About us

CPEDERF was established in Paris in 1984 to provide cultural services of all kinds to both teachers and students in universities and secondary schools of English-speaking countries, primarily Australia and New Zealand. These services rapidly included the preparation and organisation of language courses for university students learning French, of discovery tours of France for secondary school students, and of in-depth cultural exploration theme tours throughout France and occasionally into Spain. This aspect of Cpederf’s activities has now become so important that a separate branch has been created to provide multiple services in the field of study and learning about France : French Heritage Travel.

IMPORTANT DATES

  1. The early days : creation of the January Stage for Australian & New Zealand University Students of French, of tours organised for secondary school students, training programmes for future teachers of French for Westminster College, Oxford, and seminars in Paris for university French department administrators.
  2. Start of the French Discovery Cultural Tours to France with Melbourne CAE
  3. Cpederf base established in Nevers : home-stays become a feature of the January “stages”
  4. This period saw the beginning of an 11-year long association with Bronz Discovery Tours (Australia), the first of the highly successful & continuing series of tours on themes of French Impressionism and of the Two World Wars in France, the start of the twelve year-long language & culture courses organised for the Hartley Scholars, Newcastle University (Australia), and the five year series of Lote courses organised for Australian School Teachers of French for Monash University and the Victorian department of Education.
  5. First of our Discovery Tours to include Spain, followed by the first of the Saint James Way in France and Spain tours (now a regular feature)
  6. Start of on-going association with Calder & Lawson (NZ) Travel & Learn Unit The first of the successful continuing series of Music & Culture Tours
  7. A separate Cpederf service is created for full-time organisation of study & culture tours and the start of on-going association with Edventure Tours NZ(for school tours)
  8. Beginning of our on-going collaboration with French Travel Boutique (Sydney)
  9. France Heritage Travel formally established as the travel branch of Cpederf
  10. Jubilee Year : starting with the 25th Annual January “Stages”

THE TEAM

John LAWSON

A founding partner of Calder and Lawson Travel, John is extremely well travelled. He and his wife Sue have spent several holidays in France and have led many successful Calder and Lawson Tours.

Annie Bancroft

Annie Bancroft

Educational director of Cpederf. Parisian born & bred, with degrees from the Institut de Sciences Politiques (the celebrated "Sciences Po"), the Sorbonne, as well as holding the "agrégation", Annie was a teacher of English in the Ivory Coast and Paris before being appointed the foundation-director of Creipac, in Noumea, New Caledonia, in 1979, responsible for the creation and organisation of French courses and "stages" for universities throughout Australia and New Zealand. Since 1984 she has been principal tour designer for all Cpederf's Language & Culture tours, as well as organising and running numerous educational tours for schools. In particular she has been responsible for the highly successful series of the month-long "January Stages" programmes designed for university students from Australia & New Zealand, now into their 32nd year.

David Bancroft

David Bancroft

Administrative head of Cpederf which he co-founded with his wife Annie in 1984. Previously Associate Professor of French in the University of New England (Australia) before becoming Professor of French in the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Created & directed the Noumea Summer Schools in New Caledonia for university and school students of French, attracting more than 60 participants annually (1974 - 1983). Principal tour designer for the major Discovery & Theme Tours

Marjorie Haffner-Koch

Marjorie Haffner-Koch

Principal guide in the Paris and Ile de France region. Completely bi-lingual, Marjorie has a Master’s degree in Art History, with qualifications from the Sorbonne and the prestigious Ecole du Louvre. She is passionately interested in all aspects of French culture, and especially history, art and architecture, gardens and gastronomy! Highly experienced, Marjorie loves guiding wherever she feels her interests and enthusiasm can be communicated to participants and with her you will not only visit the well-known sites and monuments of Paris & the region, but will get access to places not normally open to the public!

Isabel Flower

Isabel Flower

Principal Tour Manager for all major Discovery and Theme tours since 2002. A former senior high school teacher of languages in the UK, Isabel was subsequently trained as an official guide for the city of Canterbury (UK), before coming to settle permanently in France. Widely travelled in France, she knows Provence and Burgundy especially well, and although our permanent Tour Manager for the Discovery & Theme tours, Isabel has already stood in with considerable success for a Tour Leader suddenly taken ill.

Jacques Henriot

Jacques Henriot

Owner of a small provincial coach company, Jacques has a 100% safety record as driver, and in spite of his very limited English, enjoys a huge popularity with all our groups. We have been using this company since 1990, originally owned and operated by his father, Jacques took over the company in 2005 He always gives priority in his busy calendar to Cpederf Discovery & Theme Tours.

Chris Hainsworth

Chris Hainsworth

Formerly Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Music in Waikato University New Zealand, before settling permanently in France, becoming Director of the Conservatoire de Musique in Beziers, and currently Beziers cathedral organist. Chris is a well-known concert artist on organ and harpsichord, and has led several Culture and Music Tours with Cpederf since 2003 with several more in the pipeline!

Brian McKay

Brian McKay

Formerly head of the French Department at the University of Auckland, well-known for his “Sounding French” and “Thinking French” Workshops in New Zealand, Brian is also French coach for the New Zealand Opera, also singing with them and in productions in New Caledonia. Until recently he was Manager of the Kokoko Concerts in Auckland. Associated with Cpederf since its inception, Brian’s wide experience of France (he is co-author of a DVD series about France, Language and Tourism) makes him the obvious choice as Tour Leader for a series of French-language tours in the process of being launched.

Peter Davies

Peter Davies

Until his recent retirement, Peter was Professor of Geology in the University of Sydney. Peter has worked throughout the world, but keeps returning to France - where in the late 60s he first began relating the geology of the regions to the wines. One of Australia's leading scientists (best known for his work on the Great Barrier Reef), and a world expert on the formation of limestones (rocks of critical importance in the art of wine-making), combined with his knowledge of France and his gifts as a teacher make Peter the ideal Tour Leader for the series of tours to France on the theme of Geology & Wine - Understanding and Tasting the Great Wines of France

Chris Gossip

Chris Gossip

Brought up in Edinburgh where he went to school and university, Chris held academic posts at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Wales Swansea before emigrating with his family in 1991 to take up the Chair of French at the University of New England in Armidale NSW. Since mid-2007 he has been able to devote more time to research and to a major interest, travel. Having spent several years in France and made countless other visits, he looks forward to passing on his passion for its history, geography and cultural heritage.

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