Chief of Staff of the French Navy, Admiral Christophe Prazuck has been invested as an honorary officer of the Order of Australia by Governor of New South Wales Margaret Beazley, AO QC in front of his Australian counterpart Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, RAN and fellow French and Australian officers.
Admiral Prazuck was recognised in a ceremony at Government House in Sydney for his distinguished service in developing the defence relationship between Australia and France through commitment, leadership and strategic foresight as Chief of Staff of the French Navy.
Governor Beazley said the investiture ceremonies were a wonderful occasion to recognise significant contributions by individuals to Australia.
“It really is a great honour for us to have you here and to be able to invest you with your honorary Order of Australia medal,” Governor Beazley said.
“Investitures are a very special occasion for members of our community who make a contribution over and above, usually in a professional role, at such a level that warrants the extra recognition that comes in the Australian honours system,” she said.
Admiral Prazuck, who is visiting Australia for the Sea Power conference, said he was honoured to be presented with an Order of Australia medal.
He said he saw many reasons to sustain a healthy relationship between the two nations, whose navies both operate together in the Southwest Pacific and Middle East region.
“This award means a lot to me.
“When I became head of the French Navy in 2016, Australia was, of course, already a close friend and ally of France.
“We were already twice neighbours in New Caledonia and the south Indian Ocean.
“I am committed to our partnership because it makes sense.
“It makes sense geographically, it makes sense geo-politically, and it makes sense in terms of environmental security.
“I am committed because it delivers tonnes of narcotics seized in the northern Indian Ocean.
“It delivers submarines. It delivers high-level training in the western Pacific.”
“More than anything I am committed to this partnership because of friendship,” Admiral Prazuck said.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20192495.