The Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat is located at Government House and was first established within the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General in 1975 when a distinctive Australian honours system was instituted. Its role is to provide the support necessary for the Governor-General to carry out his/her responsibilities relating to the independent administration of the Australian honours system.
The Secretariat also serves the Council for the Order of Australia and the Australian Bravery Decorations Council which consider nominations and make recommendations for awards to the Governor-General. The Official Secretary to the Governor-General, Mr Stephen Brady, is the appointed Secretary of the Order of Australia. The person holding this position is also Secretary of the Australian Bravery Decorations Council.
Further information on the background to the establishment of awards within the Australian Honours System including the Council for the Order of Australia and the Australian Bravery Decorations Council may be found on the Australian Honours web-site (www.itsanhonour.gov.au).
The Secretariat plays an important role in maintaining the high standards of the honours system by ensuring that thorough and comprehensive information and comment is available for the relevant advisory councils on the contribution made by nominees. This includes obtaining comment from referees suggested by nominators as well as seeking out further information about nominees and their achievements to enable the respective advisory bodies to decide whether an award should be recommended and at what level. Nominations are researched in order of receipt and after completion are submitted to the next available Council meeting.
The Secretariat is also responsible for administering more than 40 other awards that comprise the Australian honours system. The work includes processing recommendations for approval for defence, meritorious and long service awards, ensuring the timely manufacture and availability of insignia for award ceremonies, preparing warrants for presentation to recipients and publishing booklets on the various awards.
Registers of all honours conferred within the Australian system since it commenced in 1975 are also maintained by the Secretariat.
Nomination process for Order of Australia and Bravery decorations
The nomination forms can be accessed from this site and the completed form should be returned to the following address:
Secretary, Order of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600
Alternatively, nomination forms and guidelines on how to prepare your nomination are also available from the Secretariat at the above address, or by leaving your name, postal address and contact number on the Secretariat's 24-hour toll free answering service: 1800 552 275.
The nomination form is used to provide details of the nominee, his or her service and referees who are able to verify the nominee's service.
Appointments in the Order of Australia are not made posthumously. However, a nomination will be considered if the person is alive when the nomination form is received by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat.
If you are concerned about the health of your nominee please contact the Secretariat
The Secretariat can be contacted by phone on (02) 6283 3604 or by fax to (02) 6283 3620.
Announcements of Awards
The names of successful Order of Australia nominees appear in the Honours List which is published twice a year - on Australia Day, 26 January, and on the day set aside in June to commemorate the Queen's Birthday. Successful Bravery award nominees appear in the Bravery Honours List which is also published twice a year.
After the announcement of the Honours List, recipients are invited to attend an investiture (awards ceremony) at Government House in the State or Territory in which they reside.
Nominations and Timeframe for Nominations
The usual time required to research and prepare a nomination from the time it is received to when it is presented to Council can vary from 12 to 18 months and nominators will be notified by mail of the Council's decision.