Freo's View


Posted in art, arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 8, 2017


The desire of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge to extend the decision period on the proposed tavern at J Shed by Sunset Events comes in my opinion far too late. What could possibly be achieved in 2-3 months of talking that could not have been achieved in the last four years?

Fremantle Council did have many opportunities to listen to the community but instead created a divide that has now become too polarised to be resolved and end in a good outcome for the proponents and opponents.

Sunset Events has in desperation asked Freo Massive readers what they believe is acceptable for the J Shed studio at Bathers Beach, as director David Chitty also did at the Council meeting on Wednesday. The community already told you that, David, so why engage social media when there has been community consultation, meetings, information sessions, a special electors meeting, written and verbal submissions, etc?

The dilemma is that the two sides are too far apart to find a compromise, and there appears to be a bit of stubbornness on both sides as well. The stuff them attitude is not going to help anyone!

Would Sunset Events be happy to just run a day-time cafe and small bar with a nice deck to watch Bathers Bay and the sunset? I doubt it, as they want big numbers of patrons to make their investment worthwhile, and that is fair enough from a business perspective.

The J Shed artists appear to not want anything but another art studio in that location, so they will probably also object to a small bar at the No 1 studio.

Community groups might well be happy with a 150-patron small bar there, as I would be, but I don’t think Sunset Events will want to scale down its proposal that far.

Fact is that the City of Fremantle should not have wandered off so far from the initial Expression of Interest and CoF should not have signed a 21-year lease for a tavern and outdoor music venue.

Councillors and the administration have to accept all the blame for this fiasco and they now will have to do their utmost best to get Sunset Events to relinquish the lease and start from scratch.

It is however also important for the J Shed artists to show more willingness to compromise as they should not dictate who their next door businesses can be. A small bar and cafe is totally acceptable for the venue and would become a good attraction for tourists and local residents.

The A Class reserve is very suitable to support the artists and create a sculpture park, with the addition of some shade structures and more seating. That would also support a new cafe/bar at J Shed. And a small playground for the kids would also be a nice addition for the area.

The Bathers Beach Art Precinct should go back to the drawing board as it is not working. The Pilot’s Cottages at Captain’s Lane are closed too many days of the week and do very little to help activate the area. The only exemptions up there are the Glen Cowans photo gallery and the very popular Roundhouse which attract a lot of visitors, and so did the High Tide biennale by the way.

I still wonder if the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre would not have been far more successful at the J Shed No 1 unit and complement the existing art businesses there better.

Fremantle Council need to acknowledge they got it wrong as far as the activation of Arthur Head is concerned and should start all over again with an open mind. This might well be the opportune time to engage an outside consultant to get some new and fresh ideas.

In the meantime the Roundhouse volunteer guides want to put new displays inside the popular tourist attraction, and they need big money to do that. Time for Fremantle Council to engage with them and collaborate and also to give them some assistance!


Roel Loopers




Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on November 19, 2017


tree art


Some lovely tree art up on Arthur Head at Mrs Trivett Lane, just below the Roundhouse.

Fremantle has so many hidden treasures that are waiting to be discovered, so wander around our beautiful city and connect with your community.

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, fashion, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on November 15, 2017


ashe 5

The Fremantle Roundhouse, Western Australia’s oldest public building was a wonderful setting for a very wonderful art show on Wednesday evening.

Fremantle artist Kelsey Ashe had created ten limited edition drawings as a fund raiser for the Fremantle Fashion Collective and many people turned up to admire and buy her work.

The Roundhouse is a great setting for small events and functions, so keep it in mind.


Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, fashion, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on November 14, 2017


There is an interesting art show on inside the Fremantle Roundhouse this Wednesday evening between 6.30 and 8pm.

Renowned Freo textile artist Kelsey Ashe has created limited edition artworks for the Fremantle Fashion Collective. All proceeds will go to the collective to support upcoming fashion designers.

Kelsey Ashe’s detailed drawings are hand embellished and have a Fremantle theme, so they are something different and not to be missed.

While up on Arthur Head enjoy a beautiful sunset and the last rays of sunshine of the day on the sublime Felice Varini artwork along High Street.


Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on November 6, 2017




The Ghost Ship story-telling in the High Tide biennale hub at Arthur Head on Sunday was very interesting, because it is always good to get an Aboriginal perspective on Fremantle’s history.

The speakers were Brett and Laurel Nannup, Melissa Dinnison, Ezra Jacobs, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington

It was especially important to get an update on what is happening on Rottnest Island and the plans for a long-overdue memorial for the nearly 400 men and boys who died at the Quod indigenous prison, and who were buried on the island where tent camp used to be.

Before the invasion by the British Rottnest used to be a ceremonial site and meeting place and also has high spiritual meaning for the Wadjuk people, but there was no physical connection with the island for many years.

Almost 4,000 men and boys, aged between 8 and 80 years of age were incarcerated in the inhumane Quod prison, and many were kept in the Roundhouse gaol until they had enough Aboriginal prisoners to row over to the island, which took between 7-8 hours.

The indigenous speakers mentioned the cultural tension along the WA shoreline with the Dutch, French and English sailing by, and setting foot on land at times.

For the First Nation people it is all about place and identity and rethinking the history. It is complicated to think about the Australian identity when Aboriginal culture and history is not part of the school education in WA.

For me it is astounding that there still is no proper recognition of our Aboriginal people on Rottnest Island and that it has taken so long to no longer use the former Quod prison cells for tourist accommodation.

It took only two years to build an important memorial in Kings Park for the victims of the Bali bombing, but we are still only planning a significant memorial for Aboriginal people on Rottnest Island. 

There is still no government funding allocated from the state and federal governments, and that is not good enough.

Proper recognition of the Wadjuk Noongar history can’t be left to tiny bits of meaningless tokenism. It is well overdue for our governments to get serious about it.

There is a need for a purpose-build Aboriginal cultural centre in WA and a demand from overseas tourists for an indigenous experience when visiting, so let’s get started on this with urgency and priority City of Fremantle. Take the lead!

Roel Loopers



Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, history, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on November 5, 2017



Walking around Arthur Head this morning I considered myself very lucky to live in such a beautiful place as Fremantle.

I started with my traditional morning Espresso at Chalkys cafe near the Roundhouse, walked up the steps to have a chat with Glen at the Glen Cowans Underwater Photography Gallery, and wandered down to Bathers Beach where the Indian Ocean water looked sublime and so refreshing, but I did not have my bathers with me.

Back to the High Tide hub next to the Roundhouse where I attended Ghost Ship to listen to Aboriginal history, and I will write a blog post about that in more detail tomorrow.

Ghost Ship is on again from 6-7 pm this evening with a light show. Listen to the story of Yagan, and how important Rottnest Island is to the Wadjuk people.

The Fremantle Festival ends today from 3.30 at Kings Square with the first shopping trolley race, live music and entertainment, so come along.

Before that from 2-4 pm there is free live music in the courtyard of the Fremantle Arts Centre.

The High Tide Biennale will continue for another week, so check out the program as there is some very good stuff in it.

Is it any wonder I love Freo so much?!


Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, fremantle festival, Uncategorized by freoview on October 30, 2017


High Tide 1


I went and had a look at the evening art of the High Tide biennale of the Fremantle Festival, although there was an ice-cold wind blowing last night.

The Ships in the Night projections by Jo Darbyshire on the Fremantle Port building, and the Uprising blue smoke by Tom Muleller inside the Roundhouse.

Felice Varini’s Arcs D’Ellipses looks different at night and the beautiful festival hub by Harris Architects looks wonderful.


Roel Loopers



Posted in art, arthur head, city of fremantle, fremantle festival, Uncategorized by freoview on October 26, 2017


art 1

art 2


I believe that this year’s Fremantle Festival, which starts tomorrow with the Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival at the Fremantle Arts Centre, will be one of the best ever.

The addition of the two-yearly High Tide adds another international dimension to our port town festival and that is lifting the quality.

While Swiss artist Felice Varini has finished his epic Arcs D’Ellipses yellow artwork along High Street, down at the J Shed No 4 studio Ross Potter was still patiently drawing a life-size humpback whale that will be on display at the Maritime Museum from tomorrow till mid November.

Up on Arthur Head next to the Roundhouse they are building a lovely festival hub meeting place, and there will be shows in the Roundhouse and Whalers Tunnel.

Take part in the festival as it is all about community!


Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on October 25, 2017


high st roundhouse


Western Australia’s oldest public building the Roundhouse goal squeezed in between modern art on historic buildings in Fremantle’s High Street.

All you overseas and interstate people come over for a visit to the port city on the Indian Ocean coast!

There are a lot of festivals and events during our summer months.


Roel Loopers



Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 19, 2017


roundhouse rest


I spotted this man having a rest on a bench next to the Fremantle Roundhouse in front of the Glen Cowans underwater photography gallery, so had to take a photo of course.

While admiring the Felice Varine artwork along High Street from there Glen Cowans and I were talking about why there are no shade structures for visitors to Arthur Head on the lawn next to the Roundhouse.

Some 140,000 visitors enter the Roundhouse yearly and many of them are seniors who need a rest after walking up the steps, but there are only two benches outside WA’s oldest building, and neither of them are in the shade. The bench at the gallery is in shade only late afternoon.

Trees would be nice, but probably not possible because of the Whalers Tunnel below, but a couple of nice shade structures would be good and also assist to give shade to wedding guests up there.


Roel Loopers

Roel for City Ward!


%d bloggers like this: