The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800-1804


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Australian National Maritime Museum: 31 August – 26 November 2017

The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800 -1804  was opened last night by the French Ambassador, His Excellency Christophe Penot.  This stunning exhibition brings over 340 of the original paintings and drawings from the Museum of Natural History in Le Havre, France to Australian audiences for the first time.

It also features two of the four Louis Berthoud chronometers purchased for the expedition October 22, 1799, exquisite coastal profiles, hand drawn maps (including the Freycinet 1811 first map of Australia, and Baudin’s personal journal from France’s National Archives. (Photo of Chronometer 31 (top) and Chronometer 35 (below for detail) which is on loan to the ANMM from the Silent World Foundation)

Essay from The Conversation July 2016

ABC News Report

Review from  The Australian May 2016

The Adelaide Review November 2017


Baudin’s ships, Géographe and Naturaliste embarked from Le Havre in October 1800 for the Southern continent carrying an impressive contingent of scientists and scientific assistants. Lavishly funded by Napoleon Bonaparte, the expedition’s agenda was the discovery and study of natural sciences, underpinned by the emergence of new ideas and philosophies of reason.

The exhibition showcases original sketches and paintings created by Baudin’s artists Charles Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit during the voyage of 1800-1804. Lesueur and Petit created their paintings and drawings on the shores and off the coasts of Australia and captured some of the first European views of Australian animals, landscapes and very first portraits of Aboriginal people.



A New Lease of Life for the La Perouse Museum


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Tuesday 5th September 2017 saw a new chapter unfold in the life of the Lapérouse Museum.  Situated on the northern headland of Botany Bay, the Museum was established in 1988 to coincide with Australia’s bi-century and the landing of French Naval Officer Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse in 1788.

The NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, Gabrielle Upton and Randwick City Mayor, Councillor Noel d’Souza signed an historic agreement that will transfer management of the Lapérouse Museum, on a long-term lease (2 x 21 years) to Randwick City Council. The transfer, which is several years in the making, will result in the Museum’s maintenance and running assured by Randwick City Council. Much needed funds allocated in Council’s budget can now be released and directed towards repairs and restoration of the Lapérouse Museum, Lapérouse Monument, Père Receveur Grave and Macquarie Watchtower. A stakeholder’s advisory Trust will advise Council and a consultation process underway will decide the best uses for these significant assets that attract many visitors to the area from Australia and abroad each year. Randwick Council aims to elevate this important location to one of the nation’s principal cultural destinations.

This unique site is very important to France. It marks the beginning of the France-Australia relationship a 229 year long affair that continues to grow, strengthen and prosper.   The establishment of the Lapérouse Museum in 1988, was the culmination of a joint four year Australia-France project for our nation’s bicentenary. Throughout the Museum’s life both the Royal Australian and French Navies regularly gather here to commemorate Lapérouse’s unprecedented visit and to pay homage to all Mariners past and present, who often serve far away from their homeland.

A ceremony conducted with dignity and respect accompanied the official signing of the new lease, presided over by Peter Hay, Executive Officer for the Greater Sydney Region of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Honoured guests and participants included Michael Wright CEO of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Member for Coogee and former Randwick Council Mayor the Hon. Bruce Notley-Smith, the Consul General for France Nicolas Croizer, Gary Ella representing the La Perouse Indigenous community, Randwick City Councillor Sima Truuvert, Director of City Planning, the Lapérouse Museum’s curator Elizabeth Broomhead, Nicole Forrest Green (President) and Tony Gentile (Secretary) representing the Friends of the Lapérouse Museum and the Principal of the French School, Maroubra the Lycée Condorcet, Philippe Courjault accompanied by Year 5 primary students who performed both the Australian and French National Anthems.

Minister Upton is to be commended for her efforts in taking charge of this project and assuring the transfer of the Museum’s management and other related sites, took place in a timely manner. This long awaited result will breathe new life into the area and will allow for greater access to facilities, and increased Museum operating hours. The management agreement will officially come into effect on Thursday October 26 2017.

(Pictured above:  Schoolchildren from the French School at Maroubra including a descendent of the family of Pierre le Gobien with Minister Upton and Bruce Notley-Smith MP Coogee who as Mayor of Randwick first raised the possibility of the lease. Pierre le Gobien joined the expedition in the Philippines in May 1787, celebrated his 21st birthday in June aboard L’Astrolabe and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant at Botany Bay, March 5th 1788).

The Friends of the Lapérouse Museum thank all parties who worked tirelessly across many years to ensure the result achieved today and look forward to the future with great anticipation.

Nicole Forrest Green, President

Australia’s Chief of Navy, VADM Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN Visits the Laperouse Museum


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On Wednesday, 7th June 2017 the Friends of the Lapérouse Museum hosted close to 90 guests for a special evening, a lecture entitled ‘American Freedom, a French Inspiration’ or ‘l’Indépendance Américaine, grâce a la France’ by Professor Peter Anstey from the University of Sydney, a specialist in 18th century French philosophy, the era of Lapérouse, Lafayette, Rochambeau, Jefferson, Franklin and the French Enlightenment.

The Guest of Honour was Australia’s Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN. Other special dignitaries included the U.S. Consul General Valerie Fowler, French Consul General Nicolas Croizer and from France the CEO of THALES Underwater Systems SAS and Vice President of the THALES Group Alexis Morel. Also present were the U.S. Naval Attaché Captain Defrias, French Defence Attaché (FN) Captain Marboeuf, CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (Amcham) Niels Marquardt and the Dean of the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics from Western Sydney University, Professor Siméon Simoff.  (Photos: FR-AUS-US Navies Captain Y. Marboeuf (French Defence Attaché, French Navy) VADM Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN Chief of Navy, Captain A. Defrias (U.S. Naval Attaché); FOLM President, Nicole Forrest Green with Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN


FOLM President, Nicole Forrest Green conducted the order of ceremony for the evening, inviting both the French and U.S. Consuls General to speak on the important historical relationship between the U.S. and France where during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), French assistance enabled American resistance forces also known as the ‘Continental Army’ to defeat the British colonists with both financial aid and military support ensuring their independence. Lapérouse, the Marquis de Lafayette and the Count of Rochambeau were active French participants. Professor Peter Anstey, also referenced French political philosopher and jurist Montesquieu and his core work ‘De l’Esprit des Lois’ where he believed that political freedom could be created by separating political powers into different branches, developing the political theory of ‘checks and balances’ that became an integral  part of the U.S. Constitution. (Photos:  Professor Peter Anstey, University of Sydney; U.S. Consul General Valerie Fowler)

Guest of Honour VADM Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN, Australia’s Chief of Navy also addressed an attentive audience, highlighting the strong France-Australia partnership recently strengthened when French defence company DCNS, had been selected in April last year to design the Royal Australian Navy’s new fleet of diesel powered submarines. Vice Admiral Barrett referred to the cooperation in our region of the three nations represented tonight, Australia, France and the U.S., allies, united by shared values and historical bonds that remain solid and strong. The Chief of Navy also paid homage to the vision and achievements of French Naval Officer, Jean-François Galaup, le Comte de Lapérouse, who landed on ‘this very site where we gather this evening’, on 26th January 1788, and who personifies the beginnings of the France-Australia relationship, an enduring partnership.

From France, Nicole Forrest Green welcomed Alexis Morel, CEO of Thales Underwater Systems SAS and a Vice President of the Thales Group leading the organisation’s underwater systems global business line. Alexis’ international engagement is vast including a secondment to the U.S. State Department, working within the French Embassy in Washington D.C., and serving in France’s Foreign Ministry’s Directorate for Strategic and Security Affairs, in charge of NATO and European Defence Policy. In Australia, THALES work extensively with the Royal Australian Navy and partner with numerous domestic SME’s in the defence sector, creating jobs and businesses that use advanced technology and specialized science.  (Photo: Alexis Morel, CEO Thales Underwater Systemes SAS, VP Thales Group)

But it is the organisation’s interest in culture, education and employment opportunities for young Australians (including women), that brings them to the Lapérouse Museum. Generous sponsors of the evening, Thales will also partner with the Lapérouse Education Fund to create a scholarship program that will send Australian students from non-affluent backgrounds to France, to further their studies in science, engineering and mathematics via a University exchange program between the University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis and Western Sydney University, Parramatta. THALES operate from premises close to both campuses at Sophia Antipolis, an advanced technology hub in Southern France, and at Rydalmere next to Parramatta in Sydney’s West. Students at WSU are often first in their family to attend University, and are unlikely to have the opportunity to travel and study in France. Criteria for the scholarship will include an affinity with French philosophy and the mission and values of Lapérouse, whose legacy embodies dignity, respect, humanity and scientific discovery.  (Photo: French Consul General Nicolas Croizer with Michel-Henri Carriol)

Nicole Forrest Green presented the Dean of the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics of Western Sydney University with a $10,000 cheque on behalf of the Lapérouse Education Fund at the evening’s conclusion. She also extended an invitation to both the Chief of Navy and the U.S. Consul General to return to the Lapérouse Museum at their convenience, and thanked the French Consul General for his support of our work.