"Australia and India have accepted a shared responsibility to ensure a peaceful, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific, a region where the rights of all states are respected, regardless of size," he said.

There have been mounting global concerns over China's growing military muscle-flexing in the Indo-Pacific region, especially against its coercive approach toward Pacific island nations.

Referring to maritime cooperation, O'Farrell said India and Australia share the Indian Ocean and added, "We are -- by our very design -- stewards of one of the world's greatest maritime resources."

"Our geography places us squarely in the middle of the world's strategic centre of gravity. And as the international system becomes more multi-polar, the region's resilience will be tested," he said.

Delving into various aspects of the bilateral ties, he said the more than 7,00,000 strong Indian diaspora in Australia has been acting as the "living bridge" between the two nations.

The high commissioner said one of the significant outcomes of last month's virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM Scott Morrison was the progress towards a migration and mobility partnership arrangement.

He said it will create opportunities for skilled professionals and students to experience the benefits of each other's education and employment markets, besides helping in preventing irregular migration.

O'Farrell said the trust which underpins the Australia-India relationship is a major contributor to the progress of overall ties.

"For me, the biggest indicator of how far the Australia-India relationship has come is simply how frank, frequent and trusting our interactions are with our counterparts," he said.

"To put it starkly: the kinds of discussions we're now able to have on sensitive issues were unheard of even five years ago. If and when any issue arises, we speak directly to each other like good friends," he added.