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Awards and National Symbols

Overarching Obligations

The Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 imposes overarching obligations.
The dominant purpose and value for money tests and specified conditions must be met. See s25, 26, 27, 28.

Australian Awards and National Symbols

Contact the Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (see It's an Honour) for advice or information on:

  • Australian honours and awards, including nomination procedures
  • Imperial honours and foreign awards
  • how and when to wear an award
  • Australian flags
  • Australian national symbols including national colours (green and gold), floral emblem (wattle) and gemstone (opal)
  • Australian national and Royal anthems including words and sheet music for the National Anthem, with Brass and Military Band musical arrangements
  • history and use of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms
  • using national and Royal symbols, and heraldic matters, and
  • anniversary messages.

Australian Honours and Awards

The Australian honours system accords national recognition to the contributions of members of the community. It consists of nearly 60 different award types, the pre-eminent of which is the Order of Australia.

Nominations can be made by members of the public (individuals and organisations) for the Order of Australia in the General (i.e. non-military) Division, and for bravery awards. These are administered by the Honours Secretariat at Government House, which researches the nominations and provides material for consideration by the following independent bodies that make recommendations for awards to the Governor-General:

  • the Council for the Order of Australia, and
  • the Australian Bravery Decorations Council, which recognises acts of bravery by Australian citizens or in the interests of Australia.

Nominations for medals for eligible organisations can be made by the organisations.

Details are available at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, It's an Honour

Congratulatory Messages for Birthdays and Anniversaries

Parliamentarians may arrange for congratulatory messages to be sent to people celebrating significant anniversaries from:

  • the Prime Minister – for a 50th or subsequent wedding anniversary; 90th or subsequent birthday
  • the Governor-General – for a 50th or subsequent wedding anniversary; 100th or subsequent birthday
  • The Queen – for a 60th (and every fifth year after) wedding anniversary; 100th (and every fifth year after) birthday.
Details are available at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, It's an Honour

Last updated: 07 November 2019