On 20 April 2011, Her Majesty The Queen approved the National Medal Regulations 2011. These new Regulations revoke the Regulations set out in the Letters Patent dated 18 June 1999 and amendments dated 4 April 2000.
The National Medal was established on 14 February 1975 as one of the original elements of the distinctive Australian system of honours and awards. The Medal recognises diligent long service in organisations that protect life and property at some risk to their members. Many, but not all, eligible groups are uniformed. The Medal is awarded to persons for long service in eligible organisations which fulfil the ‘primary function’ of their organisation and meet other criteria.
Fifteen years eligible service is necessary to qualify for the Medal. Clasps are available for each additional 10 year period.
The National Medal replaced a number of long service and good conduct awards issued to the Australian Defence Force, Australian police forces and fire services under the Imperial system of honours. Imperial long service and good conduct awards are still worn and are recognised in The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards.
The National Medal is placed just below the Defence Long Service Medal in The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards.
The National Medal, which is a circular bronze medal, 38 millimetres in diameter, ensigned with the Crown of Saint Edward in bronze, containing the Arms of the Commonwealth of Australia within a rim carrying the inscription “The National Medal: For Service” and suspended from a riband, 32 millimetres wide and having 15 alternating gold and blue vertical stripes, by means of a bar, shall be worn on the left breast on all occasions when full size orders, decorations and medals are worn.
A miniature of the National Medal, being a replica one half of the size of the National Medal, suspended from a miniature riband, shall be worn on all occasions when miniatures or orders, decorations and medals are worn.
The award of a clasp to the National Medal is recorded by a bar 5 millimetres wide and having along its surface 10 raised hemispheres.
When the ribbon bar is worn alone, the award of a clasp is indicated by the addition of a representation of the National Medal, 5 millimetres in diameter.
Award of the Medal
The Governor-General awards the National Medal or clasp on the recommendation of the chief officer of the approved organisation in which the person is, or was last, giving eligible service.
Wearing of the National Medal
Holders of long service medals would wear miniature medal(s) on the left breast of their uniforms, evening dress or lounge suits on such occasions as official receptions and dinners; or an evening event arranged for the Investiture of others with their Insignia of the National Medal, Ribbon bars are not worn.
When attending day functions such as Anzac Day or Remembrance Day ceremonies the full-size insignia is worn on the left breast.
The ribbon bar may be worn with all forms of dress at the discretion of the holder. However, it should not be worn at the same time as full-size or miniature medals.
If you have any further questions please contact the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat.