Australian Minister for Finance receives the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of GermanyEnlarge image (© German Embassy Canberra/ Brad Cummings)
Ambassador Dr Anna Prinz had the great pleasure to award the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Australian Minister for Finance Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann.
The award was presented to Senator Cormann in a formal ceremony at the German Embassy Residence on Tuesday, 30 January 2018.
State Minister of the German Federal Foreign Office Maria Böhmer initially recommended Mr Cormann for the award to honour his continuously strong commitment to the advancement of Australian-German relations.
Mr Cormann has had a long-standing affiliation with Germany. Belgian-born, he witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall live as a student in Berlin. The event, and the subsequent reunification process, deeply impressed him and convinced him of the importance of strong Australian relations with Europe and Germany.
In 2014, the Senator co-chaired the high-ranking Australia-Germany Advisory Group (AGAG) and played an important part in the development of the group’s 59 recommendations for the enhancement of bilateral relations between the two countries. With great political sensitiveness, he convinced Australian leaders to engage with the AGAG and join the dialogue to advance negotiations and deepen Australian-German collaboration. The majority of recommendations has since been successfully implemented.
Mr Cormann was also a main instigator in the planning of the German-Australian Asia-Pacific Regional Conference that took place in Perth in November 2017. The conference was opened by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and was hugely successful in connecting Australian and German businesses, counting over 1000 participants.
The Senator’s bond with Germany, his persuasive power and his commitment have made him an influential and successful advocate of Germany in Australia.Enlarge image (© German Embassy Canberra/Brad Cummings)