Professor Ian Young, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian
Professor Andrew MacIntyre, Dean of the College of Asia
and the Pacific,
Professor Serge Tcherkezoff, on behalf of the President of
the EHESS and in charge of the EHESS Canberra Branch,
Professors of university , Academics,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Here we are today, the achievement of a year and
half of strong will and the reward of what was an
initiative of the Embassy.
Victor Hugo said that nothing could have stopped an
idea whose time has come.
Well, it has to be said that the time of the opening of
this EHESS branch at ANU had come.
And this initiative has rapidly engaged interest from
the ANU and the EHESS itself as well as from the
French ministry of Foreign Affairs.
When the cooperation and cultural Councellor got
the idea of the opening of a branch of EHESS here in
Canberra, he discussed it with Professor
Tcherkezoff. He was nicely surprised to see that the
professor was not only interested but that he
proposed himself to be the one to represent the
branch of the EHESS.
Professor Tcherkezoff has indeed matured and
strong professional relationship but also friendship
with lots of members from the College of Asia and
the Pacific. To wit I wish to take this opportunity to
salute one of them, Darrell Tryon, whose advice
from the very start has been helpful and
tremendously contributed to the success of this
But this adventure which began with just one man,
like most of them, could not be achieved without
natural and potential partners adopting the idea.
This is what happened :
Soon as the idea has been given to the President of
EHESS, he was fully convinced and he accepted to
involve Professor Tcherkezoff. For his generosity,
his faithfulness to this project, his forthcoming
support, I thank him heartily.
The Fonds Pacifique has attributed a budget
allowing this branch to work even though this one
was not officially existing. As you can see, some
administrators are able to take risks in the name of
I cordially thank my colleagues and friends, the
Ambassador Hadelin de la Tour du Pin, Head of the
Fonds Pacifique as well as Monsieur Jean-Louis
Maurer, his Deputy.
But nothing could not have happened without the
interest, agreement and strong support form the
professor Andrew Macintyre, Dean of the College of
Asia and the Pacific.
I would like to publically acknowledge my esteem
and my appreciation . Without your unstinting
support and your outstanding fairness, the presence
of Professor Tcherkezoff would not have been
possible at the ANU.
The opening of this branch should strengthen the
relationship between our Anglophone and
francophone researchers in regards to the Pacific
Today, the attendance of the delegate of the French
Institute for Research and development, located in
Nouméa and responsible for the whole Pacific
the attendance of our university friends from
Vanuatu who gave yesterday their first seminar –
this not a coincidence –
and tomorrow the attendance of several diplomatic
representations from the Pacific,
the attendance of many members of several schools
of the College of Asia and the Pacific, bear witness
of the strong interest of this opening.
I said that this branch was two fold : if the first
aspect is to research on the Pacific, bringing
closeness between researchers, integration of French
Territories in their environment, its other meaning is
to participate in debates of ideas and through the
latter, open up to a broad panorama.
We know that in Social Sciences, the EHESS is at
the top of the French intellectual landscape.
I am certain that in this field, meetings with
professors, researchers, students from the ANU, but
also major Australian universities, will create a rich
loam which will foster numerous exchanges.
Professor Young Vice-chancellor, Professor
MacIntyre, Academics, ladies and gentlemen, today
is for me pleasant day because it is a new step for the
French-Australian cooperation concerned with the
Pacific – and also because of its furthering of
I thank you