AuRA event in Lyon attended by ABIE

ABIE Secretary & Board Member, Frederic Calinaud joined Australian Ambassador to France and Honorary President of ABIE France, Mr Brendan Berne in Lyon recently to celebrate the first anniversary of an Australia-France interest group in Lyon.

Called AuRA, (Australian France Club) the group was founded by an Australian born academic Profesor Sophie Elias-Varotsis, who left Sydney, read her thesis at the Sorbonne and lectured in tourism and marketing in France.

AuRA’s aim, she said, is to facilitate bi-lateral exchanges in the areas of culture, education, research and economic development with a particular emphasis on startups.  The group is working closely with the region Auvergne Rhone Alpes.

Speaking at the cocktail reception, Ambassador Berne told the group it was a good occasion to make the acquaintance of the Franco-Australian community in Lyon.

“Despite the distance, our two countries have created close ties”, he said.  “We share the same values and common interests, and I thank AuRA and its members who partake in entrepreneurship founded on the shared target of security and prosperity.”

Among the themes for events in 2020 are an examination of Bastille and Australia Day, a debate on sport, culture and stereotypic attitudes to both, and an event  promoting creative talent exchanges between the two countries.

Frederic Calinaud had the opportunity to present ABIE to the audience, thank AuRA for the invitation and, once again, the Ambassador for his continuing support.

We hope ABIE and AuRA might be able to share opportunities and maybe, events in the future. 

AuRA’s web-site is hosted temporarily on