Official Creation of Awards
- Why new honours are created
- How new honours are created
- Public announcement
- Letters Patent
The Australian honours system dates from 1975 when the Order of Australia and the Australian Bravery Decorations were approved by The Queen.
Since then, new awards have progressively been added to the system. There are a total of 55 awards in the Australian system of honours.
Why new honours are created
New honours are created for two reasons:
- A need to recognise a category of people in the community is identified – for example, the Australian Fire Service Medal, whdich was created in 1988.
- A need to recognise participants in particular military operations is identified – for example, the International Force East Timor Medal, which was introduced in 2000.
How new honours are created
The process of introducing a new award involves a number of stages:
- In-principle agreement – when the government decides to seek to create an honour, in-principle agreement is sought from The Queen.
- Consultation – Government House Canberra, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and other relevant parties agree on factors such as nomination and assessment processes, medal and ribbon design and where the award will appear in the Order of Precedence.
- Approval - the Letters Patent, Regulations, medal design and Order of Precedence are approved by The Queen.
- Implementation - contracts are placed for manufacture of the medal and relevant administrative arrangements implemented.
The Prime Minister generally makes a public announcement following The Queen’s formal approval of an award.
The Letters Patent and the Regulations are then published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette.
The Letters Patent is the official document issued by The Queen granting the right for a particular award to be instituted.
The Regulations set out the terms and conditions of an award including factors such as medal design and eligibility criteria.Top