Former Indonesian Navy Chief receives Australian honour

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), Unknown (photographer)

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Left to right - Head of Australia's Defence Staff-Jakarta BRIG John Gould, Australia's Ambassador Paul Grigson, Dr Admiral Marsetio, S.SOS., M.M (retired), ADM Marsetio's wife Mrs Penny Iriana and TNI-AL Deputy Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Widodo. (photo: Unknown)
Left to right - Head of Australia's Defence Staff-Jakarta BRIG John Gould, Australia's Ambassador Paul Grigson, Dr Admiral Marsetio, S.SOS., M.M (retired), ADM Marsetio's wife Mrs Penny Iriana and TNI-AL Deputy Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Widodo.

One of Indonesia's most senior naval leaders has been presented with an Australian honour at a ceremony in Jakarta.

Indonesia's former Chief of Navy, Dr Admiral Marsetio, has been appointed as an honorary officer of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his tireless work to enhance defence ties between Indonesia and Australia.

In accepting his award, Admiral Marsetio warmly thanked Australia, admitting that he would never have imagined receiving such an honour as a young officer in the 1990s.

"I have many memorable times of working together with you," Admiral Marsetio said.

"This is a great honour not only for me, but also for the Indonesian military, the Indonesian Navy and the Indonesian people."

The citation singles out Admiral Marsetio's work in establishing regular exercises between the Indonesian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, and his courageous leadership. It was formally presented to the Admiral by Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Paul Grigson.

Australia's Head of Defence Staff in Jakarta Brigadier John Gould said the award also recognises the Admiral's efforts to modernise the Indonesian Navy which has made it a leading maritime force in the Asian region.

"An Order of Australia recognises outstanding achievement and service," Brigadier Gould said.

"Very few of these honours are awarded each year, and even fewer are awarded to foreign dignitaries.
"It has been given to only 10 Indonesian dignitaries in decades past," he said.

Admiral Marsetio was joined by his family and many Indonesian Navy officers, past and present. Indonesian Navy Deputy Chief Vice Admiral Widodo was also on hand to witness the presentation and to pass on his best wishes to the Admiral.

Admiral Marsetio said the award was reflective of the strong relationship between Indonesia and Australia's Navy.

"Our relationship will continue to move forward," Admiral Marsetio said.

"The Royal Australian Navy will always be in my heart."