Australian citizens are recognised for their achievements and service to the community through Australian Honours.
An Australian Honour is the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service, and was established in 1975.
The Order of is one of the awards included in the Australian Honours. The Order of Australia has four award levels. The Companion of the Order (AC), the Officer of the Order (AO), the Member of the Order (AM) and the Medal of the Order (OAM).
Anyone in the community can nominate someone for an award in the Order of Australia.
Nominations are considered by the Council for the Order of Australia which makes recommendations directly to the Governor-General.
The Council will look for someone who has gone above and beyond in their contributions to Australian society.
Your nominee may have:
- made an outstanding contribution to society within their field, whether it's professionally, in sports, the arts, service or community work
- contributed to their community as a volunteer in a way that is over and above the contributions of other volunteers
Awards are announced two times each year:
- Australia Day - 26 January
- The Queen's Birthday - June
The Order of Australia has 4 levels and the Council for the Order of Australia will determine the level of the award your nominee receives. You don't need to specify the award level in your nomination.
Companion of the Order (AC)
The Council for the Order of Australia defines this honour as achievement and merit of the highest degree for service to Australia or humanity at large.
This is the highest award in the Order of Australia and only 35 people are awarded an AC each year.
Some recipients of the Companion of the Order include:
- Ms Susan Alberti
- Ms Jill Bilcock AC
- Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC
- Dr Rhonda Galbally AC
- Ms Olivia Newton-John AC
Officer of the Order (AO)
The Council for the Order of Australia defines this honour as distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or humanity at large.
This award recognises people whose actions have made a significant impact in our society. Only 140 people are awarded an AO each year.
Some recipients of the Officer of the Order include:
- Professor Muriel Bamblett
- Ms Bronwyn King AO
- Professor Sharon Lewin AO
- Ms Sue Maslin AO
- Ms Magda Szubański AO
Member of the Order (AM)
The Council for the Order of Australia defines this honour for service in a particular local area, field or to a particular group.
Recognising achievement in a particular area, the AM is awarded to 365 people each year.
Some recipients of the Member of the Order include:
- Ms Sally Goldner AM
- Mrs Karen Hayes AM
- Ms Karen Livingstone
- Ms Helen Marcou AM
- Dr Nouria Salehi AM
Medal of the Order (OAM)
The Council for the Order of Australia defines this honour for service worthy of particular recognition.
Recognising outstanding achievements, there's no limit to the number of OAMs awarded each year.
Some recipients of the Medal of the Order include:
- Ms Brenda Appleton OAM
- Ms Hana Assafiri OAM
- Ms (Aunty) Di Kerr OAM
- Ms Tricia Malowney
- Ms Rebecca Scott OAM
For more information on the awards, visit the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Reviewed 21 February 2019