The goal of this talk is to challenge what might be our preconceived ideas about the French nation’s involvement with early Australia.
There were five major, well equipped maritime expeditions to Nouvelle Hollande from France during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Each of these bold endeavours made major contributions to our understanding of the flora, fauna, and geography of Australia.
We will examine each of these voyages in some minor detail. We will also look at what might be the first European contact and it is neither a Dutchman nor a Portuguese.
We hope to surprise people with the skills, ability, attitude, and commitment of these men as they added hugely to the knowledge of our continent often at significant cost in human terms, and at a time when the French nation was undergoing huge change at home.
This is a story of sacrifice, skill, and a show case of the “enlightenment” with a little; liberty, equality and fraternity thrown in not to mention plotting, spying and a little Gallic skulduggery.
We hope listeners will leave with a broader understanding of the early French Explorers and their undoubted achievements.
Andrew started his professional life as a mineral and engineering geologist but has spent over 30 years working for major Information Technology and Telecommunications companies, in sales and marketing. For penultimate 10 years of his career, he consulted to Australian companies in the export of their unique technologies to telecommunications companies around the world.
Andrew is happily retired now and is a volunteer guide at the Australian National Maritime Museum and was a volunteer crew member of the James Craig. Andrew and his wife owned a catamaran in which they enjoyed escaping. They have sailed three times from Sydney to the Whitsunday Islands and back and can