Explorations – No 44 Jun 2008

IVAN BARKO, Foreword

JANA VERHOEVEN, ‘The Biggest Thing in Years’: Max O’Rell’s Lecture Tour in Australasia

This article deals with the author Max O’Rell’s lecturing tour in Australia and New Zealand in the 1890s. O’Rell, who was French and whose true name was Paul Blouet, used humour to portray and criticise the major Western nations and their idiosyncrasies. The article examines O’Rell’s role as a major figure of the cross-cultural debate over manners and morals. It also examines the significance of lecturing as a form of mass entertainment.

Keywords: lecture tours, cultural stereotyping, Mark Twain, manners and morals, impressions of Australia

MARGARET BARRETT, French Nuclear Testing in the Pacific, 1995-1996, and its Fallout for French Australians

This study focuses on the period of the last set of French nuclear tests in the Pacific in 1995-1996, after the election of Jacques Chirac as President of the Republic. It examines the Australian response to the tests in the 1970s and then, using personal testimony, it examines the effects of public acrimony and hostility on French Australians in 1995-1996.

Keywords: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, President Chirac, Whitlam Government, South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, protests, racism

IVAN BARKO, Félicité Cochard and the Foundation of the Sydney French Benevolent Society

This note is aimed at correcting an erroneous legend about the event which occasioned the foundation of the Sydney French Benevolent Society in 1891

Keywords: Félicité Cochard, Sydney French Benevolent Society, family history research