Our Honours System

Our Australian honours system is internationally renowned and respected and you can learn more about its history, along with the official creation, administration, design and making of awards as well as how they are announced and presented.

Australia’s distinctive honours system began in 1975 with the creation of the Order of Australia, to recognise service to the nation or humanity, as well as the Australian Bravery Decorations and the National Medal.

Since then, Australia has created additional awards to completely replace those areas of service previously recognised in the British system and to recognise additional areas of service valued by Australians.

Australian honours are unique in that they were designed for the community to make nominations. The Australian honours system is free of patronage or political influence. Anyone can nominate an Australian citizen for an honour.

Prior to the establishment of the Australian honours system (and overlapping with it for a time afterwards), Australians were honoured by awards in the British Imperial honours system. Imperial honours (except for a few which are in the personal gift of the Queen) are no longer awarded to Australians.

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Last Updated: 24 May, 2006