The Melbourne Salon

The Melbourne Salon offers a place for Francophones and Francophiles to engage in French-Australian cross-cultural dialogues. Talks are usually in English with subsequent discussions in French or English. The Melbourne Salon aims to:
• broaden understanding of French and Australian perspectives on contemporary topics through conversation, debate and discussion
• draw participants from a wide range of backgrounds (academics, journalists, writers, performers) and others who share an interest in discussing ideas in a convivial atmosphere

Thu 16 May 2024 6pm–8pm: The Melbourne Salon presents French restaurants and wine saloons in early Melbourne. The Melbourne Salon invites you to an evening with Professor Emeritus Barbara Santich AM
Adapting to transplanted eating and drinking customs and licensing regulations, French nationals established restaurants and cafes in nineteenth-century Victoria as alternatives to inns, taverns and eating houses providing meals in the English style, usually with little choice and at specific times only. This talk briefly describes the origins of the restaurant in eighteenth-century Paris and reviews French wine saloons and restaurants in nineteenth-century Melbourne.
Venue: Alliance Française de Melbourne Pop-Up, Madame Brussels Lane (accessible from 50 Lonsdale Street)
Bookings (includes refreshments): General admission $20; AFM students and members $15

Wed 26 July 2023 6pm–8pm: The Melbourne Salon presents Foreign Language Bookshops: the inside story, with Jillian Symons, Managing Director Intext Book Company Pty Ltd/Language International Bookshop and Elaine Lewis, former owner and manager The Australian Bookshop in Paris.
This was a very special evening with two Australian bookshop owners (one current, one former) who have both done an enormous amount for promoting foreign language books and cultures in Australia and in France. Jillian and Elaine shared their stories and insights into the world of bookshops, book sales, publishing, and all things books.
Venue: Alliance Française de Melbourne Pop-Up, Madame Brussels Lane (accessible from 50 Lonsdale Street)
Bookings (includes refreshments): General admission $20; AFM students and members $15

Thu 23 Apr 2023 6-8pm: The Melbourne Salon Presents: France and Australia cultural differences. Based on her personal experience and her 20-year career as an international business manager, Sabrina Teller presented an overview of Cultural Intelligence and how this can help us understand the cultural differences between France and Australia. Sabrina also discussed key cultural dimensions where French and Australians have different ways of working which can impact on performance when working together, and advised how we might go about navigating culture shock and dealing with unfamiliar communication styles.
Venue: Alliance Française de Melbourne Pop-Up, Madame Brussels Lane (accessible from 50 Lonsdale Street)

Thu 25 Aug 2022 6:30-8:30pm: The Melbourne Salon Presents: Nicolas Baudin’s Voyage to Australia and the Pursuit of Science with Professor John West-Sooby.
It is a remarkable fact that, despite the political and institutional turmoil created in France by the 1789 Revolution, successive governments found the wherewithal to organise a number of major scientific expeditions during the decade or so that followed. One of the most ambitious of these scientific ventures was Nicolas Baudin’s voyage of discovery to the “Southern Lands” (1800-1804), which was approved and sponsored by Napoleon Bonaparte. This talk offers a fresh assessment of the scientific achievements of that voyage, and of some of the expedition’s key figures.

Thu 19 May 2022 6-7pm Melbourne time (Online event): The Melbourne Salon Presents: France Australia Wine: Exchanges and collaborations
Professor Emeritus Barbara Santich AM presents an overview of the Australian reliance on French models to develop viticulture, wine making and a wine-drinking culture in the nineteenth century. From the very early days of the first colony, British settlers wanted to establish vineyards. With great enthusiasm but almost no experience and little understanding of viticulture and winemaking, they turned to France for both theoretical and practical knowledge and for proven grape varieties.

The Melbourne Salon 2022-
The Melbourne Salon archive 2018-2021
The Melbourne Salon archive 2014-2017
The Melbourne Salon archive 2010-2013