Dr Peter Rickwood’s Talk on Volcanism as observed by French in 1788



The first geological observation recorded in the new colony was the sighting of columnar sandstone. This discovery was made some time between 26 January and 26 February 1788 and was recorded by John Hunter as ‘(in miniature) resembling the Giants Causeway in the north of Ireland’.   A Journal Paper, with lead author Dr Peter Rickwood, was published in December 2011.

Dr Rickwood presented a talk about his research to Friends and guests at the Laperouse Museum last Saturday, October 14th 2017.  He was welcomed by the President, Nicole Forrest Green.  Guests included Professor Ivan Barko, Doug Morrison, and President of the Randwick and District Historical Society, Lesley Potter.  Samples of local columnar sandstone were provided by Charles and Carol Abela.

Doug Morrison, Ivan Barko, Peter Rickwood

Doug Morrison at possible site for the French Garden



Peter Rickwood and Greg Bond discussing geological formation in Frenchman’s Bay and possible site of Laperouse Expedition latrines


Meeting with France’s Chief of Navy Admiral Christophe Prazuck


FOLM Président Nicole Forrest Green met France’s Chief of Navy Admiral Christophe Prazuck last week in Sydney during the Pacific 2017 forum at Darling Harbour which showcases maritime excellence.

Admiral Prazuck is an admirer of Lapérouse and committed to the France-Australia strategic defence relationship. He was delighted to hear that the Lapérouse Museum at Botany Bay would be undergoing renovations and renewal and in the future looks forward to visiting on a forethcoming trip back to Australia.

As discussed, Lapérouse symbolises the beginning of the France-Australia relationship dating back to 1788. The Lapérouse Museum a joint FR-AUS project realised in 1988 to mark Australia’s bicentenary, reinforces our nations’ strong bonds.’

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.