Part Six Other Matters - 6.7 Awards and National Symbols

6.7 Awards and National Symbols

6.7.1 Information on Australian Awards and National Symbols

Senators and Members should contact the Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, for advice or information on:

  • Australian honours and awards, including nomination procedures
  • nomination forms and validation of service for the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal, the Civilian Service Medal 1939-1945 and non‑military awards of the Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal
  • acceptance and wearing by Australians of awards from foreign governments
  • Australian national symbols: the Australian National Flag, the Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag, the Red Ensign, Coat of Arms, National Anthem, Colours, Floral Emblem and Gemstone
  • using national and Royal symbols, and heraldic matters.

6.7.2 Congratulatory Messages: Birthdays and Anniversaries

Senators and Members may arrange, through the Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, for congratulatory messages to be sent to people celebrating significant anniversaries:

  • persons celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary or any subsequent wedding anniversary, and their 90th or any subsequent birthday may receive a message from the Prime Minister
  • persons celebrating their 60th or subsequent wedding anniversaries, and 100th or subsequent birthdays may receive a message from the Governor-General
  • persons celebrating their 60th, 65th or 70th and subsequent wedding anniversaries, and 100th, 105th or subsequent birthdays may receive messages from The Queen.

Applications for Congratulatory Messages

Applications must be:

  • verified, by the Senator or Member concerned if possible, as to the accuracy of the anniversary date
  • made on a form available from the Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch and submitted to:

    Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
    PO Box 6500
    CANBERRA   ACT   2600

6.7.3 Australian Honours and Awards

The Australian Honours Secretariat is responsible for independently administering on behalf of the Governor-General more than 40 different award types that make up the Australian honours system. The pre-eminent award within the honours system is the Order of Australia, and is the means by which contributions of members of the community are accorded national recognition.

Upon receipt of nominations from the community, it is the role of the Secretariat to thoroughly research nominees’ community contributions and present the material to an independent advisory body, the Council for the Order of Australia, which makes recommendations for awards to the Governor-General. The Secretariat also supports the work of the Australian Bravery Decorations Council. Similar processes are undertaken to ensure appropriate recognition of acts of bravery by Australian citizens or in the interests of Australia.

Nomination forms are available from Government House and on the web at the It’s an Honour website.

Completed forms should be submitted to:

The Secretary
Order of Australia
Government House
CANBERRA   ACT   2600

The above information was prepared in conjunction with the Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Any queries regarding Australian awards and national symbols or honours should be referred to the relevant area in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Contact details are available to Senators, Members and their employees from the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services help desks.