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

Wed 26 Oct 2022 6:00-8:00pm: The Melbourne Salon Presents: When you order a book from France by the time it arrives here you have ceased to want it’ Finding French books and talking literature in nineteenth century Australia with Dr Alexis Bergantz. Unfortunately this event was cancelled.
French literature was an important strand in the strong Francophilia that characterised the elite intellectual and cultural life of nineteenth and early twentieth century Australia. Yet geography and history created particular conditions of access to French books and the dissemination of knowledge of French literature remained limited well into the twentieth century.
Venue: The Oxford Scholar Hotel (Level 1), 427 Swanston St, Melbourne (RMIT University Tram Stop 7; Melbourne Central train station)
Cover charge (includes refreshments) $25.
The book ‘French Connection: Australia’s cosmopolitan ambitions’ by Alexis Bergantz is available for purchase here.

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