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France-Australia cultural agreement

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No. M3 5 20 June 1977 THE HON. ANDREW PEACOCK M.P. Date


The Minister for Foreign Affa i r s , Mr Andrew Peacock, signed a cultural agreement with France in Paris today.

Mr Peacock said: ,

"The cultural relationship between France and Australia has always been strong. France is a major centre of European culture, and Australia's cultural heritage is - largely European. On the basis of this heritage A u s t r a M a has developed, in the last 200 years, a distinct artistic

and literary tradition which is the result of many and varied influences. Consequently, there is considerable scope for interaction between France and Australia in the cultural domain.

"One has not far to search for examples of the

cultural links between France and Australia. For instance, the French language and its literature are widely studied in Australian schools and universities, and, conversely, there is in a growing number of French universities a lively interest

in Australian literature, from,:.the convict period to the present. Patrick White's "Voss" is a prescribed text in French university departments of English literature. Other ; examples of cultural links include the annual exchange of . student teachers, the interest of many French scholars in

the traditional arts and customs of the Australian Aboriginal, 1 the exhibitions of French art which have been seen in Australia, as well as those of Australian art in France, and the granting of study and research scholarships by each Government to

students and academics of the other country. .

"The cultural agreement between Australia and France will consolidate and facilitate such contacts as these in the fields of the visual and pefforming arts, literature, education, science, the media, youth activities and sport. Within the framework of the agreement, mtitual understanding between the two countries will be further increased, to the benefit of the people of bothjnations, and of bilateral

relations in general."