Star of Courage


The Star of Courage is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.

It is the second highest Australian Bravery Decoration.


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 Stephen Thomas who was awarded the Star of Courage in 2002 for rescuing a friend from a great white shark attack.

Search the Australian Honours List for past recipients of the Star of Courage.

View the numbers awarded for the Star of Courage.

How it is 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 citizen of another country carrying out a brave act in Australia may also be nominated.

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 by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

The Australian Bravery Decorations Council makes recommendations for awards 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.

Recipients have the post-nominals of SC. Those awarded a bar or bars may also use ‘and Bar’ or ‘and Bars’ after their name.

Medal design

The Star of Courage

Star of Courage

The Star of Courage is a silver, ribbed star with seven points ensigned with the Crown of St Edward. The obverse has the shield and crest of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms surmounted by a Federation Star.

A suspender bar is engraved with the words For Courage.

Medal Ribbon

The medal ribbon is blood-red with a central magenta band.

Nomination forms

Download a copy of the Australian Bravery Decorations nomination form.

Print fact sheet

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

More information

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

Honours Secretariat
Government House

Ph: 1800 552 275

Last Updated: 24 September, 2008