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'This article deals with the growing interest of French universities in Australian studies. After a discussion of the comparative scarcity of academic interest in Australian literature and culture in British institutions, especially Oxford, Cambridge and London, the author analyses the emergence of courses in Australian studies in some French universities. Although these 'few pockets of Australian studies' are, in Professor Xavier Pons' words, 'islands in the ocean', and although they are dependent on the personal involvement of individual scholars, they are not unrelated to a broader interest by the French in Australian culture and society. This trend can also be observed beyond the confines of academia, in the press, in books, in various organisations, especially in areas such as Australia's way of dealing with immigration and Australian multiculturalism, topics which are seen as being potentially relevant to the French experience. In sketching the possible future of Australian studies in France, the author also evokes the emergence of a parallel development in Australia, with the creation of the French-Australian Research Centre at the University of NSW and the foundation in Melbourne of the Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations (ISFAR) and its magazine Explorations.' (Editor's abstract)