WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia. The Order of Australia is the nation’s highest civilian recognition for outstanding achievement and service. The award was presented by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.
“Australia is one of our closest friends, strongest allies, and most valued economic partners,” said Blunt. “Our two nations are bonded not only by our shared values, but also by the incredible sacrifices our service members have made fighting side by side in every major conflict in the last 100 years. I am incredibly honored to receive this award and very grateful to Prime Minister Morrison and Ambassador Sinodinos for their continued partnership.”
As a founding co-chair of the Friends of Australia Caucus, Blunt has worked to strengthen the U.S.-Australia relationship and advance security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2018, Blunt led a Senate Resolution commemorating the centenary of Mateship, marking 100 years of Australians and Americans fighting side by side in every major conflict.
In his remarks, Australian Ambassador to the U.S. Arthur Sinodinos thanked Blunt for his key role in the passage of the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement when he was Majority Whip in the House of Representatives. In the first 15 years of this landmark agreement, goods and services trade between the U.S. and Australia doubled, and two-way investment tripled. This agreement has also expanded U.S.-Australian collaboration in research and innovation, including visa opportunities for highly skilled U.S. and Australian workers to share their knowledge and expertise.
The U.S. and Australia have maintained strong, long-standing defense and economic relationships that greatly benefit both nations. Bilateral military cooperation between the two nations has strengthened the fight against terrorism and enhanced security throughout the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, the significant trade, investment, and tourism ties the U.S. and Australia share have bolstered both nation’s economies.
The Order of Australia, instituted by Her Majesty The Queen on February 14, 1975, was established to recognize Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service.