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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Page: 10716


Ms SHARKIE (Mayo) (13:42): Last weekend I had the honour of speaking at Encounter celebrations, where we recognised the historic chance meeting between French navigator Nicolas Baudin and English captain Matthew Flinders on what's now known as Encounter Bay down at Victor Harbour. On 8 April, 1802 during a brief moment between centuries of hostilities, these two ships met, and to European eyes it was considered undiscovered territory. Both men were sent to sea for scientific missions. Flinders was an ambitious but reserved young man who did not speak French. Baudin was 20 years older, unwell and with limited English. Baudin criticised the English map of Bass Strait, and Flinders offered to provide a rectified chart if the Frenchman remained overnight. Flinders then rode back to the ship the following morning. These two men then sailed their separate ways and never met again. Yet their meeting has been recorded in history. Had the French arrived first, we could possibly be speaking French in South Australia today.

On Saturday night I had the great pleasure of sitting down with His Excellency the South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le in the spirit of friendship, with the French ambassador associate, Cedric Peltier, and Chris Holtby, the UK-US Consul General for South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. I'd like to do a quick shout-out to Mayor Graham Philp for his work and dedication to this historic event.