Australia’s focus in the Asian region and on improving defence ties with Indonesia was recently highlighted with two visits from Australian Navy leaders in a week.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett began the series of meetings, as a guest of honour at the International Maritime Security Symposium in Bali.
Working together for good order at sea was the theme of this year’s conference, which was hosted by Indonesia's Navy Chief, Admiral Ade Supandi, and attended by other chiefs from a host of regional nations.
Vice Admiral Barrett told the conference that no country could truly expect to act alone to solve the maritime challenges which were faced in the region.
"Whether those challenges arise from terrorism to transnational crime, or to environmental damage, or to marine resource exploitation, we all have a shared interest in good order at sea," Vice Admiral Barrett said.
A meeting with the Indonesian chief provided a further chance to discuss future activities.
Less than a week later, these sentiments were re-enforced by Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Mike Noonan who spent two days in Jakarta for Navy to Navy talks with the Indonesian Assistant Chief for Operations, Rear Admiral Ary Atmaja.
"Our Government has made it clear that our focus will increasingly turn towards maintaining security across the Asian region," Rear Admiral Noonan said.
"I came away extremely confident that our friendship is in very good shape.
"I was also struck both by the warm welcome we received and by the genuine enthusiasm for further joint activities. It is after all in both Australia and Indonesia’s interests to protect our neighbourhood," he said.