Freo's View

WE ALL GOT RED BLOOD AND BROWN SHIT

 

There is plenty of time for contemplation and soul searching during the cold and wet winter days and nights, so when it was suggested to me that I should try to speak at one of the new TEDx Fremantle events about Perception and Reality, I wondered what it was I would like to speak about.

My thoughts don’t comply with the TEDx Fremantle categories of; only good science, no political agenda and no religious proselytizing, so I decided to just write down my contemplations and publish it here on Freo’s View instead. Here it is:

When we talk about reality and perception we should start with the elephant in the room first, and that is that Australia is not the best country in the world. Simply because no country is! There are many great countries in the world. I lived in three of them.

Our soldiers are not braver than those from other countries, and there is nothing specifically Australian about people helping each other in a crisis. When there are floods in Bangladesh, earthquakes in Mongolia, or wars and disasters in other parts of the world, the communities rally to give a helping hand.

Australia has lived on the urban myth of being the fair go country, but how can we claim that when the British settlers mostly ignored Aboriginal culture and language and treated our indigenous people as primitive idiots. How can a fair country take children away from their parents to bring them up as Christians and does not allow them to speak their native languages, and how can a fair country allow many of these children to be abused and raped?

How can we believe to be the fair country when we ban genuine refugees from coming to Australia, but lock them up instead in camps of neighbouring countries, but want priority immigration for supposedly ‘endangered’ white South African farmers?

How can we claim that we live in the best country on earth, when tonight, like every night, 115,000 homeless Australians sleep rough in the cold and wet?

The perception of greatness has always confused the Australian identity and that’s why we are still looking for one. We are not the Akubra hat-wearing cowboys, who live in the red dirt outback, but 90% of our population lives on the coastal plains and in big cities.

You might be surprised now when I say that I really love living in Australia, and even more that I live in Fremantle. But we need to start cutting the crap and let go off the hubris, because to be able to move forward together as a community and nation we need to acknowledge the harsh reality that Australia is far from perfect and that there is a lot of room for improvement.

We at the grassroots need to insist that political debate is about issues and has substance, and is not about point-scoring and name-calling, and we need to let all politicians know that we will no longer put up with their infantile behaviour in our parliaments.

We need to stop believing in the urban myth of our own greatness and start by showing real compassion for the less well off in our society.

It is not acceptable that we spend millions of dollars on non-essential things when our pensioners are barely making ends meet, when our hospitals are over-crowded and have long waiting lists, as does social housing, and when so many suffer from serious mental health issues.

Australia joined the so-called war on terrorism, but why haven’t we begun a war on poverty, and a war on unemployment and homelessness?

We are not all equal when multinational companies don’t pay tax, but low-income earners, pensioners and people on social benefits constantly get scrutinised to the point that is causes anxiety and depression for many.

It is good to have dreams, but it is not good to live in dreamworld and ignore the pragmatic reality of Australian life. Racism is a daily experience for those who are not white, and verbal abuse is also a daily worry for Muslim women, who have become the easy targets for ignorant fools. Western Australia has the highest rate of domestic violence in the nation!

Australia is a beautiful country, and I strongly believe that most people are good, caring and tolerant, and even more so here in Fremantle, but there are also many intolerant haters, who do not positively contribute to our community.

The Australia I love was summed up pretty well one evening in the Fitzroy Crossing pub in the stunning Kimberly when a drunk and huge Aboriginal man looked down on me in the toilet and said “Isn’t it amazing brother that we both have red blood and brown shit.” Yes indeed. We have a lot more in common than what divides us!

My wish for Australia is to wake up to reality and stop claiming that this is the best country on the planet. There is a huge different between being proud of one’s nation or becoming dangerously-and unrealistically- nationalistic. We can only find Australia’s real identity when we stop the tokenism and engage in real reconciliation with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. To do that we need to use the word RESPECT more often.

To show real respect we need to acknowledge Aboriginal people in our constitution, we need to build a substantial Aboriginal cultural centre in Fremantle, so that overseas visitors can engage and learn about our indigenous history and culture, and we need a memorial on Rottnest Island telling the awful story of the inhumane Quod Aboriginal prison, where nearly 400 boys and men from all over Western Australia died.

Only with real mutual respect, and only with real, deep and soul searching honesty can we make Australia the best country in the world. Dismissing and patronising others is only holding us back.

Roel Loopers

COLD AND WET CREATES FREO PORT ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle port, photography, rain, Uncategorized, weather by freoview on June 9, 2018

 

sunrise AAA

 

It was pretty cold early this morning when I took these photos at around 6.30 am on the South Mole.

I first went out of my warm car and took a couple of shots, but the rain came pelting down and created arty images through the side window of the lights in Fremantle Port.

The things I do for my Freo’s View readers, hey! It should be rewarded with some nice hot mulled wine this eve. ;>)

Roel Loopers

WET, WILD AND WONDERFUL FREMANTLE

 

winter storm

 

 

A lone surfer braved the winter storm at Leighton Beach  at lunch time today, and this mad photographer did the same to capture this beautiful photo of the wild Indian Ocean and Fremantle Port cranes in a misty shower.

It looks as if the big storm bypassed Fremantle as I did not see any major damage during my two hour drive along the river and the coast.

Roel Loopers

RESPECT THE WAY FORWARD FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, social media, Uncategorized by freoview on May 31, 2018

 

Firewoks Fishing Boat Harbour

 

The editor of the Fremantle Herald must have thought it clever to repeat as a headline the F*** You Brad shout a member of the public made at the council meeting about the proposed J Shed tavern, but what the newspaper did was lowering itself to the standard that has become the norm on social media platforms such as Freo Massive.

Bullying, slander, name-calling, conspiracy and defamation and a total lack of respect for anyone who dares to have a different opinion has become the norm on social media in Fremantle and that is very disappointing.

With WA DAY coming up this long weekend I wish and hope that our community can return to respectful dialogue, and robust but fair debate about the issues we are passionate about.

People who have never met and who know very little about one another make assumptions and accusations, and a large part of the vile debate it just opinionated ignorance by people who refuse to inform themselves before embarrassing themselves by posting utter nonsense.

There is no reason not to know what is going on in Fremantle as all council agenda, minutes, planning proposals etc. are posted on the City of Fremantle website, and other information is out on Facebook, Twitter and through local media.

We often read and hear the accusation of Fremantle Council not following process and community consultation, even when we had lengthy periods of it, e.g Cantonment Hill, traffic calming along South Terrace in South Fremantle, J Shed, etc.etc. The issue is that far too many members of the public can’t be bothered to check what is going on in their own city and then blame council and the administration for their own ignorance.

Respect and courtesy are beautiful things and make life so much more pleasurable and easy. No one wants to be abused or intimidated, and not many people will want to engage in what should be a healthy community debate when they fear abuse and slander.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with anyone having a different opinion. They don’t suddenly become the enemy because they don’t agree with you, and cheap point-scoring and name-calling is not at all helpful to moving forward together as a community.

Good debate can help find new solutions, as long as we show tolerance and respect for the ideas of others. Life is not black&white but complex, and local government is even more so.

Respect for others is the key word for me because we need to accept that whatever we do and say will have a positive or negative impact on others, so think about that before you call someone a @#&*%@# so and so next time. Stick to the facts and let’s have an informed, mature and civil debate.

We are very lucky to live in a unique place like Fremantle and to have such a diverse and unique community. We need to build on that by challenging and rejecting disrespectful social media posts, and we should condemn the headline in the Herald for what it is-immature juvenile Schadenfreude.

Have a happy and respectful WA Day!

Roel Loopers

FIREWORKS at the Fishing Boat Harbour at 6pm this Sunday!

WOW! STUNNING FREMANTLE SUNSET

Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, indian ocean, photography, sunset, Uncategorized by freoview on May 30, 2018

 

sunset here 1

 

What a truly amazing sunset that was this evening over the Indian Ocean at Fremantle.

It was so incredibly beautiful that it took my breath away. Nature is just so more awesome than any manmade stuff.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE LIGHTHOUSE REPAIRS

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on May 30, 2018

 

lighthouse

 

Maintenance at the lighthouse on the South Mole in Fremantle Port made for a nice colourful photo this morning.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE WATERCOLOURS

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fishing boat harbour, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on May 30, 2018

 

 

I keep telling you that I love taking photos of reflections, so here some water colours I took this morning in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour.

It’s a gorgeous day out there before another storm will hit Freo tomorrow, so take advantage of it if you can and go for a nice long walk!

We live in a very special place and  we should appreciate it much more than some social media posts want us to believe.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE UPSIDE DOWN

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, heritage, photography, Uncategorized by freoview on May 28, 2018

 

 

The FREMANTLE HERITAGE FESTIVAL is on all week, so I combined the autumn weather with heritage buildings and took these upside down/down under reflections in puddles of some historic buildings today.

Roel Loopers

BLOGGER ALL ABOUT SUPPORTING FREO, NOT POPULARITY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle society, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2018

 

Fremantle Society president John Dowson has sent yet another rant to the poor members of FS, accusing me of only wanting to be popular, because the narrow-minded no change advocate does not agree with what I publish on Freo’s View.

Mr President writes: The Heritage Council is a developer’s club, the National Trust is useless as an advocate, the Fremantle Herald cannot lead campaigns on its own, and the very few public commentators like the blogger Roel Loopers are only concerned with being popular.

I started this blog eight and a half years ago as a community forum, that does not create income for me. I spend many hours a week going to council, community and precinct meetings, talk to residents, do research, etc. and I do it because I love Fremantle and I love living here. I want to help make Freo an even better place than it already is for future generations.

Unlike Mr President I don’t try to be in the Fremantle Herald every week with negativity about Fremantle Council, developers, etc.

Unlike Mr President I don’t give negative lectures about Fremantle on cruise ships where I blast Fremantle development and Council.

Unlike Mr President I have written 33 positive reviews about Fremantle businesses and attractions for TripAdvisor, that were read by nearly 16,000 people last month. All because I believe that we all can make a small difference and support our local traders.

Unlike Mr President I don’t drive around in latest model Porsches while wanting the rest of Fremantle to still go by horse&cart, and unlike Mr President I’ll do everything I can to support good change, good development and good progress, because I don’t believe that living in the past and retaining the status quo is fair for future generations.

As for my perceived popularity; some people appreciate what I do for our community and others don’t, and so be it. I gain nothing personally or financially from my community involvement.

I am a volunteer tourist guide at the Roundhouse, unlike Mr President doing paid  lectures on cruise ships where he tries to sell his books.

It’s not about popularity John Dowson. It’s about integrity! You should try it.

Roel Loopers

 

EXPLORE BEAUTIFUL FREO IN STUNNING MAY WEATHER

 

 

I had a bit of time between two meetings yesterday morning so took these photos around the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and Bathers Beach.

The stunning May weather will continue until Wednesday when clouds will start moving in and rain expected on Thursday and Friday, so take advantage of it and explore our beautiful Freo!

Roel Loopers

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