The start of a new year is inevitably a time to reflect and look ahead with optimism at what’s to come. Australia’s bilateral relationship with Singapore is one of our closest and most enduring in the region and has gone from strength to strength. The challenges of the pandemic brought our countries closer and we want to thank our Australian expat community for their contribution to the warmth of this relationship. For Australia Day this year, we will be showing our gratitude to Singaporeans for their support this past year. Please join our community on Instagram (@australiainsg) to take part and share your #GreatMatesAUSG moments.

Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong with High Commissioner Will Hodgman at the Order of Australia presentation ceremony, October 2021. Photo: MINDEF

Order of Australia presentation to Singapore’s Defence Chief

Just one example of the closeness of Australia’s relationship with Singapore was the appointment of Singapore’s Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Melvyn Ong, as an Officer of the Order of Australia late last year. 

The Order of Australia is our country’s pre-eminent means of recognising and celebrating service and achievement. Honorary appointments are made to people who are not Australian citizens but who have made an enormous contribution to Australia or humanity.

Lieutenant General Ong was recognised for his distinguished service and dedication to strengthening the close and longstanding Australia-Singapore defence relationship. Under his leadership, the Singapore Armed Forces contributed over 70 personnel and air support to Operation Bushfire Assist in 2020, which greatly assisted fire-fighting and recovery efforts in Victoria.

Order of Australia medal presented to Lieutenant-General Ong. Photo: MINDEF

High Commissioner Will Hodgman was honoured to present Lieutenant General Ong with his medal in a small ceremony at the High Commission building. The ceremony included video messages from the Governor-General of Australia the Hon David Hurley and Australia’s Defence Force Chief, General Angus Campbell.  


Our top travel tips for your Aussie visitors!

With travel between Australia and Singapore becoming more possible, we’re all excited to welcome our family and loved ones back to Singapore. As it’s been a while since we all travelled, you may want to share these top travel tips with your visitors. 

  • Check your passport’s validity. Many countries, including Singapore, require arrivals to have at least six months’ validity on their passport after their planned departure date to enter the country. Your guests should keep this in mind for any onward travel from Singapore too.
  • Download your International Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate using the myGov or Express Plus Medicare mobile apps BEFORE departing Australia. Check the latest Covid-19 Safe Management Measures on the Singapore Government Ministry of Health website at
  • Familiarise yourself with Singapore’s local laws, noting that Singapore has strict penalties in place for activities that may otherwise be legal or are minor offences in Australia. Check out for more information.

For more Singapore travel information head to @australiainsg