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Roel Loopers is the 'Fremantle blogger', with a career background in photojournalism, beginning in Europe, before he came to live in Western Australia in 1982. He is a former Round House guide, and former president of the Fremantle Society.
Roel Loopers is adamant that he is ‘only a blogger’. Nevertheless, the Dutch-born septuagenarian is a greatly respected presence in Fremantle, and as representative of the spirit of enquiry and honest reporting as anyone I talk to. As founder and sole keeper of the website Freo’s View, Loopers keeps a meticulous record of the day-to-day happenings in his adoptive city, pounding the streets with his camera and notebook, on the lookout for an interesting story. Raised in The Hague in modest circumstances, he worked as a photojournalist for the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency), before emigrating to Australia in 1982.
Despite his diffidence, he is impressively scrupulous in his refusal of any gifts or freebees and does not accept advertising on his site. Moreover, he is clearly motivated by a powerful sense of social justice. In our conversation, which takes place over the phone on account of a visit from a certain virus, Loopers takes aim at the racist ‘rednecks’ that pop up whenever Indigenous issues bubble-up into public consciousness. A strong supporter of the Indigenous Voice, and of local initiatives towards Reconciliation, Loopers has ‘no tolerance for intolerance’.
King, Richard 2023, 'Harbouring a passion for the facts: news in Fremantle', Public Interest Journalism Initiative.
Roel Loopers' website.
Garry Gillard | New: 17 July, 2023 | Now: 3 November, 2023