Reception in support of 140 years of Alliance Française
Embassy of France Counsellor for Culture, Science and Education, Mr (Monsieur) Boris Toucas; Alliance Françoise de Brisbane Director, Mr (Monsieur) Jerome Carujo; Mesdames et messieurs.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Bienvenue tout le monde à la Maison du Gouvernement du Queensland!
I am delighted to be hosting this special reception to honour 140 years of Alliance Française across the world, and to acknowledge its contributions to our understanding and appreciation of all things French.
As a long-term language learner and proud member of Alliance Française Brisbane, I know how rewarding it is to develop the ability to converse in another tongue (une autre langue).
For me, it has been a continual process of discovery and challenge, but also an incredibly enjoyable way of understanding the French culture more deeply and in its own treasured tongue.
The Alliance Française network does so much to promote this passion.
Through an innovative range of workshops, classes and social activities, Alliance Française offers an encouraging place for francophones and francophiles of all ages to interact — and of course, to practice their conjugations.
Founded in Paris in 1883 as an association to promote the French language (la langue française), Alliance Française has grown into a global phenomenon, extending to more than 130 countries.
In Australia it operates nationwide, in our capital cities and in regional towns, supported by the French Embassy and consulates.
In each location, you connect with the community, forging stronger business and cultural ties and working to strengthen the bonds between France and Australia.
I am pleased that representatives from so many places were able to join us this afternoon.
On that note, I believe that tomorrow night Brisbane has a workshop (un atelier) specifically for World Cup aficionados keen to chat in French about the rugby. I might have to put my name down for that one!
Through events such as the annual French Film Festival — the largest outside France — you are extending your influence much further, as you bring the rich diversity of French-speaking regions to our shores.
Here at Government House, we have made our own contribution to this effort, as we have recently translated our children’s book, ‘A Place for All Queenslanders, into French — a copy of which Her Excellency and I were happy to present to the Honorary Consul, Mr Alain Etchegaray.
Thank you all for your valuable contribution to the outstanding success of Alliance Française in this State and this country.
Et, félicitations à l'Alliance Française pour ces cent quarante années extraordinaires!