For his fourth visit to Melbourne since he took his functions in July 2017, His Excellency Mr. Christophe Penot, Ambassador of France to Australia, visited the campuses of the three largest Universities in Melbourne in order to consolidate the existing relations and explore future collaborations with French Universities.
On the eve of the University tour, Mr. Penot took the time to discuss infrastructure and transport issues with the CEO of Yarratrams, Mr. Nicolas Gindt and the CEO of Infrastructure Victoria, himself former CEO of Yarratrams, Mr. Michel Masson… These discussions were held in the lovely setting of the tramcar restaurant.
On 22 November, the Ambassador started his University tour with RMIT, where Prof Andrew MacIntyre, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Global Development, explained RMIT’s vision in terms of Technology, Design and Entreprise.
At Monash University, the ambassador was greeted by Prof Marc Parlange, Provost of the University, who talked about potential collaborations with French Institutions in the domain of mathematics, especially applied to Artificial Intelligence.Our tour ended with a convivial lunch at the Monash Club in company of Prof. Kevin Foster, Head of the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Dr Nathalie Doyle, Senior Lecturer in French Studies, and Dr Marc Orlando of the Translation and Interpreting Studies.
In the afternoon we visited the Victoria Comprehensive Cancer Centre recently establisehd in partnership with a number of local institutions, such as the Royal Melbourne Hospital and The University of Melbourne. Prof Alex Heriot, Clinical Director of Cancer Surgery at the Peter MacCallum Centre, led a tour through the majestic and state-of-the-art building, describing its holisitic and visionary approach of encompassing under the same roof, medical practioners, patients and research scientists. Prof Grant McArthur, Director of the Victoria Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Assoc Prof Frédéric Hollande explained the benefits of this innovating system and the multiple collaborations offered with many scientists including French ones.
At The University of Melbourne, we were greeted by Prof Jim McCluskey, Deputy Vice Chancellor et Prof Simon Evans, Pro-Vice Chancellor and discussed the various synergies offered to French researchers and students thanks to the various satellites of the University, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre, the Howard Florey Institute, the Centre for Eye Research Australia, or the Peter Doherty Centre for Infection and Immunity.
Various other collaborative programs already exist with the University of Melbourne , as with Sciences Po Paris or l’Université de Bordeaux.
This busy day ended with Champagne, at the Christmas Cocktail at the Champs Elysées organised by FACCI Victoria to celebrate the end of 2017with its corporate membres and the Federal President of FACCI , François Romanet, who came on purpose from Sydney for the occasion. The President of the Victorian Chapter, Mickael Georgitsis, took advantage of this beautiful gathering to warmly thank the Director, Vérène Issautier, who will leave her functions in December, after more than three years of intense work at the head of the Victorian FACCI.