The Chief of Staff of the French Navy has been invested as an honorary officer of the Order of Australia by the Governor of New South Wales, Margaret Beazley, in front of his Australian counterpart, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, and fellow French and Australian officers.

Admiral Christophe Prazuk 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.

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.”

Admiral Prazuk, who visited Australia for the Sea Power Conference, said he was honoured.

He said he saw many reasons to sustain a healthy relationship between the two nations, whose navies operate together in the Southwest Pacific and Middle East region.

“This award means a lot to me,” he said.

“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 geopolitically and it makes sense in terms of environmental security.

“It delivers submarines. It delivers high-level training in the western Pacific.

“More than anything I am committed to this partnership because of friendship.”