Launch of The French-Australian Cultural Exchange Foundation by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs

As noted in our article on the recent visit to Melbourne of the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, Mrs. Catherine Colonna took the opportunity to launch a new cultural initiative, FACEF, during a lunch at the NGV on the 5th of December 2023.

In her speech, the Minister announced that the French Republic would contribute 2 million Australian dollars in endowment and fulltime staff support, a wonderful news to seed fund the Foundation. Mrs Colonna also emphasized the importance of cultural diplomacy and how artist residencies constitute key mobility mechanisms for the dialogue of cultures and the dynamism of artistic creation. She announced 4 flagship projects:
– a cross-residency of photographers between Marseille and Perth,
– a program intended for emerging artists,
– two residency schemes, one for the artistic links between Australia and New Caledonia represented by the Tjibaou Center and the other one between aboriginal centers of Northern Australia and France.

Minister Colonna then gave the floor to the Foundation inaugural Chair, Ms Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, who acknowledged and thanked her Foundation Board members, Krystyna Campbell-Pretty, John Landerer, Lorraine Tarabay, and Tom Mosby, calling them “the pioneers”. She described the program as allowing exchanges between artists, thinkers, creators, innovators, educators, curators, emerging talents, designers, writers, “the sky being the limit”…and building on the links that already exist involving great Australian institutions like the NGV, but going to a deeper level. In conclusion, she exhorted the audience, composed of international cultural leaders to become the Foundation’s future ambassadors and to build a wonderful FACEF together.








Front row: Boris Toucas, John Landerer, Catherine Colonna, Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, Krystyna Campbell-Pretty, Karine Mauris – Second row: Tom Mosby, Jean-Pierre Thebault – Absent: Lorraine Tarabay