Freo's View


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, fremantle foundation, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on February 20, 2018


The Fremantle Foundation is holding a Vital Conversation about Australia’s shared history – opening hearts, opening minds

It is an intensive one day workshop exploring ‘Australia’s Shared History’.

We learnt about Captain Cook, Stirling and Fremantle and the history of British colonisation but most of us know very little about Australia’s history from the Indigenous perspective.

With discussions around Australia Day increasing and the success of One Day in Fremantle, this Vital Conversation offers the chance to take the next step in your personal understanding.

This one day intensive brings knowledge and deep insights into the shared history of Australians. It looks through the eyes of the First Australians and with this Indigenous perspective sheds light on a past we all share.

Specifically it will increase effective and respectful professional and personal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by:

  • gaining knowledge of our shared history from an Indigenous perspective
  • increasing awareness of the impacts which continue to affect Aboriginal Australians today
  • learning to be comfortable and confident in the third space

It is on at 8.30AM – 4.30PM, Tuesday 27th February in the Big Hall in the Old Boys School, 92 Adelaide St. Fremantle, just opposite the Basilica.

Cost: $80 per person

Lunch and refreshments are provided.

The day is facilitated by Jenny Hunter and Kelly Terry, with guest Aboriginal presenters including respected Aboriginal elder Dr Noel Nannup.


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, 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 alcohol, city of fremantle, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on July 10, 2017


The owners of the KIOSK at Fremantle Beach Street, opposite the East Street Jetty, can thank their good luck that Fremantle Council did not sign off on handing over the former DADAA building next door to become the new location for the Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

I doubt that under those circumstances the City of Fremantle would have agreed to change the popular cafe from cafe to tavern, as they requested, and will be debated at the FPOL Committee this Wednesday.

The KIOSK wants to expand their business and have applied for a variation in license from 240 sqm to approximately 418 sqm, and they want to apply for a tavern liquor license to accommodate small functions and groups that is up to now restricted to table service.

The City of Fremantle is at present liaising with Aboriginal elders and groups to find out what they want to achieve with a cultural centre and then find an appropriate building in Freo for our Noongar friends.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, culture by freoview on March 20, 2017

Fremantle Council will consider this Wednesday if they should start a six-months process for a Noongar ‘Eldership’ to come up with a concept for the Beach Street building at the East Street jetty, that will be vacated by DADAA soon.

The issue for me is that I hear that this time a different group of Noongars will be consulted than those who were involved with the Walyalup Centre and I believe that is a problem.

It seems to me that the City of Fremantle is putting the cart before the horse and have already decided on this one location, when there is not even a proper concept of what the local Aboriginal people want and need, and what they want might be better somewhere else.

I know Fremantle Council’s heart is in the right place but for me it smells a wee bit of patronising tokenism as the Wadjelas are generously offering a space that might not be suitable at all for the Noongars, as is the case with the present Walyalup Centre at Arthur Head, that has failed for many reasons that have yet all to be assessed.

Why not have a proper and inclusive process managed by the Aboriginal South West Land Council, instead of selectively including and excluding certain families in the decision-making for a new Aboriginal cultural community centre?

Why not find out first if the Noongar people want a community centre as a meeting place for themselves, or if they want a Noongar showcase for tourists that could generate income through the sale of art and events, or a combination of both.

Why restrict the Noongars to only the one location at Beach Street when maybe a nature-based location would be better for them in Booyeembarra Park or out of town. Maybe a bigger bush project where Fremantle collaborates with Cockburn could be an option?

To me it feels too much like dogooders wanting a feel-good process instead of a best-outcome based one where Noongar people will take on ownership of the new centre and manage and run it autonomously.

What we should want for our Whadjuk Noongar people is the very best cultural centre, not just any space that is available.

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, culture, fremantle, sculpture@bathers by freoview on March 12, 2017


Local Noongar people created a moving end to the Fremantle Sculpture@Bathers show at Bathers Beach by setting fire at sunset to the Jarrah tree installation by Replants artist Bruce Abbott.

The heavy afternoon rain made the trees too wet to go up in blazing glory, but there was a stunning sunset, a rainbow and a lot of people interested in Noongar culture.

There was also a celebration of the Labor election win and the protection of the Beeliar Wetlands.

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, culture, nyoongar by freoview on March 4, 2017

The future of the DADAA building at Beach Street opposite the East Street Jetty will not be known for at least half a year if the FPOL Committee of the City of Fremantle decides this Wednesday to allow an ‘Eldership’ of Noongar people to explore options for an Aboriginal  cultural centre there that would replace the unsuccessful Walyalup centre at Arthur’s Head.

The agenda item seeks Council’s consideration to support a process by a local group of Noongar Elders to develop a proposal to enable them to be in a position to seek access via a lease to the 21 Beach Street, Fremantle site for their purposes.

It is proposed that the ‘Eldership’ be given adequate time by delaying an Expression of Interest process for the lease of the building for a period of up to six months and that the local group be empowered to undertake any necessary community engagement and work to develop a proposal for consideration.

City officers recommend that up to $20,000 be made available to the group to support that process, including for the use of consultants or resources that may be required.


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, culture, indigenous, local government by freoview on February 23, 2017

The lease of the DADAA premises at Beach Street opposite the East Street jetty was on the Fremantle Council agenda on Wednesday.

DADAA is moving into the former Boys School at Princess May Park and the officers wanted an Expressions of Interest period to find out which community groups are interested in leasing the building.

Speakers from arts, disability and the RSL expressed an interest in moving into the building, but a motion by Councillor Pemberton that there should be a three-months period to see if the building would be better suited for the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre than the present one at Arthur’s Head did get support from her fellow Councillors.

I do agree with Pemberton’s sentiment that Noongar people who are still suffering from multi-generational trauma deserve and need support to lift them to a same level playing field as other community groups. However that support was already there and the City invested $ 200,000 a year for two years in the Walyalup centre at Mrs Trivett Lane that got very little support from the Noongar community and basically failed to make any impact at all.

It was clear from the beginning that it would be very hard to make it successful because of family feuding in the Noongar community. The manager of the centre told me he had even considered a roster so certain families could use the centre on some days, and some on other days, because they would not be willing to share the space on the same days.

We know that there is constant disagreement who is allowed to speak or not for certain parts of the Perth metro region with some families claiming to be the only descendants of Yagan while other families claim they are also direct descendants of the great Noongar warrior.

This will affect the success of the Walyalup centre no matter if it is at Arthur’ Head or near Cantonment Hill. An EOI period to find an Aboriginal group to manage the existing Walyalup centre has failed so far and it is unlikely that the City will be able to find a Noongar group willing to pay the $ 16,000.00 rent per annum for leasing the Beach Street building.

My concern is that we will have a period where other community groups will be excluded from bidding for the DADAA building at Beach Street while the City is engaging with Noongar elders about the prospect of them running an autonomous cultural community centre.

We know from past experience that this will be a long drawn-out process that no doubt will require money to pay consultants and those attending meetings with no guarantee whatsoever that there will be a positive outcome and good community use for the Beach Street building.

In the meantime the Arthur Head Aboriginal cultural centre will remain a flop and closed most days and won’t be put back for Expressions of Interest, although Arts on the Move, who expressed interest in the DADAA building, appears to be a perfect tenant for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct building.

It is imperative that the City of Fremantle does not allow the Noongar consultation to go further than three months as it would hold back the opportunity for other groups to move in, in case Noongar elders can’t come to an agreement on who and how to run the Walyalup centre in the new location.

While I deeply respect Aboriginal culture the City needs to be realistic about the fact that the DADAA building can’t be allowed to be vacant for too long as that will attract anti social behaviour and homeless people to the building, and the same applies to the Walyalup Centre at Arthur’s Head.

What also should be considered is if a city centre location is really the best for a Noongar community centre as not many Aboriginal people live in the CBD. Maybe a building in the Hilton/White Gum Valley area would be more appropriate if the centre is not meant to be a cultural centre for overseas and Wadjela visitors.

The Noongar community will need to make a few good decisions fast if they are genuinely interested in managing a community centre. Kaya!

Roel Loopers


Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, indigenous, local government by freoview on February 9, 2017

The FPOL Committee of the City of Fremantle were debating the use of the DADAA premises at Beach Street last evening and the better use and/or better return for Council owned properties.

DADAA are moving into the former Boys School and FTI building at Princess May Park and the building opposite the East Street jetty they are using will become vacant in a few months, so expressions of interest will be sought by the CoF for that building.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton suggested the building could be used for the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre, which has failed to make an impact at Arthur’s Head, but I doubt the new location would make it any more successful because it is well away from tourism routes in Fremantle.

It came as a surprise to me that Councillor Sam Wainwright said the City should be clear about what the Aboriginal centre could be, because that focus should have been there three years ago before putting the centre in a former pilot’s cottage in the heritage precinct, which the city in its wisdom made into an unsuccessful arts precinct, where they then also wanted to put a tavern and outside music venue in.

The Walyalup Centre failed to attract overseas visitors and the local Aboriginal community because it wanted to do a tiny bit of everything and lacked focus, creativity and energy.

The seasonal programs on offer were very similar each time and there was no variety. There were also no events for tourists, especially the thousands of cruiseship passengers who might well have been interested in Aboriginal music and dance and story telling.

The centre attracted only a handful of people each month when hundred metres away from it the Roundhouse gets thousands of visitors each month.

The cottage is wrong, the offerings of the centre uninspired and not focussed on attracting people, and the Aboriginal community never embraced the idea and did not make it into a community hub for Noongar people.

I doubt very much that there would be improvement if the centre moved to Beach Street because it is the lack of concept and lack of passion that made it fail at Arthur Head. Who will change that?

Roel Loopers


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