'Le Naturaliste' in Western Port Bicentennial Events

Subject: 'Le Naturaliste' in Western Port Bicentennial Events
From: Pat Macwhirter <>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 00:31:31 +1100

Dear all,

I hope I'm not abusing these these lists but I felt that the following might be of some interest, particularly the seminar on 200 years of Change in Western Port on 13-14 April. (It's all non-profit)

Look forward to seeing some of you there.



Patricia Macwhirter
Secretary, 'Le Naturaliste in Western Port' Bicentennial Committee
Ph: (03) 9808 9011 Fax: (03) 9888 7134

In April 1802 a party of explorers from Le Naturaliste, one of two ships sent out to Australia by Napoleon Bonaparte as part of the Voyage of Discovery to the Southern Lands led by Nicolas Baudin, surveyed Western Port Bay. They met with the Bunurong Aboriginals and charted and described the landscape and vegetation. While the Southern part of Australia never became 'Terre Napoleon' as shown on their first published maps, the Baudin Expedition was noted for its artwork and the calibre of its scientific studies. These explorers were the first to chart 'Isle des Francais' as an island and it still retains the name 'French Island' in recognition of their exploration.

To mark the bicentennial of the visit, Dr Francoise Debard, a French veterinarian who has completed a Masters degree on seals studied by the 1802 Expedition is coming to Western Port. Francoise will be working with local Western Port people in taking a retrospective look at the Bay over the past 200 years and considering what the next 200 years might bring. Events include a re-enactment at Corinella, wildlife tours on Phillip and French Island, a Commemorative Seminar on 200 Years of Change in Western Port and placing plaques and time capsules around the Bay.

 7 April (Sunday) at 1:30 pm - Re-enactment/commemoration
French explorers in period dress, including Francoise in the persona of botanist Theodore Leschenault and Thierry Roland as Captain Pierre-Bernard Milius, will land their long boat at Corinella and meet with the local inhabitants. The people, landscape and politics of the day will be quite different than what their counterparts described in their journals 200 years ago! A commemorative plaque will be unveiled and a time capsule placed by French, Bunurong and Australian community members. There is no need to book, environmental walks and pioneer celebrations for the whole family will occur all afternoon at Settlement Point, Corinella.

 9 April (Tuesday) '200 years of sealing and seal watching on Phillip Island'.
As part of Sea Week. Dr Francoise Debard will join with the locals in seal and wildlife watching on Phillip Island. Contact the Phillip Island Nature Reserve for further information about Sea Week events.

11 April (Thursday) Plaque unveiling and tour of French Island

12.00noon       Depart Stony Pt. on Inter-Island ferries,
12.15 pm        Arrive French Island, conveniences, refreshments etc.
12.30 pm Tankerton - Official Speeches, plaque unveiling and time capsule story 1.00 pm Commence Eco Tour (performed by Allan Chandler (aka Koala Dundee) and/or Rod Johnston), koalas, birdlife, pioneer stories, barge landing stop,
1.45 pm Arrive McLeod Eco Farm
2.00 pm Organic Lunch cooked by French chef Gilles Sarizin and his Canadian wife, Melissa.
2.30 pm A short tour of farm and prison
3.30 pm Depart Eco Farm, continue Island Tour
4.30 pm Depart French Island
4.45 pm         Approximate return time on the mainland.

Cost per person $38 Adults, $35 Concession, $24 child.
This special price includes: Coach or mini bus (community service rate), morning tea, lunch and ferry.

Contact: Rod Johnston, French Island Eco-tours

13- 14 April (Weekend) Western Port Seminar- 200 years of Change - see separate page. Key speakers include noted local and overseas experts on the flora, fauna and history of Western Port. Venue: The Old Shire Offices, corner of Sladen St and South Gippsland Hwy, Cranbourne.

Saturday 13 April 2002       8:30       Arrival, coffee & registration
9:00    Introduction - Susan Priestly
9:15    Environmental history - Don Garden
10:00   Aboriginal perspective - TBA
10:30   Morning tea
11;00   Why the French & British? - Pat Macwhirter
11:45   Artwork of the Baudin expedition - Elliott Forsyth
1:15    Lunch
2:15    The French, the sea and the seals- 1802 - Francoise Debard
3:30    Afternoon tea
4:00    Marine mammals - 1802-2002 and beyond - Bob Warneke
4:45     Vision for Western Port - Discussion & summary - Susan Priestly

Sunday 14 April 2002
8:30     Arrival, coffee & registration
8:55    Introduction -Susan Priestly
9:00     Land mammals 1802-2002 and beyond -Michael Johnston
9:45     Plants 1802-2002 and beyond - Denis Cox
10:30    Morning Tea
11:00    Seagrass 1802-2002 and beyond - Andy Stephens
11:45   Weeds 1802-2002 and beyond - Wayne Hill
12:30    Lunch
1:30    Birdlife 1802-2002 and beyond - Richard Loyn
2:30     Humans Changing Western Port - for Better or Worse?
- Phil Westwood, Judy Hassall, Francoise Debard, Denis Cox
3:30    Afternoon tea
4:00    Western Port  1802->2002->2202 Summing up - Susan Priestly
PHONE:                                                  Email:
Payment:        Saturday ($25/$20 con) $_______
Sunday ($25/$20 con)    $_______
Proceedings ($20) $_______ (To be published following the seminar)
Total                   $_______
Cheques should be made out to SEHA (South Eastern Historical Association Inc)
Please forward your completed registration form and full payment to:
        Fax:      03 9733 2236
        Mail:     PO Box 2362
                    Richmond South,
                    Victoria, 3121
Receipts will be available on the day. Bookings - please note full payment is required on arrival at the Seminar.
Email - 
Before  2 April   9787 5136 (Phil Harris)
After   2 April          9725 7312 or  0418 858 212 (Helen Armitage)
Or  Peninsula Information Centre
Phone 5987 3078 ( if calling from Mornington Peninsula) or 1800 804 009 ( if calling from elsewhere)

19 April - Plaque and time capsule unveiling, Hastings.

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