significant contributions to the life of our community,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“All of this year’s recipients share a passion for Fremantle and a love of its people, and they’ve all have made huge sacrifices to provide help and support to people who need it.

 

Roel Loopers

 

BIG ST PATRICK’S CHRISTMAS LUNCH

 

 

More than 200 people enjoyed a three-course Christmas lunch in Princess May Park, organised by Fremantle’s St Patrick’s community care.

Fremantle Labor member Minister Simone McGurk was there, as were Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and his young daughter Aoife, who was a bit worried about Santa, played by former Freo Councillor Rob Fittock.

St Pat’s Michael Piu and Victor Crevatin were supported by many volunteers when they were serving  the Christmas roast.

It was a heart-warming event and nice to see so many smiling faces from those who are doing it tough.

Roel Loopers

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WHERE IS REAL GOVERNMENT ACTION ON HOMELESSNESS?

 

One of the problems going to many forums about homelessness and (affordable) housing is that you have heard it all before and wonder when the action will start and the talk fests stop.

Nothing I heard last night at the Politics in the Pubs event by the Fremantle Network at The Local Hotel was new, but that isn’t the fault of the two speakers, who were equally frustrated about it.

Sam Knight of RUAH said the fundamental thing is that homeless people need homes, but they also need support workers to help with social, health and mental health problems.

The cost on the health system by not supplying sufficient affordable houses is enormous and governments fail to recognise that.

Victor Crevatin, the Director of Housing and Support Services at Fremantle’s St Patrick’s, said St Pat’s has been working with homeless people since 1971 and in 2017 had supplied 31,000 meals and 1,200 clothes to those in need, and 500 people were given accommodation.

Like Sam Knight, Crevatin said it is not just about providing houses, but that it needs support services to get people back on track.

There is the need to turn the generational NIMBY attitude around, and it is all about education to get rid of the bullshit myth about affordable housing and anti-social behaviour!

Sam Knight said it was also about offering the right mix of housing. We need to give choices about accommodation from shared accommodation to single apartments. “What are the best low-cost constructions we can do?” We need to recognise housing has a social and health aspect!

As I heard a week earlier at the Fremantle Safety Forum, there appears to be a serious issue with support agencies not collaborating well and the state government should do something about trying to streamline that, so that there is better coordination and information sharing, to the benefit of those in need.

Comment: I have supported the Fremantle Network since it started and have very often found the meetings very good, but the nice bloke, who shall remain unnamed, who took over from Rachel Pemberton to organise the Fremantle Network loves hogging the limelight. Last night again his introduction of the topic and two expert speakers was far too long. Just a short and succinct intro will do instead of babbling on for 15 minutes. Participate in the Q&A as Rachel used to do, but don’t give a very long speech. It’s not about you!

Roel Loopers

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