The Vagaries of French-Australian Relations Seen Through French Eyes

Author: ERIC BERTI
The French Australian Review 74 (Australian Winter 2023): 5–20

Eric Berti was Consul-General of France in Sydney from 2012–2015. His opinion piece is in response to that of Ivan Barko in Issue 73, where Barko wrote of the ‘love-hate’ relationship between France and Australia. Berti responds that, while he does not see a ‘love-hate’ relationship, French-Australian relations have always been complex, with both historical and sociological roots. He refers, as did Barko, to the English prism through which Australia has historically viewed France, and to the colonial factor and how this has coloured perceptions. Cultural perceptions and French presence in the Pacific are part of the story as are the connections forged by young French working visa visitors and the long-standing French interest in Australia’s Indigenous people.

Keywords: AUKUS, Anzacs, World War I, Indo-Pacific strategy, New Caledonia.

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