French Senator Olivier Cadic’s visit to Australia [fr]
French Senator representing French nationals living abroad Olivier Cadic was in Australia from the 6th to the 12th of September. While visiting Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra for the first time, he was able to meet various active members of the French community as well as Australian officials.
Throughout his visit, the senator took particular interest in the education sector, specifically French teaching abroad. He visited French schools as well as bilingual or binational schools on each of his stops: Caulfield Junior College, Glen Eira School, and Auburn High School in Melbourne, Killarney Heights Public School and Condorcet High School in Sydney, and finally Telopea Park School and the French Australian Preschool in Canberra.
While in Sydney, where the French Consulate General is located, Olivier Cadic was dpresented with the challenges involved in providing consular services to French nationals living abroad. Similarly in Melbourne, he met consular representatives and association leaders, both important representatives for the local French Community.
Several French companies established in Australia, among which Engie, Transdev and Neoen, opened their doors to the senator, allowing him to have a concrete insight on French economic activity in Australia. The economic aspect of the Senator’s visit also included meetings with Melbourne and Sydney’s chapters of the French-Australia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, through a work session with young French International Volunteers in Business and a working breakfast French economic stakeholders in Sydney.
Australian parliamentary life was obviously an important aspect of the visit and the Senator was able to visit both the Parliament of Victoria and the Federal Parliament. While in Canberra, he met with Senator and President of the France Australia friendship group Ian MacDonald was organised, allowing the two counter-parts to discuss French Australian relations.
It is impossible to forget that cultural exchange is essential to the bilateral relationship and Olivier Cadic visited the National Gallery of Australia, host to the greatest aboriginal art collection in the world, and the Lapérouse museum, dedicated to the French explorer Jean-François Galaup. Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra’s Alliances Françaises also presented their work to promote French culture abroad and, finally, the senator attended the last post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial, unmissable event while the celebrations of the centenary of the First World War are occurring.
- Cérémonie d’hommage aux Anciens Combattants, au War Memorial de Canberra Ambassade France en Australie
At the end of this first encounter with Australia, the Senator is now heading to New-Zealand.