The French Australian Review – No 65 Australian Summer 2018-2019

ELAINE LEWIS, Foreword

ELIZABETH RECHNIEWSKI, Voyage of the Pilgrims
WINNER OF THE 2018 IVAN BARKO AWARD

In June 1902, a small group of prospective settlers set out from Sydney for the New Hebrides. They were accompanied by A. B. Paterson–‘Banjo’ Paterson–who had been hired by the Sydney Morning Herald to report on their progress and the nature of the territory to which they were venturing. This article draws on contemporary French and Australian newspapers, including Paterson’s articles for the Herald, and parliamentary debates, to explore the significance of this settlement project in the context of the decades-long dispute between France, Britain and Australia over the future of the New Hebrides. It pays particular attention to the years immediately following Federation, when the new nation of Australia offered government and private support to boost British settlement of the islands.

Keywords: Australian colonisation, New Hebrides, Vanuatu, Banjo Paterson, Pacific imperial rivalry, Annandale settlement

BRIONY NEILSON, Convict Suffering and Salvation in New Caledonia and Australia: the Life and Writing of French Bagnard-Poet, Julien de Sanary

This article offers a contextualised analysis of the published writing of the French convict-poet Julien de Sanary. Transported from France to the penal colony in New Caledonia in 1881, Sanary spent almost forty years of his life incarcerated in the archipelago before his case was taken up by an Australian woman, Wolla Meranda, who successfully petitioned for his release in 1920. The first extended study of Sanary’s life and work–and the first ever in English–this article discusses the meaning of the act of writing for the French convict and provides an analysis of some of the major themes of his poetry. In addition it points out the greater significance of Sanary’s life and poetry, arguing that his experiences and relationship with Meranda are illustrative of a prevailing trope in the early twentieth century concerning the backwardness of New Caledonia as a European settler colony relative to Australia.
Keywords: bagne, convict poetry, bagnard-poète, prison writing, New Caledonia, convict transportation, Julien de Sanary, Wolla Meranda, penal colony, criminal justice

Speeches delivered at the ISFAR/Alliance Française de Sydney event, ‘French and Australian Dialogues‘ (May 2018) and at the Melbourne Salon (November 2018):

ROBERT ALDRICH, The 2018 New Caledonian referendum

This article provides us with a sweeping history of both the colonial legacy in New Caledonia and the various ‘ideologies that have underlain campaigns for change in status’, thus supplying the reader with a perspective from which to view present and future options.

Keywords: Referendum, New Caledonia, French Pacific territory, French outre-mer, événements of the 1980s, self determination

DENISE FISHER, The Referendum in New Caledonia

Denise Fisher writes a detailed description of events in New Caledonia during the week of the referendum and her incisive comments demonstrate its complexity, as well as its importance to Australia.

Keywords: New Caledonia 2018 independence referendum, 1988 Matignon/Oudinot Accords, Noumea Accord, Groupe de dialogue sur le chemin de l’avenir

CARRILLO GANTNER, Mirka Madeleine Mora 1928-2018 (Tribute at State Funeral, September 2018)

This tribute to Melbourne artist Mirka Mora, delivered at her State Funeral in September of 2018, farewells a woman who ‘has been at the very heart of Melbourne’s creative life and popular esteem for many decades’.

Keywords: Mirka Mora, Honoured Artist of the City of Melbourne, State Funeral

ELAINE LEWIS, Barry John McGowan 1945–2018

Barry McGowan’s article, ‘Convicts and Communards: French-Australian relations in the South Pacific, 1800–1900’, appeared in The French Australian Review issue 64. Barry was a prodigious researcher who published sixteen books as well as many reports, articles and papers.

Keywords: Barry McGowan, ‘Convicts and Communards’, French Australian Review issue 64, ANU, Medal of the Order of Australia

PHILIPPA HETHERINGTON, Leslie John Hetherington 1955–2018

Les Hetherington MA (University of Sydney), B. Litt (Australian National University) was a scholar of Australian social and migration history. In particular, he examined the history of the French community in Australia, as well as Australian history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries more broadly. He was particularly committed to biographical approaches to the past, authoring a number of articles for the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Keywords: Les Hetherington, Leslie John Hetherington, social and migration history, French community in Australia, Australian Dictionary of Biography

KERRY MULLAN, Melbourne Salon and ISFAR events, 2018

10 May 2018 ‘Were it but for a lemon’ – Dr James Tibballs,
17 May 2018 ISFAR event in Sydney: The Referendum in New Caledonia: what is at stake? The second in the series, ‘French and Australian Dialogues’ – Professor Robert Aldrich and Ms Denise Fisher,
2 August 2018 French convicts and the case for freedom in Australia – Dr Alexis Bergantz,
27 September 2018 French Contributions to Australian Life. ISFAR Colloqium, University of Adelaide, Reflections on the Commemorations of the Great War,
8 November 2018 The Referendum in New Caledonia: what is at stake? – Professor Robert Aldrich and Ms Denise Fisher, – Emeritus Professor Colin Nettelbeck,
14 July 2018: Bastille Day
26 November 2018 Presentation – Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques to Dr Kerry Mullan,
27 November 2018 ISFAR end-of-year gathering

PAULINE GEORGELIN, French Australian Encounters no 2: Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux 2018

On April 2018 Pauline Georgelin was one of 8,000 people, mostly Australians, who gathered at Villers-Bretonneux for the Anzac Day Dawn Service, commemorating the centenary of the battle of Villers-Bretonneux in 1918 – a personal description of an annual commemoration.

Keywords: Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux, Sir John Monash Centre, Villers-Bretonneux, World War 1 commemorations, Édouard Philippe, Wéo TV

BOOK NOTES:

IVAN BARKO, 101 mots pour comprendre l’Australie, by Peter Brown & Jean-Yves Faberon (eds), published by the Centre de documentation pédagogique de Nouvelle Calédonie. The 101 topics are grouped into ten chapters, namely First Peoples, Explorers, History, Economics and Development, Cultures, Institutions and Politics, External Relations and (Relations with) New Caledonia.

Keywords: 101 mots pour comprendre l’Australie, Peter Brown & Jean-Yves Faberon, New Caledonia, Centre de documentation pédagogique de Nouvelle Calédonie

CAROL NETTELBECK, Mirka and Georges: a Culinary Affair, published by The Miegunya Press and Museum of Modern Art Heide contains black and white family photos and coloured photos of Mirka’s artworks, a profusion of French recipes and an engaging text, all of which pay homage to two extraordinary personalities.

Keywords: Mirka and Georges: a Culinary Affair, Melbourne artist, Miegunya Press, Museum of Modern Art Heide

ELAINE LEWIS, French-Australian Bibliographical Notes

Explorations No 7 – Dec 1988

WALLACE KIRSOP, Foreword

FRANÇOIS FONTAINE, A Coopérant’s Experiences in Melbourne

The 23-year old author, on a two-year (1977-79) work experience contract (in lieu of twelve months’ military service), was assigned to the Alliance Française in Melbourne as a teacher and a multi-skilled helper. The article is a highly personal and often humorous account of this period in his life, his early problems with Australian English, his friendship with two successive Directors and two successive Presidents of the Alliance, the constant stimulation provided by his job and his relationship with Australians in general as well as those who came to the Alliance to learn French.

Keywords: Alliance Française of Melbourne, Methodist Ladies College, Yannick Jezequel, Bernard Milluy

EDWARD DUYKER, Some Thoughts on the Mauritian Cultural Impact on Australia

A brief survey of the influence of Mauritians on Australian institutions and culture, in which the author argues that despite differences in their racial origins Mauritians can be considered as members of a single ethnic group held together by their language (Créole), their religion and the Gallic element in their background. After listing a number of personalities of Mauritian origin who made a notable contribution to Australian life and culture (e.g. Lloyd Rees), the article surveys the various associations and clubs in different Australian centres (but principally in Melbourne) where Mauritians gather.

Keywords: Sylvie Leclézio, Odile Leclézio, Léon Henri Magrin, Philippe Tanguy, Alfred North-Coombes, Henri Wilden, Stella Clavisque Club, Mauritians in Australia, Dr Georges Domaingue

COLIN NETTELBECK, The Consul’s Treasure

This article tells the story of the re-discovery in 1988 of eight tea-chests stored in the garage of a Melbourne man whose father was a former removalist. These tea-chests contained the archives of the French Consulate entrusted to the removalist in 1940 when the Consulate was closed down. The article explains how the Consul-General of 1988, instructed by his Government to return the archives to France, allowed local scholars to inspect the material and photocopy a limited number of documents relevant to the history of French-Australian relations before their return to the French Archives. The Consul-General also arranged for some reference works and serials, not required in France, to be donated to local libraries.

Keywords: Dominique Raoux, French Consul-General, 1880-1920 records, New Hebrides, WWI, Dame Nellie Melba, Baron von Mueller, Berthe Mouchette, Crivelli family, Ferdinand Maurice-Carton

EDWARD DUYKER, Mauritians on the Gold Fields: a Résumé

The voyage of Mauritians to the Victorian goldfields in the 1850s was facilitated by the large number of ships sailing between their country and Australia due to the booming sugar trade. The article discusses the history of the Mauritians who settled in Australia and of those who returned, the latter often under very difficult financial circumstances. The author, who deplores the scarcity of contemporary accounts of the role of Mauritians in the Gold Rush, concludes that by and large the Gold Rush was no more than a temporary diversion for most of them.

Keywords: gold rush, Bell Regnard & Co, Léon Burguez, Louis Gustave Adam, Eugène Fadhuille

BOOK REVIEWS

John Dunmore, Pacific Explorer: The Life of Jean-François de La Pérouse, 1741-1788, reviewed by Edward Duyker

Amédée Nagapen, L’Église à Maurice, 1810-1841, reviewed by Edward Duyker