Also, I assume you want to know what French people think of the Aussie accent in French, not in English, right?
Just in case, I’ll answer both.
So, what do French people think of the Aussie accent when they hear an Australian speak English?
Well, most French people won’t recognize it as their knowledge of English rarely includes recognizing accents.
And as far as French people that have a good knowledge of English, I think it depends on their personal experience with English.
Personally, I think it sounds funny, but funny in a good way. (as opposed to the purely British accent that can sound funny in a bad way or in a “Ha! Ha!” way, depending of where it’s from in England).
And what do French people think of the Aussie accent when they hear an Australian speak French?
Mmmmm… I want to say: not much.
Let me explain. First, whereas in English regional accents are really important and they have lots of connotations, whether one is speaking about an English speaking region or a foreign region, it’s very different in France where accents don’t carry the same meanings.
For example, whereas in an English speaking fiction, the character’s accent will often be a big part of their characterization, in French every accent is wiped out, characters never have accents, unless the goal is to caricature them.
And in everyday life, we don’t have images such as “the French accent is so sexy” and such regarding foreign accents. Some individuals will find such an accent sexy, another one, stupid, etc. But at the level of the population, no such thing, it’s really a personal matter.
And as a consequence, especially because French people are usually not used to be near Australians, the Australian accent doesn’t really have any connotation, reputation nor stigma.
Now, wanting to please my readership, I did my research (understand: I happened to see this morning one of the two Australians that can speak French that I know) and here is what I got.
When I asked my Australian acquaintance this question he answered that first people are first perplexed by his accent, they can’t really point out where it’s from, so they ask. And when he answers, they never talk about his accent, but respond something along the line “but what are you doing in France?!” obviously surprised to meet an Australian so far from home.
It’ll be noted that this Australian has a very good French and it’s hard to tell where he’s accent is from. If I didn’t know he’s an Aussie, I’m not sure I could tell from his accent.
The other French speaking Aussie that I know doesn’t speak as well and definitely has an English speaker’s accent.