By November 2018 New Caledonia will hold a referendum on the future of this French overseas territory to decide whether it will remain with France or become independent. Two experts will explore the background to this crucial vote: the evolving role of France in the Pacific; the issues surrounding the vote, such as the constitution of the electorate; and the choices to be put.
Robert Aldrich: France’s ‘Overseas Frontier’ in Today’s World
Professor of European History at the University of Sydney. He has published very extensively on the French presence in the South Pacific since 1842 and on the history of France’s overseas expansion.
Denise Fisher: Towards an Independence Referendum
Denise Fisher is a former senior Australian diplomat, having served as Australia’s High Commissioner in Zimbabwe and Consul-General in Noumea, and as political and economic analyst in Australian missions in Burma, Kenya, India, Malaysia and the United States. Author of France in the South Pacific: power and politics (2013), she is currently Visiting Fellow at the ANU Centre for European Studies.
The talks will be followed by wine and cheese.