"There's no competition," gushed Cyrus, who's engaged to Down Under hunk Liam Hemsworth

By Reagan Alexander and Alison Schwartz
June 28, 2012 02:00 PM
Credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

For the fans who coveted her fiancé Liam Hemsworth in The Hunger Games – and envied her when the couple announced their engagement last month – Miley Cyrus may be stating the obvious.

“[Australians are] way hotter. There’s no competition,” she told PEOPLE at Wednesday night’s Australians in Film awards, where Hemsworth received the Australians in Film Breakthrough Award. Added Cyrus, 19, who grew up in Nashville, “I think there’s a masculinity about [Australian guys] that is probably like growing up in the South, like what I did. They are a little bit more respectful, I suppose.”

But he’s more than a pretty face (and a hunky bod).

“My dad [singer Billy Ray Cyrus] has always been a really hard worker, so I like it when men work hard,” she said. “I think it’s important and I always work really hard, so it’s good to have someone who is as passionate about what they do, and wants to be great at what they do.”

And Cyrus wasn’t the only one gushing. As he accepted his award, Hemsworth, 22, paid homage to the beginning of his career – when he met his soon-to-be wife auditioning for The Last Song in 2009.

“I was fortunate enough to get called back in and read with my now fiancée, and we read together and fell in love, and got married,” he told the audience, before correcting himself. “Well, not married yet.”

“We will be,” Cyrus yelled from her seat.

Added Hemsworth, “We will be.”