Australian Bravery Decorations
The Australian Bravery Decorations recognise acts of bravery where people selflessly put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others.
"Australian Bravery Awards recognise and celebrate Australians who, faced with a
dangerous or perilous situation, think not of themselves or their own safety but about
others. These individuals deserve our admiration – they are an inspiration and examples of
the sort of selfless sacrifice that we can all aspire to.”
Governor-General, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)
There are four levels of bravery awards to recognise the actions of individuals, as well as an award (established in 1990) to recognise acts of bravery by a group of people involved in a single incident:
The Cross of Valour (CV) is the non-combat equivalent of the Victoria Cross and is awarded only for acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.
The Star of Courage (SC) is awarded only for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.
The Bravery Medal (BM) is awarded only for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.
Commendation for Brave Conduct may be awarded for other acts of bravery which are considered worthy of recognition.
Group Bravery Citation shall be awarded for a collective act of bravery, by a group of persons in extraordinary circumstances that is considered worthy of recognition.
More detail is available in the Australian Bravery Decorations booklet. The book includes:
- history, eligibility and nomination details
- Letters Patent, Regulations and Determinations
- images and descriptions of what each award looks like; and
- guidance on how decorations are worn.
About Letters Patent, Regulations, Determinations, and Wearing
Each award in the Australian honours system has been approved by Letters Patent signed by The Sovereign on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Letters Patent institutes the medal and determines that the medal is governed by the Regulations for each award.
The Regulations are approved by The Sovereign and set out the terms and conditions of an award including factors such as eligibility criteria and designations of the award.
The Regulations also authorise the Governor-General to approve the manner of wearing of each award and the design of the medal. This document is known as the Determination.
The Determination makes reference to the:
- Order of Wearing of Australian Honours and Awards - this is the notification by the Governor-General of the order the Sovereign has determined each award is to be worn; and
- Guide to the Wearing of Insignia - this is a detailed guide outlining the appropriate manner in which insignia are worn.
Australian Bravery Decorations Letters Patent 1975 - 14 February 1975
subsequent letters patent that amend the regulations:
- Australian Bravery Decorations Letters Patent (Amendment) - 25 August 1998
- Australian Bravery Decorations Letters Patent (Amendment) - 5 March 1998
- Australian Bravery Decorations Letters Patent (Amendment) - 5 March 1990
- Australian Bravery Decorations Letters Patent (Amendment) - 17 November 1987
Australian Bravery Decorations Regulations 2010 - 13 January 2010
as amended by:
- Australian Bravery Decorations Regulations (Amendment) - 25 August 1998
- Australian Bravery Decorations Regulations (Amendment) - 5 March 1998
- Australian Bravery Decorations Regulations (Amendment) - 5 March 1990
- Australian Bravery Decorations Regulations (Amendment) - 17 November 1987
- Australian Bravery Decorations Regulations_1975 - 14 February 1975 (original instrument)
- Australian Bravery Decorations Determination_2012 - 6 July 2012
- Australian Bravery Decorations Determinations_2008 - 1 September 2008
- Australian Bravery Decorations Determination_1991 - 12 August 1991
- Australian Bravery Decorations Determination_1977 - 1 February1977