Freo's View


Posted in abeautifulcity, art, arthur head, city of fremantle, culture, roundhouse by freoview on January 29, 2017



While the City of Fremantle has been contemplating how to activate historic Arthur’s Head, long time occupants are already doing it well and appropriately.

Yesterday we had a huge crowd at the Roundhouse for the Nyoongar smoking ceremony and for the last weeks we had sell-out performances inside the Roundhouse in the evenings for the Out of the Cave Fringe Festival show. See the photo above I took last night at 7.45 pm.

Great also that Glen Cowans opened his underwater photography gallery next to the Roundhouse early at 9 am yesterday during the smoking ceremony!

Down the road at J Shed the number 2, 3 and 4 galleries with Greg James, Janet Nixon, Jina Lee, Lesley Barret, Jenny Dawson, Peter Zuvela, Ross Potter and Ellen McCarthy are all involved in activation. Sculptures are on the reserve, exhibitions are organised, there are programs for school children during the holidays and a real engagement with the community.

Interesting that one Freo Councillor said to me yesterday that when the Roundhouse puts new displays up we need to acknowledge the Nyoongar people, and that is already planned. But we are waiting for the City to put power into the Roundhouse so we can start applying for grants and it would also be a very good idea for the City to allocate a substantial amount of money for that to support the volunteer organisation. We are looking after over 130,000 visitors a year, seven days a week and only close on Good Friday and Christmas Day, so we are a significant tourist destination.

At the smoking ceremony four of the elderly Roundhouse guides came in very early to support the event. Pretty bloody good I reckon, and two of them were on duty every night for the theatre performance!

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, fremantle by freoview on January 28, 2017

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Roel Loopers




Posted in aboriginal, australia day, city of fremantle, indigenous, roundhouse, western australia by freoview on January 28, 2017


The W.A. Nyoongar First Nation people held a major cleansing smoking ceremony at the Fremantle Roundhouse and Bathers Beach this Saturday morning.

The very moving event attracted around 1,300 people to Arthur’s Head and made me quite emotional.

This was an event about Nyoongars and Wadjelas moving forward together and left me with real hope for the future.

This was not anti Australia Day but pro Australia. It was not about victims and perpetrators but about real reconciliation with mutual respect and about considering an alternative day to celebrate Australia.

One Day in Freo continues at the Esplanade today from 2 pm and from 4 pm with a concert with Mama Kin, John Butler and Dan Sultan.

Join in and spread the love!

Non commercial organisations are free to use these photos. Just drop and drag. Credit: Roel Loopers.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Unfortunately I won’t be able to take photos of the Esplanade event as I will be on guide duty at the Roundhouse for the Fringe Festival show there this evening.


Posted in aboriginal, arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, history, indigenous by freoview on January 27, 2017



Tomorrow, Saturday January 28 will be a very special community day in Fremantle that will celebrate our history and multiculturalism.

It starts of at 9.30 am at Arthur Head with a significant smoking ceremony by Nyoongar elders.

Two four hundred-year-old boomerangs from the South West will fly again from the hands of youngsters.

Aboriginal dancers and representatives will conduct smoking ceremonies in three locations – in the Round House, in front of the Round House and in the Bathers’ Beach area.  Small ceremonial fires held within metal dishes will be positioned in three locations and manned by representatives.

The ceremonies will be delivered in unified sequence across the three locations with the main ceremonial fire inside the Round House and a Ceremonial Progression of Aboriginal and General Community witnesses and participants together with the greater community led by Aboriginal elders out onto Bathers Beach.

Burning of Balga trees will take place on the grassed area in front of J Shed at 6.00pm.

And from 2 pm on the One Day In Freo event is at the Esplanade with family entertainment and from 4 pm on the great John Butler, Mama Kin and Dan Sultan will perform live from 4 pm.

It’s going to be a fantastic day to celebrate our diversity and sense of community and the huge contribution everyone has made to make Fremantle the very special and unique place it is.

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle, nepal by freoview on June 14, 2015

A large crowd game to the RESTORING NEPAL concert at the beautiful Fremantle Sailing Club on Saturday, raising funds for the earthquake victims in Nepal.

Empire Blues, The Nervous Investors and Mutima Band got the dancing feet going while the Gyuto Monks of Tiber joined Nyoongar elder Richard Walley in a welcome to country eith a combination of chanting and didgeridoo music.

It was a splendid evening and the organisors have to be thanked for their compassion and the hard work they did. Well done all who donated time and auction items. The Fremantle community showed yet again that we care. Well done all!!!!!!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, indigenous, reconciliation by freoview on May 26, 2015

It is SORRY DAY today where Australia contemplates the mistakes of the past in dealing with our indigenous people and next Wednesday, June 3, Fremantle will celebrate National Reconciliation Week from 6-9 pm at the Town Hall.

It will be a showcase of Whadjuk Noongar culture that will include Noongar style Karaoke, story telling, language workshops, Aboriginal artworks and Indigenous food.

Money raised will go to the Bringing Them Home committee.

The event is a collaboration by Reconciliation WA and the cities of Fremantle, Cockburn and Melville.

Gold coin donation on arrival would be appreciated!

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, kim scott, notre dame university, writing by freoview on April 23, 2015

The University of Notre Dame Australia – Kim Scott – Public

The University of Notre Dame will host multiple Miles Franklin Literary Award winning Indigenous author, Kim Scott, to its Fremantle Campus for a public lecture about the background and inspiration behind his novel, That Deadman Dance.

The book explores the first contact between the Noongar people, European settlers and American whalers in a 19th century setting in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia.

It follows the story of young Noongar man, Bobby Wabalanginy, and decisions that lay before him which could have potentially affected not only the lives of his ancestors, but also the lives of his new-found settler friends in Australia.

That Deadman Dance won several awards in 2011, including the Miles Franklin Literary Award for the best Australian novel or play which portrays the beauty, challenges and characteristics of Australian life. It also collected the Premier’s Prize and the Best Fiction Book prize at the WA Premier’s Book Awards.

Event Details: Public Lecture – That Deadman Dance with WA author Kim Scott

Date: Tuesday 28 April 2015

Time: 5.30pm

Venue: St John of God Hall (ND 21, Room 102)
Henry Street, Fremantle
The University of Notre Dame Australia

RSVP: Please contact Madhu Mitra on +61 8 9433 0567 or email


Posted in fremantle, indigenous, nyoongar by freoview on March 16, 2015

The Ngala Maya-Our Place-community event was held at the lovely Booyeembara Park in White Gum Valley, Fremantle on Sunday afternoon. Great to see so many people coming to the park as it is not frequented as much as I anticipated when it opened.

Nyoongar elder Marie Thorn, who named the park, opened the procedures with Mayor Brad Pettitt, while organisors Councillors Ingrid Waltham andDave Coggin kept themeslves busy, with Dave giving kids a ride in his cargo bike. I bet his calves are a bit sore this morning, hey Dave!

There were stalls, Aboriginal dancing, music and the weather was brilliant, so a great evening for the valley.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, local government by freoview on March 1, 2015
Whalers Tunnel closed at 7 pm

Whalers Tunnel closed at 7 pm

I don’t swear often but last night at the artists-organised Captain’s Lane Summer Fest I said What the f… is wrong with the City of Fremantle?!

Here we had real activation of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct with open studios, an art market and live music, while down at beach level the Bathers Beach House and markets were packed full and Kidogo Arthouse had the underwater film festival, but at 7 pm the Whalers Tunnel, the natural connection between the events had been closed! This just two days after the City launched its Transformational Moves document that highlights the desire to activate and improve that area of the West End of Fremantle!

But that is not all! While every one of the Pilot’s Cottages was open and participated in the Arthur Head art fest, the City- managed and funded Walyalup Aboriginal Culture Centre was closed and dark, when this would have been the opportune occasion for them to highlight they are there, especially since there were many Nyoongar people at the fest.

The Centre is a dud, a clear sign of COF colonial tokenism to just give those black people their own centre in a totally inappropriate small cottage. It gets yearly funding that is less than the funding for the six-hour Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival during the Fremantle Festival! The Centre is so under financed that it is only open on weekday mornings till 1 pm and is not open at all on weekends and public holidays. What a whole load of crap! And don’t get me wrong. I lay absolutely no blame on Centre manager Brendan Moore who is a great guy and who tries his best with limited funding and support.

The early closure of the Whalers Tunnel is ridiculous in an area that is developing very well with many more people using the beach. The City of Fremantle spent tens of thousands of dollars on lighting up the cliff face of Arthur Head, but when one walks down High Street to get there one finds the tunnel closed after 7 pm. It stayed open previous years till 10 pm so why did the City change that?

The good concept of an arts precinct has been managed very badly by COF, with Captain’s Lane being a ghost town after dark and studios only required to be open from Thursday-Sunday 11am to 4 pm. Now homeless people sleep on the verandas and in the back yards and leave nice parcels of their defacations behind for the occupants to clean up.

What the City of Fremantle needs is someone who oversees what the different departments are doing. Most of us would ignorantly assume this is the job of the CEO, but it appears Graeme McKenzie has better things to do than making sure departments coordinate their actions and that those who close the Whalers Tunnel know that the tourist destination should stay open to attract visitors to the costly lit-up Arthur Head.

Fremantle does not need glossy Transformational Moves documents and media spin, but common sense, coordination and for some highly-paid officers to get off their arse and actually check out what goes on in the streets of this city!

The Captain’s Lane artists deserved much better support than just the BID funding they got last night. They are doing it again in a fortnight, so let’s hope that is enough time for the City of Fremantle to organise the permanent opening of the tunnel till 10 pm and participation by the Walyalup Aboriginal centre.

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, fremantle, piaf by freoview on February 15, 2015

The Giant Puppets are on their way back to France after an amazing success at the Perth International Arts Festival-PIAF that attracted hundreds of thousands of people and challenged the public transport in Perth.

Today thousands came to the Swan River foreshore to say goodbye to the huge marionettes. The sound of didgeridoos announced the progress of the barge along the river.

The Girl and the Diver were also accompanied by a large flotilla of boats  to the East Street jetty in Fremantle, where the puppets were put on the back of trucks to be driven to the port.

Roel Loopers

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