vic_logo

About Australian Honours

The Order of Australia recognises women and men whose actions have enriched our society. Anyone can nominate.

Australian citizens are recognised for their achievements and service to the community through Australian Honours.

Not to be confused with the Australian of the Year Award. An Australian Honour is the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service, and was established in 1975.

The Order of Australia 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.

If your nomination is unsuccessful, your nominee may be reconsidered after an interval of 3 years. You will be required to submit your nomination again at this time.

If the person you are nominating has an Order of Australia (AO, AM or OAM), they may be considered for a promotion within the Order 5 years after their previous appointment or award.

Assessing nominations

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

If your nomination is unsuccessful, your nominee may be reconsidered after an interval of 3 years. You will be required to submit your nomination again at this time.

If the person you are nominating has an Order of Australia (AO, AM or OAM), they may be considered for a promotion within the Order 5 years after their previous appointment or award.

Announcements

Awards are announced two times each year:

  • Australia Day - 26 January
  • The Queen's Birthday - June

Awards

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 AC
  • 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:

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 605 people each year.

Some recipients of the Member of the Order include:

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 OAM
  • Ms Rebecca Scott OAM

For more information on the awards, visit the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

Reviewed 31 July 2019

Was this page helpful?