Awarding of Palmes Académiques in Adelaide
On the 17 novembre 2015, Professors Jean Fornasiero and John West-Sooby were awarded as Officers in the Order of the Palmes Académiques by the Ambassador.
On the 17th of November, Professor Jean Fornasiero and Professor John West-Sooby, from the University of Adelaide’s Faculty of Arts, were awarded as Officers in the Order of the Palmes Académiques for their outstanding contributions to French education and culture. Both professors have devoted their careers to French Studies, focusing in particular upon literature and the explorations of French navigators.
Their groundbreaking work on the parallel voyages of the Frenchman Nicolas Baudin and the Englishman Matthew Flinders in their book ‘Encountering Terra Australis, was awarded the prestigious Frank Broeze Memorial Maritime History Prize in 2005. They have been awarded grants by the Australian Research Council for projects on Nicolas Baudin’s historical legacy, and for an international research project titled ‘Revolutionary Voyaging’, which collaborates with Cédric Crémière, Director of the Natural History Museum in Le Havre, and other research partners from France, Australia and the United States. Furthermore, from the beginning they have been involved in the Pacifiques project, in partnership with the Museum of Natural History in Le Havre, the Fonds Pacifique, and the French Embassy. This project will open with an extensive exhibition showcasing a large number of drawings and artworks by the naturalist Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, who was a member of the Baudin expedition, at the South Australian Maritime Museum in July 2016.
The awards were presented to Professor Fornasiero and Professor West-Sooby by H.E. Mr. Christophe Lecourtier, the French Ambassador to Australia. The ceremony was held in the presence of the University of Adelaide’s Vice Chancellor Warren Bebbington, and Ms. Sue Crafter, French Honourary Consul of South Australia.
Established in 1808 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Palmes Académiques is an honorific distinction bestowed by the French Department of Education, Higher Education and Research.