Pouring Hart into bilateral relations earns CSC for Naval Attaché

Published on LEUT Sarah West (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Topic(s): Australia Day Honours, Conspicuous Service Cross

Naval Attache Jakarta, Captain Nick Hart and Laksamana Pertama TNI I.G Putu Wijamahadi shake hands at the conclusion of the Opening Ceremony for Exercise NEW HORIZON. (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Naval Attache Jakarta, Captain Nick Hart and Laksamana Pertama TNI I.G Putu Wijamahadi shake hands at the conclusion of the Opening Ceremony for Exercise NEW HORIZON.

Captain Nick Hart poured his heart into enhancing Navy’s Defence bilateral relations with Indonesia during his time as Naval Attaché Jakarta, from 2015 to 2017.

The commitment he demonstrated during the posting has earned him the award of the Conspicuous Service Cross, which was announced in the 2019 Australia Day Honours and Awards list yesterday.

His citation reads: 

For outstanding devotion to duty, dedication and achievement as the Naval Attaché to Indonesia.
 
Captain Hart demonstrated outstanding commitment, exemplary dedication and superb professionalism as the Naval Attaché Jakarta from 2015 to 2017. He directly contributed to the successful enhancement of the Defence bilateral relationship between Australia and the Republic of Indonesia by increasing the sophistication of activities and developing new opportunities to expand engagement with the Indonesian military. Captain Hart was also instrumental in progressing enduring Indonesian Government protection for the wreck of HMAS Perth (I).

“I am extremely honoured and humbled to receive this award and appreciate its significance,” Captain Hart said.

“Yet, I am also conscious that what was achieved, particularly regarding HMAS Perth (I), required the support of many, and I am appreciative of their generosity and support.”

“Being able to garner the Indonesian Government’s support to protect the wreck of HMAS Perth (I), with the assistance of so many people from the Australian Embassy, the Australian National Museum and of course the Royal Australian Navy, is one of the most personally and professionally satisfying achievements of my career.”

“It is particularly satisfying for me to know that the relatives and friends of all those personnel who perished in HMAS Perth (I) now have assurance that the last resting place of their loved ones will be protected.”

“It is also a testament to the Indonesian Government’s respect for Australia that they have allowed this to occur – a first for any foreign warship,” Commander Hart said.

The Royal Australian Navy officer, who is now the Course Director of the Defence and Strategies Studies Course at the Australian Defence College, said he really enjoyed his time living and working in Indonesia.

“It was a great honour and a wonderful experience,” he said.

“I found the people of Indonesia, my colleagues from the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and Indonesian Government to be generous and warm towards Australia and Australians, and supportive of my endeavours on behalf of our Navy and Government.”

“Helping to guide and shape the Royal Australian Navy’s engagement and co-operation with the Indonesia Navy (TNI-AL) and move the relationship forward was also a privilege and of great personal significance to me,” he said.

The Royal Australian Navy congratulates Captain Hart and all of the 23 Royal Australian Navy people recognised in the 2019 Australia Day Honours and Awards List.