The French Australian Review – No 74 Australian Winter 2023

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ERIC BERTI, The Vagaries of French-Australian Relations Seen Through French Eyes

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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.


PAUL KIEM, The Huybers and Loureiro Families
This article is freely available for one month, until late Sep 2023.

This article is the first part of a two-part article. Part 2 will be published in No. 75. Scholars have recently highlighted the significance of France’s influence on Australia’s culture and society, especially in the decades around Federation. Out of all proportion to the relatively small number of French migrants who came to Australia, this French influence manifested itself in complex and subtle ways. One aspect of the complexity was that the French influence informed a broader cosmopolitanism which stood out from the dominant British-Australian culture of the early twentieth century. In these two papers, members of two families, the Huybers and the Loureiros, are used as a case study to explore how this French influence could be expressed in diverse ways. Aspects of the richly varied lives of the selected individuals are inherently interesting and often help to illustrate larger themes in Australian social history.

Keywords:  Marie Thérèse Loureiro, Artur Loureiro, Vasco Loureiro, Jessie ‘Tasma’ Couvreur, Barack.

ELIZABETH RECHNIEWSKI, Civilising the Pacific in Louise Michel’s ‘Kanak Play’

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Among the more than 4000 communards deported to New Caledonia in the 1870s were many who had professional, literary and publishing experience. Despite the harshness of the conditions of detention, that varied according to the punishment imposed: déportation simple, dans une enceinte fortifiée etc, many contrived to exercise their talents in this unlikely setting and many more discovered an aptitude for cultural pursuits, transforming the life of the colony. Amongst the most challenging, perhaps, of their cultural endeavours—because of the considerable material that had to be sourced—was the performance of plays in ‘bush’ theatres and in Noumea itself. This paper briefly explores the role the deportees played in setting up theatres in Noumea and outside, and then examines a previously unpublished play by Louise Michel, set in New Caledonia and probably written while she was imprisoned there: Civilisation [Scènes de la vie des primitifs au vingtième siècle]. It presents the themes of the play as a commentary on the multi-faceted forms of exploitation that Michel witnessed or presciently recognised to be developing across the region in the context of British/Australian and French colonisation.

Keywords: Louise Michel, theatre on New Caledonia, Communard deportees, European civilisation, Kanaks.


BARBARA GLOWCZEWSKI, From Academic Heritage to Aboriginal Priorities: Anthropological Responsibilities

A first version of this paper was presented at the International symposium, ‘Australian Aboriginal Anthropology Today: Critical perspectives from Europe’, held at the Musée du Quai Branly, in January 2013. The paper documents the thirty plus years of anthropological research undertaken by Barbara Glowczewski primarily with the Warlpiri people in Central Australia since the 1970s. She goes on to describe her subsequent work to set up a multimedia project to return control of the research material to the Indigenous people as one example of anthropological responsibility derived from Indigenous priorities. Drawing on the theoretical work of Deleuze and Guattari, she advocates ‘dissensus’ in order to step away from sterile oppositions between assimilation versus exclusion and universal versus relative.

Keywords: Warlpiri, Guattari, Dreaming stories Mabo Native Title Act, Lex Wotton, Palm Island.

DEIRDRE GILFEDDER, Australian Studies in France: A Recent Survey

This article documents the evolution of Australian studies in France since 2015, when Marilyne Brun presented an overview of the state of Australian studies in France at that time. The article starts with a very useful analysis of the difference between the Australian and French university systems. Within this context, the author points out the diverse fields in which Australian studies can be approached in France—from literature and civilisation studies within English departments, with their interest in post-colonial studies, immigration studies, to political science, history and anthropology. The article identifies a number of scholars in France working across these different fields and interested in aspects of Australian studies and highights some recent publications and events.

Keywords:  Société d’études postcoloniales, études anglosaxonnes cf études Anglophones, Glyn Davis, history of French universities and Grandes Écoles, Commonwealth studies, Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherche sur le Monde Anglophone (LERMA).

ELAINE LEWIS & MIREILLE VIGNOL, French-Australian Encounters Number 9: An Interview with Mireille Vignol: French-Australian Translator, Ex-broadcaster and Sometime Organiser of Cultural Events

In conversation, Mireille Vignol describes her experiences living in Australia for eighteen years, working as a journalist with the ABC. Since her return to France in 2002, she has translated over 60 works by Australian, Oceanian, North American, South African and English authors.

Keywords: ABC Radio Australia, French-speaking Pacific nations and territories, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Ruby Moonlight, translation slams.

THE EDITORS, Vale Jacques Henri Pollet de Saint-Ferjeux

Obituary of Jacques Henri Pollet de Saint-Ferjeux, a member of ISFAR and of the ISFAR Committee for many years. He died February 2023. The obituary records his wide interests and involvements and long-standing commitment to ISFAR.


Florence Boulard James, Book Review: Geraldine Le Roux, L’Art des Ghostnets : Approche anthropologique et esthétique des filets-fantômes.

Richly illustrated, this book provides an anthropological study of ghost-nets art.

Keywords: Indigenous art, environmental waste objects, ghost nets.

Elizabeth Rechniewski, Book Review: Jerry Delathière, Shuga: The Sugar Way.

A first novel set in the 1870s, it focuses on the fate of two men of widely varied backgrounds and life experiences: a man kidnapped from the island of Maré (Loyalty Islands) and transported to Queensland to work on the sugar plantations, and a Communard, who sought his fortune in Australia.

Keywords: ‘blackbirding’, communard, island of Maré.

Wilfred Prest, Book Review: Don Longo, A Historian Against the Current: The Life and Work of Austin Gough.

A biography of Austin Gough, Professor of Modern History at the University of Adelaide, who was fascinated by Zola’s depiction of life in nineteenth century. Gough studied History at the University of Melbourne under Max Crawford, before doing his doctorate at Oxford. He was an inspired, although increasingly frustrated teacher, as head of the History Department at the University of Adelaide. Following his retirement, he resumed his earlier career as a journalist, as an acerbic critic of ‘leftist causes’.

Keywords: The University of Adelaide, The University of Melbourne, Hugh Stretton, Max Crawford, journalism.

Jane Gilmour, Book Note, Robert Wallace, Paint Out, Robert Wallace, Finger Play, Hilary Roots, One Rose in Bali.

The first two books are published in the Sydney-Paris Link series of Tom Thompson’s ETT Imprint, Robert Wallace is a pseudonym of the artist Robin Wallace-Crabbe. They are reprints, first published by Gollancz, and are part of the Essington Holt series, set in Paris and the Côte d’Azur. The third book is set on Bali and the Isle of Pines (New Caledonia).

Keywords:  Essington Holt, art forgery, Côte d’Azur, Bali, Isle of Pines, travel memoir.

ELAINE LEWIS, Bibliographical notes

Recent publications of: Australian books translated into French; books with French content by Australian authors; books relating to Australia by French authors; and translations from French to English by Australian authors.

The French Australian Review – No 73 Australian Summer 2022-2023

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Vale Colin Nettelbeck

Colin Nettelbeck was a co-founder of ISFAR and its journal Explorations (now The French Australian Review). He served in various roles (including president) in ISFAR from 1985 to 2000 and returned as president from 2011 to 2018. A Colin  Nettelbeck  Scholarship  was  set  up  in  2021  to  recognise  the central  role  Colin  played  in  founding  the  Institute  and  his  longstanding commitment  and  invaluable  contribution  to  all  its  public  and  research activities. Colin passed away on October 21, 2022 after a long illness.


DAVID CAMROUX, AUKUS and its Aftermath

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In this transcript of his talk presented at an ISFAR seminar in the series ‘After the Elections: Is a Reset possible in French-Australian Relations?’, the author comments on the political situation in France following the French elections in May 2022 and then examines the response to the AUKUS decision in France and the import of the AUKUS decision in terms of Indo-Pacific geopolitical relations. He then comments on the positive response to the visit to France by newly-elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and surmises that a return to the relationship that flourished in the 1990s and early 2000s may evolve.

Keywords:  AUKUS, French-Australian relations, Macron, Albanese, Indo-Pacific, South-East Asia.

IVAN BARKO, Australians’ Love-Hate Relationship with the French in the Last Two Centuries

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An exploration, drawing on newspaper articles as well as other material, of the contradictory dispositions that have prevailed in Australian attitudes towards the French over the past two hundred years. The author explores the concept of what he calls the ‘Archibald syndrome’—dreaming of being French, the historical references that have coloured Australians’ views of the French, and the shared affinities between the two countries.

Keywords: francophilia, francophobia, the French in the Pacific, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides Question, Consul Biard d’Aunet, John Feltham Archibald, Stella Bowen.


KERRY MURPHY, Henri Kowalski (1841–1916) in the Antipodes and His Comic Opera Queen Venus

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French virtuoso pianist and composer Henri Kowalski visited Australia in 1880 and then returned in 1885 when he settled in Sydney for twelve years. In 1881 he wrote a comic opera, Queen Venus. with a libretto by Marcus Clarke. This paper traces the transformation of Queen Venus into a French fantaisie-bouffe called La Guerre aux hommes, ten years later. It reveals a story of unusual cultural entanglement across two countries.

Keywords: Cultural transfer, opera, travelling artists, Australian colonial music, nineteenth century France.

VERONIQUE DUCHÉ AND AMANDA LAUGESEN, ‘Somewhere in France: Language, Place and Remembrance in Australian Soldiers’ Periodical Culture

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An exploration of the thesis that while for contemporary Australians Villers-Bretonneux is the main ‘lieu de commémoration’ (place of remembrance), for the First World War diggers, ‘lieux de mémoire’ (sites of memory) were created from a much wider and varied list of place names— places where they had been, and fought, Villers-Bretonneux being for them just one of many. Focusing on the 1918–1929 period, this article explores the Australian experience and memory of the First World War by analysing how the concept of place was constructed within trench journals and returned soldier periodical print culture.

Key words: World War 1, ‘places of commemoration’, ‘places of memory’, trench journals, returned soldiers journals, returned soldiers’ periodicals.

EDOARDO BRUNETTI, An Australian Perspective on Occitan and Breton Ethnoregionalism in the Post-war Period to 1981

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In France, the student occupations and strikes of May ’68 are well known, but the period was also of immense significance to the country’s ethnoregionalist movements, who sought to increase power and self-determination. From a period of rebuilding following the Second World War, the Breton and Occitan movements, which campaigned against the perceived oppression of their regions by the central French state, were able to find new audiences and grow significantly in the 1960s and 1970s. Through an analysis of primary and secondary sources, this article charts the history of the movements throughout the era, demonstrating how the growth of the movements was linked to the broader societal politicisation of the era. As the period of radicalism waned, so did the Breton and Occitan movements, which saw many of their key demands implemented following the election of François Mitterrand as President, depriving the movements of their key reasons for existence. Nevertheless, the movements left a significant legacy in this period, through both the acceptance of regionalist political demands by the national left, and the ideological refoundation of Breton and Occitan ethnoregionalism. The author reflects on how these movements have some parallels in Australian history.

Keywords: Brittany, Occitania, ethnoregionalism, Occitanism, Emsav, regionalism, nationalism.


EMILY DOTTE-SAROUT, The Matilda Effect in Archaeology

The transcript of an interview first published in French in the AFRAN newsletter about the history of women archaeologists in the Pacific region. The article explores the fate of women who sought to pursue careers as archaeologists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and how their work has been consistently overshadowed by that of their male peers. She details the exploits of one of these women in particular, Adèle de Dombasle, a number of whose illustrations are held in the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.

Keywords: Pacific archaeologists, women in archaeology, Adèle de Dombasle, Edmond Ginoux de la Coche, Musée des Explorations du Monde, ethnographic illustrations.

KATHERINE HAMMITT, The Colibri of Pacific Publishing: Interview with Au vent des îles Founder, Christian Robert

This article is published in French. In an interview conducted in July 2022, Christian Robert talks about his role as founder and manager of the largest publishing house in francophone Oceania, Au vent des îles. From his position as editor and president of Tahiti’s editors’ association, Robert speaks to the history and outlook of publishing and disseminating francophone literature across the Pacific and throughout Europe. Though the corpus he promotes does not yet have the global visibility it merits, Robert ultimately foresees a hopeful future for Oceanian literature, as well as for expanding publishing across the Pacific.

Keywords: Oceania, publishing, literature, francophone, Transpacific, Au vent des îles.

PETER HODGES, French-Australian Encounters Number 8: French-Australian Exchanges in Literary Périgord: A personal Insight through the Translation and Promotion of a Memoir

Through a chance encounter, an Australian writer and translator embarks on a privileged journey into the world of literary Périgord as he translates into French and promotes his memoir, previously published in English.

Keywords: literary Périgord, Académie des Sciences, des Beaux-Arts et des Belles-Lettres du Périgord-Dordogne, Dad’s Diary: the wanderlust chronicles, Le Journal de papa : l’esprit d’aventure, Librairie Marbot, Périgueux.

TOM THOMPSON, Frank Moorhouse’s French Connection: A Tale of Reciprocity

The author, who is an Australian publisher, explores Australian author Frank Moorhouse’s lifelong interest in France and, in particular, his friendship with translator and publisher Jean-Paul Delamotte.

Keywords: Association Culturelle Franco-Australian (ACFA), Fictions 88, Festival Les Belles Étrangères, League of Nations Trilogy.

EDWARD DUYKER, A False Portrait of Lapérouse

The author, who is currently researching a biography of Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse, examines a portrait in the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts, which is claimed to be a portrait of Lapérouse and through comparison with other existing known portraits of Lapérouse, suggests that it may well not be as stated.

Keywords: Lapérouse, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Musée Lapérouse in Albi.


Awarded to Patricia Clarke, for her article ‘Australian Connections with the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune of Paris, 1871’, published in Issue Number 71 (Summer 2021–2022).

Keywords: Ivan Barko prize, ISFAR.


Charlotte Mackay, Book Review: Jane Tuttle, My Sweet Guillotine

In her latest novel, Tuttle returns to the city that nearly killed her—the city to which she fled after the death of her mother and which attracts many of the artistic type by virtue of the intrinsic value it seems to place on the arts—in an attempt to rebuild her life post-accident.

Keywords: Jayne Tuttle, Paris, guillotine, trauma and survival.

Andrew Montana, Book Review: Jean-Claude Lesage, Australian Painters in Étaples, translated by Pauline Le Borgne

Lesage’s Australian Painters in Étaples may be a springboard for curious minds to take this English translation as a cue for further research into these artists working abroad in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Keywords: Australian painters, Étaples, artists ‘colonies, late nineteenth century, early twentieth century art.

Andrew McGregor, Book Review: Gemma King, Jacques Audiard

Jacques Audiard is without doubt one of France’s most celebrated contemporary filmmaking auteurs. It is, therefore, most timely and appropriate for Gemma King’s outstanding and definitive volume on the filmmaker to be published in the prestigious French Film Directors series by Manchester University Press.

Keywords: Jacques Audiard, French Film Directors.

Elaine Lewis, French-Australian Bibliographical Notes including a note on the latest journals in France relating to French-Australian Studies.

The French Australian Review – No 72 Australian Winter 2022



IVAN BARKO, Tribute to Colin Nettelbeck

ALEXIS BERGANTZ AND ELIZABETH RECHNIEWSKI, ISFAR@35: Australia and France in a Regional Global Context: Past Engagements and Future Research Directions

The authors review the work of ISFAR, The French Australian Review and The ISFAR Research Committee in the light of recent political events. Since Australia’s geographical position affords ISFAR a close window onto its Pacific neighbourhood, ISFAR and FAR are uniquely placed to play a crucial role in providing the historical and contemporary perspectives from which to evaluate and document French Australian relations in this region.

Keywords: French-Australian relations, Indo-Pacific and France, New Caledonia, French Polynesia.

BARBARA SANTICH, ISFAR Research Project: French-Australian Exchanges in Viticulture and Winemaking

British colonists very quickly saw the potential in Australia for growing grapes and making wine, and naturally looked to France as their model. Early vignerons, such as Gregory Blaxland and William Macarthur, visited France to study vineyards and winemaking practices, and often returned with cuttings of French vines. In the second half of the century French vignerons, such as Camille Réau and Jean-Pierre Trouette, established vineyards in Australia. In view of their significance, ISFAR has initiated a project to produce entries for the FADB and a book highlighting the significance of these exchanges. This paper gives an outline of the aims and scope of the project, together with potted biographies of several of the more influential individuals.

Keywords: ISFAR, Australia, France, wine viticulture, William Macarthur, Louis Edouard Bourbaud, Bill Hardy.

Elizabeth Rechniewski, Beatrice Grimshaw: Traveller, Writer and Advocate for Australian Imperialism in the South Pacific

The author argues that Beatrice Grimshaw was not only a traveller but a prolific writer, of novels, pamphlets and cruise brochures, newspaper and magazine articles that were highly influential in forming the contemporary public’s representations of the Pacific islands and their inhabitants. She also sought to intervene in the political affairs of the nascent Australian nation, encouraging and seeking to facilitate through her writings and her contacts with leading Australian politicians its imperialistic ambitions over the neighbouring islands, including those partly or wholly claimed by France, the New Hebrides and New Caledonia.

Keywords: Beatrice Grimshaw, France, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Alfred Deakin.

Nicole Townsend, ‘Kangaroos’ and ‘Froggies’: Australian-French Relations and the Allied Invasion of Lebanon and Syria, 1941

This article focuses on Australia’s war with France during the Second World War, when Australian troops partook in the invasion of the Vichy French mandates of Lebanon and Syria in June 1941. It uses various sources, including oral history interviews, memoirs, diaries, and unit histories, to elucidate how Australian troops negotiated relations with the French, who were both friend and foe. In doing so, it sheds light on a lesser-known period in the Australian-French relationship.

Keywords: Australian-French relations, Operation Exporter, Syria, Lebanon, Second World War, Vichy France, Free France. 

Chantal Crozet, Convergence and Divergence on Gender Inclusive Language in France and Australia

This article aims to reveal some rich points of ideological divergence and convergence of gender inclusive language (hereafter GIL) between France and Australia as found in scholarly literature and the written press. French and Australian societies are both being challenged by the push for more gender inclusive language. However, linguistic challenges to achieve gender inclusivity in French are much more complex and extensive than they are in English. This explains in part the much more intense level of public debate on GIL in France than in Australia, a point of divergence between the two countries.

Keywords: Gender inclusive language, inclusive writing, The Académie Française.

Kerry Mullan, French-Australian Relations: Une Entente Glaciale Revisited

In light of last year’s deterioration in French-Australian relations, this article will examine the AUKUS exchanges between former Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Emmanuel Macron, with a particular focus on the underlying French and Australian English cultural values and assumptions which influenced their communications. It will be argued that these different ways of seeing the world were largely responsible for the decline in relations between the two leaders. The author comments that some benefits of multilingualism, such as better understanding of other worldviews (and one’s own), intercultural communication skills, connection with others, and access to more knowledge, are often considered secondary—and yet, they are indispensable.

Keywords: French-Australian relations, cultural values, interactional style, AUKUS, multilingualism


Danielle Clode, Book Review: Jean Fornasiero and John West-Sooby (eds), Roaming Freely Throughout the Universe: Nicolas Baudin’s Voyage to Australia and the Pursuit of Science

This book focuses on science and the role of François Péron in Nicolas Baudin’s voyage to Australia and its lasting effects. Péron was one of only three scientists to complete the journey out of the fourteen who originally embarked. There are four sections: the first on the scientific context of voyaging, the second on Péron himself, the third on the scientific records from the voyage and the fourth which, initially, seems to be about participants who were not Péron. In the reviewer’s opinion, the book is ‘not simply a collection of essays’ because the essays have been skilfully situated to foreshadow later developments, gradually layering and revealing detail, nuance and complexity and giving the collection an unexpected narrative structure that is, at times, positively thrilling’.

Keywords: Baudin, Péron, Le Havre Museum, Malmaison, Naturaliste, Géographe.

Andrew Montana, Book Review: John Drury, Two French Sisters in Australia: 1888–1922: Berthe Mouchette and Marie Lion, Artists and Teachers

John Drury’s tribute to the two French sisters, Berthe Mouchette and Marie Lyon reinforces their contributions to French-Australian relations through both their teaching and their cultural activities in both Melbourne and Adelaide. Drury’s meticulous research adds depth to our knowledge of their work, especially of their artistic practices and Lion’s writing. They are also remembered for their post-war charitable work and the ongoing connections with Dernancourt and the Somme.

Keywords: Berthe Mouchette. Marie Lion, Oberwyl, Lady Loch, Annie Besant, Theosophy Adelaide.

Edward Duyker, Book Review: Suzanne Falkiner, Rose: The Extraordinary Voyage of Rose de Freycinet

Suzanne Falkiner’s Rose is an engaging account of the life of Rose de Freycinet, née Pinon (1794–1832). The book is also a biography of Rose’s husband Louis Claude de Saulces de Freycinet (1779–1842) on whose Uranie expedition 1817–1820 she was secreted, in male guise, at the age of twenty-two. Falkiner has used Rose’s manuscripts and the various edited and published versions of her journals and letters (and those of her husband and fellow voyagers) with discernment and skill.

Keywords: Rose de Freycinet, Uranie, Louis de Freycinet, Académie des Sciences.

Briony Nielson, Book Review: Andréas Pfersmann, La littérature irradiée : Les essais nucléaires en Polynésie française au prisme de l’écriture

In La littérature irradiée: Les essais nucléaires en Polynésie française au prisme de l’écriture, Andréas Pfersmann, a literature academic at the Université de la Polynésie française, explores the interplay of issues relating to France’s nuclear testing in the Pacific, as reflected in the work of literary writers in French Polynesia, as well as in metropolitan France and in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Keywords: littérature irradiée, nuclear tests Pacific, Pfersmann, French Polynesian literature.

Edward Duyker, Book Review: Margaret Cameron-Ash, Beating France to Botany Bay: The Race to Found Australia

Reviewer Edward Duyker argues that the idea that Lapérouse was engaged in a race with Arthur Phillip and had secret orders to establish a French colony at Botany Bay, in 1788, is not based on available research.

Keywords: Lapérouse, Arthur Phillip, Botany Bay, French in Australia.

Elaine Lewis, French-Australian Bibliographical Notes