WEB Matt and Laperouse 2Kingsford Smith representative, Matt Thistlethwaite speaking about the Laperouse Museum in the House of Representatives 21 November, 2013

On 17 November, I had the great honour of attending the Friends of Laperouse Museum annual general meeting with my fellow patrons, the Consul General of France, Eric Berti and Don Harwin MLC of the New South Wales Parliament.

The Laperouse Museum is in my electorate and provides patrons with an absorbing history lesson in the relationship between Australian and French people. This began in 1788 with the first visit of La Perouse to that area, which has been named in his honour. There is also a monument to Father Receveur, who was the first European and Catholic to be buried in Australian soil.

A number of events hosted by the Laperouse Museum over 12 months were highlighted at the annual general meeting. They included the visit of Stephane Romatet on 29 February earlier this year; the Father Receveur mass on 17 February; La Perouse Day; the Heritage Festival Walk; a visit by the Secretary of the La Perouse Association, Bernard Jimenez; Bastille Day; the History Week lecture, which was delivered this year by Professor Richard White; and a visit by the Vendemiaire, a French naval ship that was here during the military review.

I encourage everyone to visit the Laperouse Museum. I thank in particular the Friends of the Laperouse Museum, who are volunteers, for their great work. And I thank in particular William Land and Tony Gentile.