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Conspicuous Service Decorations

The Conspicuous Service Decorations were instituted for the purpose of recognising service in non-warlike operations. They are awarded primarily to members of the Australian Defence Force. 

There are two levels of awards and the Nursing Service Cross.


Details on each award can be found in the links below, as well as in the Conspicuous Service Decorations Booklet, which 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.
Conspicuous Service Cross


The Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) is awarded only for outstanding devotion to duty, or outstanding achievement in the application of exceptional skills, judgement or dedication, in non-warlike situations.

Conspicuous Service Medal


Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) is awarded for meritorious achievement or devotion to duty, in non-warlike situations.

Nursing Service Cross


The Nursing Service Cross (NSC) recognises outstanding devotion to duty in the field of military nursing by Australian nursing personnel in both operational and non-operational service.

How awards are made

The Governor-General makes the award of Conspicuous Service Decorations and the Nursing Service Cross on the recommendation of the Minister of State for Defence. The Governor-General may also make immediate awards for Conspicuous Service Decorations on the recommendation of the minister and these are announced separately as they occur.


The awards are normally set for announcement on Australia Day (January 26) and The King's Birthday (the second Monday in June) each year.

Upon publication of their award, recipients are entitled to have the appropriate post nominals placed after their name on all occasions when the use of such letters is customary. 

The awards mentioned above may also be made posthumously and presented to the next-of-kin.


Recipients are invited to attend an investiture at Government House in the State or Territory in which they reside where they are presented with their award by the Governor-General, State Governor or the Administrator of the Northern Territory. 

Investitures take place twice a year, usually in April and September.

Last updated November 2023