The French Australian Review – No 71 Australian Summer 2021-2022


PATRICIA CLARKE, Australian Connections with the Franco-Prussian War 1870 and the Commune of Paris 1871

In 1870 the Sydney Morning Herald published reports of the fast-moving Franco-Prussian war from its Paris correspondent Anna Blackwell culminating in her forced departure from the city as it was about to be besieged by Prussian forces. Her graphic eyewitness account of her escape by train to Boulogne was followed in 1871 by an equally graphic account of the operation of the short-lived Paris Commune by Irish-born London-based journalist, Frances Cashel Hoey. Hoey’s eyewitness account, first published in the English periodical the Spectator was widely republished in Australian capital city newspapers leading to her appointment in 1873 by the Victorian weekly the Australasian to write a regular women’s column ‘Society and Fashion’ from London. The Franco-Prussian War was the greatest overseas news story in the Australian press in 1870 and the revolutionary Paris Commune made the city the centre of world interest. Both Anna Blackwell and Frances Cashel Hoey were great reporters who saw immediately that they were witnessing events that would live in history.

Keywords: Franco-Prussian War 1870, Paris Commune 1871, Anna Blackwell, Frances Cashel Hoey, female foreign correspondents, Sydney Morning Herald, Australasian.

WILLIAM A. LAND, The Légion d’Honneur in Australia

The history of the Légion d’honneur in Australia dates back to the first award which was made to Sir William Macarthur in 1855. The Légion d’honneur is situated in the context of other French awards and its significance in terms of French-Australian relations. An appendix provides an overview of the history of the Société des Membres de la Légion d’honneur.

Keywords: Légion d’honneur, l’Ordre du mérite, military awards, Société des Membres de la Légion d’honneur (SMLH).

DEIRDRE GILFEDDER, Australian Film Festivals in France: Interviews with the Founders of Three Festivals of Australian and New Zealand Cinema

While Australian cinema occupies only a niche market in France it has found a place with French audiences and in French film culture. The role of three festivals of Australian cinema in making Australian films more widely available is highlighted with the three founding (and current) directors of these festivals.

Keywords: Festival du Film Australian, Le Bout du Monde (Pézenas), Festival du Cinéma Aborigène Australien à Paris, Festival des Antipodes Saint Tropez, Helen Buday, Greta Morgan Elangué, Bernard Boriès, Festival Rochefort Pacifique Cinéma et Littérature, La Rochelle.

ELAINE LEWIS, Australian Art in Paris: Gallery Arts d’Australie Stéphane Jacob

Stéphane Jacob established Arts d’Australie in Paris in 1996, after a visit to Australia when he first became acquainted with Aboriginal art. The interview that forms this article was based on an article in Le Figaro that appeared in March 2020. The interview covers Jacob’s passionate interest in and extensive knowledge of Aboriginal art and his promotion of this and other Australian art through his gallery in Paris and his links with other cultural institutions in France and Europe.

Keywords: Stéphane Jacob, Guy Cogeval, Isabelle de Beaumont, John Kelly, Musée des Confluences Lyon, Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Editions Arts d’Australie Stéphane Jacob.

MARIE-THÉRÈSE JENSEN, The Droulers Family in Australia

The links between France and Australia that arose in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries through the wool industry are many. This article tells the story of the author’s grandfather, Jean Drouler, who came to Australia in 1912 as a junior buyer for Masurel Fils. He and his wife settled in Australia after the First World War and became an integral part of the French community in Sydney. One hundred years later, their descendants now number over one hundred.

Keywords: Masurel Fils, Jean Droulers, French Chamber of Commerce (Sydney), Société de Bienfaisance (French Benevolent Society) (NSW), Jean Trémoulet, French Consul, Playoust family.

PETER MCPHEE, French Australian Encounters no 7: Finding Traces of the French Revolution in the Landscape

Physical traces of the French Revolution are few and far between in the built environment. Renowned historian of the French revolution recounts his voyages of discovery across France as he has located some of these vestiges.

Keywords: liberty tree Tamniès, Camps-sur-l’Agly, Saint-Julien du Sault, the church during the Revolution, Robespierre, autels de la patrie, ‘vandalism’.

EDWARD DUYKER, Revealing Père Receveur; A Portrait Beneath our Noses

Claude-François-Joseph Receveur, later known as Père Laurent, was a chaplain and naturalist on board the Astrolabe during Lapérouse’s fateful expedition. He died at Botany Bay, NSW in 1788 and was the first Catholic priest be buried in Australia.

Could he be the friar depicted in two images of the expedition? The author argues that the visual evidence would suggest yes.

Keywords: Lapérouse expedition (1785–1788), Macao, Brazil, Monterey, Gaspard Duché de Vancy.

The Annual Ivan Barko Prize

Awarded to Andrew Montana for his article in The French Australian Review, number 70., ‘Virtue and Sentiment: Madame Mouchette’s Art and Teaching in Melbourne 1881–1892’.

Key words: Andrew Montana, Berthe Mouchette.


GEMMA KING, Alexis Bergantz, French Connection: Australia’s Cosmopolitan Ambitions

The influence of cultural practices and motifs from France on nineteenth century Australian life.

Keywords: ‘Frenchness’, Alliance Française de Melbourne, New Caledonia, French convicts, World War 1.


ELAINE LEWIS, Paul Wenz, A Coral Eden (Le Jardin des coraux) translated by Maurice Blackman, Sydney, Exile Bay ETT Imprint

A new publication in the Sydney-Paris Link series from ETT Imprint, A Coral Eden was first published in French in 1929.

Keywords: Jean-Paul Delamotte, Paul Wenz, Maurice Blackman, Tom Thompson, Sydney-Paris Link series.

ELAINE LEWIS, French-Australian Bibliographical Notes

Including: a note on a collection of Australian children’s fiction translated into French that has been donated recently to the State Library of Victoria by Dr Helen Frank; and a note on new translations and readings/performances of Australian plays by the Maison Antoine Vitez, Paris, within the context of ‘Australia Now’, an Australian government promotional program in France.

Explorations – No 24 Jun 1998

(issued April 1999)


ROLLON MOUCHEL-BLAISOT, A Tribute to the French Film Festival: Cannes Film Festival Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective.

In 1997, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, twelve outstanding French films were showcased at the festival and these were subsequently made available to the Alliance Française of Adelaide, who organised a Retrospective at the Mercury Cinema Adelaide in June 1998. The text of the opening speech (A Tribute to the French Film Festival), by the Consul General for France, Rollon Michel-Blaisot, is available here.

Keywords: Rollon Mouchel-Blaisot, Cannes Film Festival 50th Anniversary, Retrospective, Mercury Cinema Adelaide.

C.B. THORNTON-SMITH, The Delamotte Phenomenon — Cultural Reciprocity

The story of Monique and Jean-Paul Delamotte, who established the Association Culturelle Franco-Australienne (ACFA) and the related Atelier Littéraire Franco-Australien (ALFA), with its publishing house Éditions La Petite Maison. The author pays tribute to the invaluable work they have done in promoting Australian writing in France.

Keywords: C.B. Thornton-Smith, Jean-Paul Delamotte, Association Culturelle Franco-Australienne (ACFA), Atelier Littéraire Franco-Australien (ALFA), Éditions La Petite Maison.

JEAN-PAUL DELAMOTTE, Reciprocity — for John Rowland, In Memoriam, The Inaugural Kelver Hartley Fellowship Address by Dr Jean-Paul Delamotte AM

A summary of two speeches made by Jean-Paul Delamotte in Newcastle and Sydney in 1997 when he was the Inaugural Kelver Hartley Fellow. The speaker pays tribute to the ‘French-Australian Cultural Connection’ and the many examples of reciprocity Delamotte found when he lived in Australia during the mid-seventies and reflects upon the work of French/Australian grazier and writer, Paul Wenz.

Keywords: Jean-Paul Delamotte, reciprocity, Newcastle University, Kelver Hartley, Ken Dutton, Paul Wenz, John Rowland.


Jean-Paul Delamotte, Un dimanche a Melbourne. Conte franco-australien reviewed by Patricia Clancy

Explorations – No 15 Dec 1993


ROGER LONDON, French Australia Relations in the Cold War

The author was French Consul in Melbourne These are reminiscences of his experiences in Melbourne during the French nuclear tests in the Pacific in the early nineteen-seventies, framed by references to the exploration of the Australian continent by Saint-Allouarn, Marion Dufresne, Lapérouse, d’Entrecasteaux, Baudin and Dumont d’Urville, and his own years of service at Washington DC.

Keywords: French nuclear tests in the Pacific, bans, French-Australian diplomatic relations, Ambassador Gabriel Van Laethem

COLETTE REDDIN, An Historic Comment on the House in Robe Street

The author, a long-time supporter and office bearer of the Alliance Française de Victoria and initiator of the ‘Maison de France Appeal’ which collected funds for the purchase of permanent accommodation for the Alliance, recalls French memories of the house at 17 Robe Street in St Kilda, a house that was to become the main seat of the Melbourne Alliance Française. Calling on her personal recollections, she evokes her acquaintance with this same house which was used by the French Naval Attaché, Commandant André Kervella, as his residence and office in 1944 and 1945 (until the end of war in the Pacific).

Keywords: War in the Pacific, French Military Mission in Australia, Alliance Française de Melbourne, French Legation in Canberra, André Kervella

IVAN BARKO, Thirty-Four Years in French Studies — Reminiscences and Reflections

After briefly describing his background, the author recalls his arrival in Australia and the beginnings of his academic career. He recounts the origin of his vocation and his first contacts with Australians and with French scholars in Australian universities.

Keywords: Léon Tauman, Monash University, University of Sydney, Ron Jackson, Roger Laufer, changes to syllabi in French, French nuclear tests in the Pacific

STEPHEN ALOMES, Beyond a Cloistered Europe: Universities and the French rediscovery of Australia

This article deals with the growing interest of French universities in Australian studies. The author analyses the emergence of courses in Australian studies in some French universities. Although these ‘few pockets of Australian studies’ are, in Professor Xavier Pons’ words, ‘islands in the ocean’, and although they are dependent on the personal involvement of individual scholars, they are not unrelated to a broader interest by the French in Australian culture and society.

Keywords: Commonwealth literature, ‘Australia and Continental Europe’ Conference (Paris 1982), Xavier Pons, multiculturalism, post-colonialism, Jean-Paul Delamotte, Australia France Foundation, French-Australian Research Centre at the University of NSW, Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations (ISFAR)

MICHAEL TAPER, The Snows of Yesteryear Fell in Adelaide

In these personal reminiscences the author recalls his friendship at school in Newcastle with Tony Wilson, a future French scholar and diplomat, and Tony Tripp, a future theatrical designer. Shortly after Tony Wilson’s premature death, the author (having completed a university French course himself), meets one of Wilson’s French friends, Jean-Marie Laxenaire, with whom he develops a close association. The second part of the article, written shortly before its publication, describes the author’s fortuitous encounter at Adelaide Airport with Colin and Carol Nettelbeck, who had been his friends in the early nineteen-sixties in Paris. The two stories come together a few weeks later in Melbourne where the Nettelbecks, the Tapers and the Tripps reside.

Keywords: Tony Wilson, Tony Tripp, Jean-Marie Laxenaire, Colin Nettelbeck, Paris in the early 1960s, the Sorbonne.


Marc Serge Riviere & Thuy Huynh Einam, editors and translators, Any Port in a Storm: From Provence to Australia: Rolland’s Journal of the Voyage of La Coquille (1822-1825), reviewed by Edward Duyker

Margaret de Mestre, in collaboration with Neville de Mestre, Prosper de Mestre in Australia, reviewed by Wallace Kirsop