French-Australian Shared Histories Symposium 2018

Imagination | Exploration | Memory

The shared history of France and Australia is rich with experience: we are connected in so many ways. Our people have explored new worlds and forged lasting bonds based around culture, trade and commerce, science and the arts. We have made homes for each other and, in times of war, have fought and mourned our dead together.

Our symposium on 23 April 2018 encouraged and promoted a shared exploration of French-Australian history and culture and greater awareness of the records held by both national archives. It was part of a six-year program of joint activities agreed under a bi-lateral agreement with the Interdepartmental Service, National Archives of France, signed in April 2016.

The date of the symposium was scheduled to mark Anzac Day (25 April) and to recognise the centenary of the battle of Villers-Bretonneux and the opening of the Sir John Monash Centre.


The symposium themes bring to light some of the records which document and illustrate our shared histories:

  • Discovery: This recognises archival research on the French exploration of Australian coasts and its consequences for Australian historiography.
  • Economics: This describes the post-World War I era and the emerging bilateral relationship between France and Australia.
  • Archives: This recognises the wealth of information contained in the national archival collections of both France and Australia.
  • Politics: This describes the recent past and the future, including the influence of politics in the Pacific region on the Australia–France bilateral relationships

Symposium papers (EN)

Documents du symposium (FR)