Companion of the Order of Australia

Significance

In the Australian honours system appointments to the Order of Australia confer recognition for outstanding achievement and service.

The Companion of the Order of Australia is awarded for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or humanity at large.

The Companion is Australia’s greatest civic honour.

The Order of Australia has four levels:

Past recipients

Recipients of the Order of Australia are from many fields of endeavour and all walks of life.

Professor Ian Frazer AC was appointed a Companion in 2012.  He is known for his discovery of the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine which prevents cervical cancer.

Professor Frazer was recognised for eminent service to medical research, particularly through leadership roles in the discovery of the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine and its role in preventing cervical cancer, and to higher education, and as a supporter of charitable organisations.

Doctor Jean Calder AC, immunologist Professor Peter Doherty AC and businessman Nicholas Paspaley AC have also been appointed Companions of the Order of Australia for their achievements.

Search the Australian Honours List for past recipients of the Companion of the Order of Australia.

View the numbers awarded for the Companion of the Order of Australia.

How it is awarded

The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise the achievements and service of their fellow citizens.

Nominations to the Order of Australia come directly from the community: either individuals or groups. Anyone can nominate a fellow Australian for an award.

Appointments in the Order of Australia are not made posthumously. However, a nomination will be considered if the person is alive when the nomination form is received by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat at Government House in Canberra.

The 19-member Council for the Order of Australia then considers the nominations. The Council makes its recommendations, independent of government, direct to the Governor-General.

Awards in the Order of Australia are publicly announced on Australia Day (26 January) and The Queen’s Birthday public holiday (June).

See also:

Medal design

Companion of the Order of Australia - front

Companion of the Order of Australia

The design of the Companion of the Order of Australia is a badge with a gold insignia of the Order in the centre.

The central insignia is circled with blue enamel edged in gold with citrines and is inscribed with the word ‘Australia’ in gold capital letters. The circle also contains two gold sprigs of mimosa.

The insignia is ensigned with the Crown of St Edward in full colour.

The medal is hung from the ribbon of the Order. It is royal blue with a central band of mimosa blossoms.

Print fact sheet

The information on this page is available as a printable fact sheet.

More information

For more information on making a nomination for the Order of Australia contact:

The Secretary
Order of Australia
Government House
CANBERRA, ACT 2600
Ph: 1800 552 275

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Last Updated: 21 June, 2013