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Your guide to nominating

Tips for nominators and a sample of the online form.

Who can I nominate?

  • A woman must be living at the time of nomination, an Australian citizen or permanent resident and must have made an outstanding contribution to Australia.
  • You can nominate someone who has already received an Australian Honour for the contributions they have made since the honour was awarded – they may be recognised with a higher-level honour such as AC, AO or AM.
  • A deceased person cannot be nominated for recognition through the Order of Australia. However, a deceased person can be recognised if they were nominated while they were alive. Any person with an active nomination who passes away is still considered for an award. Where an award is recommended for someone who has died, the nominated person’s next-of-kin is contacted and asked whether they wish to accept an award on their behalf.
  • We want to see Australia’s diverse community represented in Australian Honours and we encourage nominations of people who are non-binary or trans too.

How do I nominate?

  • Complete the online Australian Honours nomination formExternal Link . We have created a Word templateExternal Link to help you draft your content. Once you have filled out the template you can copy and paste your responses into the online form.
    • You can save and return to your form for up to 14 days from when you start.
    • You must complete any field with a star next to it.
  • Include with your nomination the details of up to four referees.
  • Consider sharing the copy of your nomination with your named referees. This may help them to provide relevant information if contacted down the line.
  • After you have submitted your nomination you will receive a copy of your nomination via email. It may take up to two years for the Council to decide whether to award an Honour to the nominee. You will be notified either way. There is no limit to the number of nominations you can make.

What makes a strong nomination?

  • Include any previous awards and recognitions your nominee has received; also include any Australian Honours you might have received.
  • Include the dates and time periods of their contributions.
  • Use bullet points to help structure your content.

Where do I find the information I need to complete a nomination?

Not being able to talk to your nominee about the nomination may seem daunting, but there are other ways you can find out the information you need for a strong nomination.

  • LinkedIn is a great way to research your nominee’s past achievements and connect with potential referees.
  • If you do not know your nominee personally, you may want to contact their friends, family or colleagues to help with your research.
  • Your nominee may have already received awards or recognition from their company, industry, community or another organisation. You could ask the organisers of these awards to share information that you need for your nomination or help find referees.
  • Consider nominating your nominee for another award at the same time. Many awards, such as the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, do not require confidentiality, so you can talk to your nominee about the information you require, without discussing the Australian Honours.


  • Referees help the Council to understand and research your nominee’s achievements and contributions. They do not need to do anything at the time of nomination.
  • Referees need to be able to offer insight into the nominee’s service or contribution – they may be a colleague or a friend or someone who has been impacted by your nominee’s service.
  • Referees can be specific people or can be person in a specific position in a company or organisation (e.g ‘State Manager’) who you think would be able to support your nomination.
  • You should check with any referees that they are happy to act as referees before you submit your nomination.

Sample referee letter

Dear [Referee],

I am nominating [Nominee] for an Australian Honour in recognition of [her achievements or contribution]. I am getting in touch to ask if you would be willing to be a referee for [Nominee].

Please don’t tell [Nominee] about the nomination, it is a confidential process and she will only be contacted by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat if the nomination is successful.

You do not have to do anything at this stage. It may take up to two years for the Secretariat to contact you about the nomination. When they do, they will ask about:

  • your connection with the nominee.
  • details of the nominee’s service, including dates (if known).
  • your opinion on the level of service the nominee has contributed and examples.
  • where you (or your organisation) support(s) the nomination and why.

[If the Referee does not know the Nominee]

You do not have to know [Nominee] personally, if you believe that you are able to speak to their contributions or achievements.
Please let me know if you are willing to be a referee for this nomination. I am happy to answer any questions you have about why I am nominating [Nominee].

You can find out more about the Australian Honours at


[Your name and contact details]

Reviewed 08 November 2022

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