French Settlement in Australia

French settlement in Australia commenced soon after the arrival of the First Fleet. Landowners became merchants and winemakers. The French migrant population came as individuals rather than in large groups and immigration increased after World War II. An increase also occurred after the independence of French colonies in Africa and Asia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. French businesses flourish in Australia with the popularity of French services and products. Le Courrier Australien was the first foreign-language newspaper in Australia, publishing in 1892. Printing ceased in 2011 but an online bilingual version was reintroduced in 2016.

Advertising was also commonly written in languages other than English to entice people living in Australia as well as being designed to attract people from overseas. The Library holds a collection of French-language postcards, including this one featuring an advertisement from a chocolate company. One of the men is reading a newspaper, and the Australian flag is shown at the top right corner. A Western Australian postage stamp featuring the image of a black swan is reproduced at the bottom left corner. The reverse of the card features text in French that provides general information about Australia and its geography, with a paragraph at the foot relating to the Aiguebelle chocolate company.


  • Have students write an article about a mystery (real or imagined). Use this exercise to make students consider writing style and tone. Students will need to demonstrate a range of writing and grammatical styles and consider the tone of the article, the audience and the purpose of the article.
  • Discuss the ways different language newspapers might be affected by the delivery of information from the land of origin.
  • Explore the articles and content of the newspaper resources linked above.