The Adelaide French Festival is celebrating its second year with a program full of music, fabulous food and contemporary dance. The festival recognises the important ties between our State and France at at time when the Future Submarines Program starts taking shape.
- Thank-you Douglas and to your team for all the tireless work involved in preparation for this spectacular event
- His Excellency, Christophe Penot, Ambassador of France to Australia
- Lena Louarn, Vice President Culture and Jean François, Deputy Director Culture, Regional Council of Brittany
- Distinguished guests
- Ladies and gentlemen
First, I acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional lands of the Kaurna People and we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country.
On behalf of the South Australian Government, I am delighted to extend to you all a warm welcome to the launch of the 2019 Adelaide French Festival.
I offer a special welcome to our bon amis from Brittany.
This year’s festival has a focus on this spectacular region and its unique culture.
This is a great way to celebrate our Sister-Region Relationship. Of course, South Australia’s links with France go back a long way. In fact, they pre-date the official founding of South Australia.
It was in 1802 that the great French explorer, Nicolas Baudin, (Bore-dan) met Matthew Flinders, the British navigator and cartographer, off the coast about 100 km south of here.
Both were charting the Australian coastline and the place of their meeting was named Encounter Bay to record this historic occasion.
Who could then have imagined that almost 220 years later, South Australia and France would be renewing maritime links through the project to build a new generation of submarines?
Encounter Bay remains today one of our most popular summer destinations. I hope some of our French guests may be able to pay a visit while they are here.
As well as the Adelaide French Festival, South Australia has other major events that recognise the importance of ties between our State and France.
These include the annual South Australian celebration of Bastille Day and The French Market. These events and activities show that our cultural collaboration is progressing strongly.
Last October, I had the privilege of meeting with the President of Brittany as part of my first official visit to France as Premier of South Australia.
We discussed our sister-region relationship and how we can continue to develop valuable new projects between South Australia and Brittany in cyber, smart grids, higher education, culture and renewable energy.
I look forward to reciprocating the warm hospitality shown to me when your President visits our State next month.
We are confident that our visitors from France will find that South Australia is the ideal place for the shared submarine project, and for other forms of collaboration. We have a willing and skilled workforce.
Moreover, South Australia has a proud tradition of innovation and determination.
This has built our State from its progressive foundation almost 200 years ago into a diversified economy based on what has become one of the world’s most liveable capital cities and our productive regions.
The submarine project can be a catalyst providing access for French businesses and institutions to lock in joint investment and partner for strategic projects of mutual economic benefit in a range of sectors.
A number of activities are already underway in key areas of cooperation including:
- The South Australia – Brittany Research Collaboration Grant, which will provide opportunities for the higher education sector to form multi-disciplinary teams to study key issues affecting industry in both South Australia and Brittany
- Arts exchanges
- Defence Industry Internship programs
- The Defence Landing Pad, to facilitate the entry of French firms
We are gathered this evening in The Adelaide Festival Centre, which has been a shining example of innovation in South Australia for a long time.
The realisation last year of a new festival to celebrate all things French was typical of the Centre’s flair and ambition.
Now, as we embark on the Adelaide French Festival’s second edition, we know that we have a weekend of imagination and excellence to look forward to.
The Festival promises to be a complete celebration of this most treasured of European cultures, from Baroque music of the reign of Louis the Fourteenth to the contemporary dance work of a modern French couple.
I’d like to express my deep appreciation to the Ambassador, His Excellency Christophe Penot, for his Embassy’s support of the aspirations – and the practicalities - of creating and presenting the Adelaide French Festival.
Thank you all for coming to this opening of the Second Adelaide French Festival.
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend of theatre, art, music, film, cheese, wine and South Australian hospitality.