Freo's View

FREMANTLE CELEBRATES OUR ABORIGINAL HISTORY

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, indigenous, Uncategorized by freoview on May 26, 2019

 

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Sharing open and honest truth about local Aboriginal history and culture is at the heart of the City of Fremantle’s National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week commemorations.

National Reconciliation Week, held annually from 27 May–3 June, is an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on their national identity and history, and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation.

The week is preceded by National Sorry Day on 26 May, which acknowledges and recognises members of the Stolen Generation.

Working with this year’s National Reconciliation Week theme ‘Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage’, the City is hosting a number of community events at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) and Fremantle Library.

A key event is the Truth Telling Photographic Exhibition, which features a series of incredibly poignant photos depicting the early relationship of Aboriginal people in Western Australia.

The free exhibition on display at the WACC is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am–3pm.

The WACC is also hosting an Over 55s Aboriginal Art Class on Thursday 30 May from 12–2pm, where participants can learn about Nyoongar culture, symbols and techniques to create their very own dot paining.

The film In Between Songs is screening at the WACC on Friday 31 May at 12pm; the film’s story follows an Aboriginal family’s struggle to maintain its ancestral traditions in the face of modern societal, economic and environmental pressures.

Across town, Fremantle Library will host a special Reconciliation Yarn with Whadjuk Nyoongar Joe ‘Possum’ Collard.

Closing out the week’s events is a Cultural Walk through Bathers Beach precinct on Saturday 1 June. On the walk, people will discover the significance of the area for Nyoongar people, while learning about bush tucker, animals, insects and the seasons.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE WILL NOT DISAPPEAR

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2019

 

 

How can we stop the ridiculous claims in the media that Fremantle wants to change its name to Walyalup? The Reconciliation Action Plan, that is out for community consultation, suggests to acknowledge Aboriginal names for our city and its landmarks, that means we add Noongar names to the English names, not replace them.

Already there are many negative comments on social media, as if our Aboriginal history is something we should be ashamed about when we should be proud that we are part of a 50.000 year ancient history.

It is not as if before British settlement this country we now call Australia was a fascist society with a past we’d better not mention. It is a huge island where Aboriginal people lived in relative peace and harmony. They lived respectfully in an often nomadic lifestyle off mother earth, in a society with strong tribal laws which kinship and tribal boundaries that were adhered to.

Men in the communities educated the boys and the women were responsible for bringing up the girls, and food was often shared in the best communal sense of extended families.

It is a proud history of stories and songlines and of sacred sites and of deep respect for nature and the earth.

Why should we not share our Aboriginal history by letting people know the names the traditional owners have for all the landmarks and rivers? It is not as if a Big Bang happened in 1829 on the west coast of this huge continent and suddenly there was population in this terra nullius, or uninhabited land. That disrespectful suggestion was soundly rejected by the High Court of Australia which acknowledged that Aboriginal people have lived here for some 50.000 years. A history of hardship and resilience to be proud of!

What is the big deal to have signs that show Fremantle and underneath it Walyalup to acknowledge that history. What is wrong with pointing out that Arthur’s Head is also known as Manjaree and Rottnest Island as Wadjemup?

The acceptance of Aboriginal names is already widespread around Australia. Most people now call Ayers Rock Uluru, the Olgas are known as Kata Tjuta, the Bungles as Purnululu, and Turkey Creek is better known as Warmun.

The TV reporter who smugly told his viewers last night that Fremantle could not change the name of the Swan River to Derbarl Yerrigan because it would need State Government approval to do so was only starting a fear campaign because all Fremantle Council might do is put some signs along the river to also acknowledge the Aboriginal name and history of the river.

No one’s history is threatened people and Fremantle will not disappear from the map of WA and Australia. Our post settlement history and names will remain and be told next to the pre European settlement history of our Aboriginal people. It is showing respect for our now shared past and future, and in my opinion it is very welcome and a long time overdue.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN DRAFT

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 10, 2019

 

RAP Working Group

 

The draft Fremantle Reconciliation Action Plan-RAP is out for public consultation, so I copy and paste this below from the City of Fremantle:

Our vision for reconciliation

The City’s vision for reconciliation is to create an inclusive, caring community where Aboriginal people experience the same life outcomes as other Australians, and where their special place in our nation and our City is recognised. We want a community and an organisation in which Aboriginal people are acknowledged, listened to and understood; a community and organisation that respect and tell the truth about history, and where healing and growth is nurtured by all of us. Ultimately, we want this to be a shared vision for Fremantle, where the City embraces culture and heritage, and where Aboriginal people are part of making decisions and improvements for the wellbeing of people.

Our Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a three year plan that is reported on annually. This is Council’s first RAP following the formative policy for respect, recognition and conciliation with Aboriginal people in 2000. Based on recommendation from Reconciliation Australia on the work the City of Fremantle has done thus far, Council decided to begin with a Stretch RAP.

This draft RAP was developed in consultation with the RAP Working Group, local Aboriginal community, elders and other stakeholders through a series of workshops and meetings facilitated by Kambarang Services. The diverse input from over 100 people has been summarised into a practical plan for Reconciliation, focused around Relationships, Respect, Opportunity and Governance. It contains 15 actions and 74 deliverables.

Our hope is that, in working together, speaking together, hearing each other and most of all committing to a better future together we will replace ignorance, mistrust, racism and hostility with genuine connection, trust and unity.

There are several ways to access the draft RAP or find out more:

  • View the draft RAP online, by clicking here or visiting the document library on this page.
  • A hard copy is available at the Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre(External link) (WACC), Thursdays and Fridays from 10.00am to 3.00pm. Staff are also available at the WACC during these times to tell you more about the RAP and a paper submission form is available.
  • A hard copy is also available in the Wanjoo Lounge(External link) at Fremantle Library, staffed by volunteers Monday to Friday 9.00am to 3.00pm. A paper submission form is available.

We encourage you to read the draft Walyalup RAP including the actions and tell us your thoughts below by 4.00pm Monday 27 May 2019.

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FREMANTLE ABORIGINAL CENTRE A GREAT IDEA

 

I reported about a purpose-built Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Fremantle before, but it is important to start the conversation here in Freo and with the State Government, so I copy and past the entire media release I just received:

Aboriginal Centre

 

The City of Fremantle is pushing for the state government to build a major new Indigenous Cultural Centre adjacent to the Round House at Fremantle’s Arthur Head.

The original plans for Elizabeth Quay in Perth included an iconic Indigenous Cultural Centre but to date those plans have not progressed.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said Fremantle was the obvious choice to be home to Western Australia’s pre-eminent showcase for Aboriginal art and culture.

“The Manjaree site around Arthur Head and Bathers Beach is of tremendous cultural significance to the local Whadjuk Nyoongar people,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“As an important crossing point of the Derbarl Yerrigan – the Swan River – it was a meeting place, a trading place, a ceremonial place and a spiritual place.

“It was also the site where the first British colonists landed in 1829, and where thousands of Aboriginal people from across Western Australia were locked up in the Round House before being shipped to the notorious prison on Wadjemup – Rottnest Island.

“It would be a powerful statement of reconciliation to have a world-class Indigenous Cultural Centre built in a place of such significance for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal history in WA.

“The WA Maritime Museum on Victoria Quay is a fantastic facility, but at the moment it’s isolated from other heritage attractions in Fremantle like the Shipwreck Museum and the Round House.

“An Indigenous Cultural Centre at Arthur Head would help make that connection between the Maritime Museum and Bathers Beach and give that whole area the critical mass it needs to be a major tourism drawcard.

“The underlying principle of the Cultural Centre will be to create a place for living culture, which will not only mean interactive experiences for tourists but also a meaningful place for all Aboriginal people.”

Fremantle Council recently endorsed the concept of establishing an Indigenous Cultural Centre of state and local significance in Fremantle, with a focus on tourism, Aboriginal culture and heritage and being a place to experience Aboriginal cultural practices.

The concept was outlined in a visioning report prepared in consultation with the Aboriginal community and other key stakeholders.

The council agreed Arthur Head was the preferred location, subject to further investigation and community consultation.

The existing J Shed building on the site could be used as a temporary facility before being relocated to make way for a new purpose-built centre.

The council will give consideration to an allocation of $50,000 as part of the 2019/20 budget process to prepare a detailed feasibility study and business case for the centre.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE RAP WORKING GROUP

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, indigenous, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 29, 2019

 

RAP Working Group

 

Here a photo taken about an hour ago of the Fremantle RAP Working Group. RAP stands for Reconciliation Action Plan, as explained in the previous blog post below.

We all can make a positive difference at local level, so get involved and get your voice heard!

Roel Loopers

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STORIES OF NYUNGAR DANCING PERFORMANCE

 

Nyungar dancing

 

I have been reading the fascinating Dancing in Shadows book about Histories of Nyungar performance by historian Anna Haebich and recommend it to anyone interested in the history of our local Wadjuk Nyungar, and all the indigenous people of Australia.

The book published by UWA was gifted to me by my generous mate Paolo Gumina and I can’t thank him enough! I have already learned so many new things about WA’s Nyungar history in the first 100 pages.

The book is about corroborees  and dancing and The power of Indigenous performance pitted against the forces of settler colonisation and is a fantastic read.

One important fact I learned is that with 40,000 people our WA Nyungars are the largest Aboriginal group/tribe/nation in Australia.

The book launch was held at the New Edition bookshop in Fremantle’s High Street, so they will have copies for you to purchase. Go and get one today!

Roel Loopers

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BURNING NATURE’S SCULPTURE @ FREO BATHERS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 20, 2013
Balga Burning Back by Popular Demand – FREMANTLE SCULPTURE@BATHERS this Saturday 23 March 8 PM
Fremantle Enviro-Businessman Bruce Abbott and Artist/Troublemaker Tim Burns wowed the crowd last Friday night with their Balga installation piece at Sculptures @ Bathers. The pair received such strong feedback on their work that Co-organizer of the beachside art show, Joanna Robertson, has convinced them to replicate the show this Saturday night to allow those that missed it the opportunity to see it.

The work showcases the beauty of the Balga (Grass Tree) with 29 of the iconic plants arranged beachside under the historic Round House. Art lovers entering the Sculpture @ Bathers via the Round House tunnel are greeted by a forest of the transplanted trees, many well over head height. On opening night “Karla”, a short film by writer/director Karie-Anne Kearing featuring the acting talents of Kelton Pell and artwork of Lance Chadd Tjyllyungoo wa…s projected onto the quarry wall above the balgas. The film describes how the Nyoongar got Fire. The work culminated with a spectacular burning of one of the trees.

Abbott and Burns have been working together for over ten years but this is the first formal acknowledgement of their creative partnership. They first worked together in 2002 on “Blackboy” which worked with similar themes around celebration and conservation of Grass Trees.

“What is not widely known is that since 2001, collectively we have been bulldozing 10 cricket ovals a week of urban bushland around the Perth metropolitan region. Ultimately we lose not only the plants and animals that lived there, but our connection to the natural landscape and our indigenous heritage.” Abbott commented.

Sculptures @ Bathers features over 60 artists in Fremantle’s Premiere Historic/Beach Locale. The show runs from until April 1. Burns and Abbott will be replicating the opening night performace just after sunset (7pm) this Saturday 23 March.

And before and after the event come to the BATHERS BEACH SUNSET FOOD MARKETS for great international food and live music! It’s on from 5 to 9 pm.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE THE WALYALUP WAY

Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 27, 2012

The FREMANTLE HERITAGE FESTIVAL is in full flight with many events starting on Saturday. Fremantle in the Beginning, organised by the Fremantle Society, saw Noongar historian Greg Nannup from Indigenous W.A. taking a group of people along Bathers Beach and Arthur Head to talk about Western Australia‘s indigenous history.

I have done the tour before and it is absolutely fascinating to listen to Greg and the endearing stories he tells. Although he touches on the incarceration and bad treatment of the Aboriginal by the early settlers, he does so without any resentment or judgment. As Greg said; these are stories that need to be told.

Greg is doing a second tour this Sunday morning at 10.30. It starts at the Shipwreck Museum, so go along for a relaxing and very informative hour and a half.

If any teachers, or anyone at the Education Department, read this, a tour with Greg Nannup for Primary School students should become part of the curriculum.

In this context, it is good to see an explanation sign, telling us the meaning of the word and a bit about Aboriginal history at the new Wardan Lane railway crossing on Marine Terrace. I hope the Old Port Project on Bathers Beach will also recognise our indigenous past, and that more Nyoongar language signs will be erected around Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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