The French Australian Review – No 75 Australian Summer 2023-2024

Special Conference Issue

ISSN 2981-894X (Online), ISSN 2203-5362 (Print)

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ELIZABETH RECHNIEWSKI & ALEXIS BERGANTZ, New perspectives in French-Australian Studies: Introduction to this Special Conference Issue
This introduction to the refereed articles adapted from papers delivered at the ISFAR Symposium, ‘New Perspectives on French-Australian Studies’, held in April 2023, also reflects upon the profound transformations the world has experienced since the founding journal (formerly Explorations) was first published in 1985.

NIC MACLELLAN, Silenced Voices in the Indo-Pacific: Reflections on Australia, France and Regionalism in the Age of AUKUS
Renowned author and journalist Nic Maclellan argues that even as politicians in Paris and Canberra strengthen their Indo-Pacific strategic partnership, Indigenous voices are often missing in the debate on France-Australia relations in Oceania.
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MATTHEW GRAVES, ‘L’Île du Géographe’ Revisited: Unofficial Diplomacy in Post-Federation French-Australian Relations
Matthew Graves considers the role of those private individuals who, on their own initiative, strive to represent and promote the interests of their country—often in fields neglected by official priorities. In this case, learned geographical societies in both France and Australia supported Alphonse de Fleurieu’s initiatives.

PAUL KIEM, The Huybers and Loureiro Families: A Case Study in the History of Australia’s French Connection: Part Two
This fascinating article on the lives of the Huybers and Loureiro families demonstrates how ‘transnational life-writing’ can open up fresh perspectives on larger themes in Australian history and French-Australian relations.

ALEXIS BERGANTZ, Anne Robson: French Government Travelling Scholar, Translator and Lifelong Francophile
Bergantz explores the life of Lady Anne Kerr who, prior to her marriage to Sir John Kerr, had an international career as a French-English simultaneous translator. The article also uncovers new information on the outbound exchange programme established by the University of Sydney’s Professor George Gibb Nicholson with the Sorbonne in Paris.

VANESSA CASTEJON, Postcolonial Rereadings and Transmission: Miroslav Šašek’s Travel Books
This article presents and compares first and more recent editions of Maurice Šašek’s book, This is Australia. Disappointingly, clichéd descriptions of both white and Indigenous Australians still remain in the ‘updated’ versions, and little attention is paid to Australia’s colonial origins.

ALICE DUNCAN, Exploring Cross-Cultural Representations: French Children’s Literature and Australian Indigenous Culture
Duncan’s article complements the work of Castejon with its analysis of the representation of Aboriginal art and culture in a selection of French books for children which often still reinforce colonial stereotypes.



FLORENCE BOULARD: BOOK REVIEW, Théodore Leschenault, The French Collector: Journal and Letters of Théodore Leschenault, Botanist of the Baudin Expedition translated by Paul Gibbard
The French Collector offers a unique journey into the discovery of a recovered manuscript and is the first English translation of the complete text of Leschenault’s journal, 1800–1802. Boulard concludes that ‘it is clear from this work that Leschenault was not just an acute botanist but also an avid anthropologist’.

JANE GILMOUR: BOOK REVIEW, Karin Speedy, Foundations
‘A very personal story of a research journey where she has been drawn back to the facades of our landscapes to show what lies behind them.’ Researchers will relate to this story of the journeys behind research discoveries.

JOHN EMERSON: BOOK NOTE, Marie Ramsland ed., Reciprocity: A Celebration on the Life of Jean-Paul Delamotte
John Emerson writes in warm appreciation of the life’s work of Jean-Paul Delamotte and his wife Monique and the effort and resources they poured into their life-long project of ‘reciprocity’.

VICTORIA TAYLOR: BOOK NOTE, Claudine Jacques, The Mask and Life Sentence and The Blue Cross, translated by Patricia Worth
Claudine Jacques’ short stories are translated into English by Patricia Worth and published by Volkeno Books, Vanuatu. ‘Their evocative descriptions transport the the reader to this French Pacific location whilst exploring universal themes of human relationships.’ Reviewer Victoria Taylor comments that the format of these two bilingual mini-books makes them ‘ideal for teachers or learners of advanced French’.

ELAINE LEWIS, Bibliographical Notes