Trade Minister Richard Marles has been awarded the Cross of Solomon Islands, a highly prestigious award given by Solomon Islands government.
The award was presented to Mr Marles by the Governor-General of Solomon Islands H. E. Sir Frank Kabui during Mr Marles' first visit to the Islands in his new capacity as Trade Minister. Mr Marles made a visit to Solomon Islands on 16 July to hold discussions with Prime Minister Lilo on ways to enhance bilateral economic ties.
In presenting the award Sir Frank Kabui said the "government and the people of Solomon Islands recognised your service to our nation by devotion to duty marked by exceptional ability, merit and exemplary conduct."
Mr Marles, who visited Solomon Islands several times in his former role as Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, said Solomon Islands has long been "a place I hold close to my heart and I am deeply humbled by the award - it is a great honour".
Mr Marles said he accepted the award "on behalf of all the Australians, including the service men and women and public servants, who over the last decade have worked so hard to support our friends in Solomon Islands and have seen it become a country which provides leadership in the Pacific."
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