Australian Bravery Decorations


Australian Bravery Decorations recognise acts of bravery by members of the community. They selflessly put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others.

Bravery or courage differs from fortitude in a crisis situation. Bravery is a deliberate choice to go from a place of safety to danger or remain in a perilous position to provide help.

The Cross of Valour is the highest bravery decoration. It is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

The Cross of Valour has been awarded five times since 1975.


Cross of Valour

Australian Cross
of Valour

Australian Bravery Decorations date from the establishment of the Australian honours system in February 1975. The Group Bravery Citation was added in 1990.

The decorations recognise acts of bravery by members of the community.

There are four levels of decoration:

There is also the Group Bravery Citation an award for a group of people involved in a single incident.

Past recipients

Read about past recipients who have been awarded Australian Bravery Decorations in the Honoured Australians section of this website. Membership of the independent Australian Bravery Association is open to past recipients.

Search the Australian Honours List for past recipients of Australian Bravery Decorations.

How they are awarded

Anyone may nominate any other person for a bravery decoration.

The nomination may be for a brave act by an Australian citizen in Australia or overseas. A decoration may be awarded to a person who is not an Australian citizen for either an act done in Australia or for an act which, though done outside Australia, merits recognition as an act in the interest of Australia.

Bravery decorations may be made posthumously.

The Honours Secretariat at Government House researches the nominations. The Australian Bravery Decorations Council then considers them.

The Council has fourteen members including representatives of each state and territory, two ex-officio members and four community members appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, by the Governor-General.

The Australian Bravery Decorations Council makes recommendations for awards direct to the Governor-General. The Council also recommends the level of awards.

There is no set timeframe for announcing bravery awards. Generally there are two announcements each year in April and August.

After the announcement of awards, recipients are invited to a ceremony or investiture at Government House in their state to receive their award.

Nomination forms

Download a copy of the Australian Bravery Decorations nomination form:

Please note that nomination forms cannot be lodged electronically. They should be posted to the address shown on the nomination form.

Note: For more information on PDF files and their use see the PDF Help page on this site.

If you are unable to access this file, please contact the Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch directly through the contact us facility on this website.

More information

For more information on making an Australian Bravery Decoration nomination please contact:

Honours Secretariat
Government House

Ph: 1800 552 275

Last Updated: 12 July, 2013