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Gallantry Decorations

Gallantry Decorations are awarded for heroic courage in action.

Gallantry Decorations are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence. Awards are announced on Australia Day (January 26) and The King’s Birthday (the second Monday in June).


Details on each award can be found in the links below, as well as in the Gallantry Decorations Bookletwhich 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.
The Victoria Cross for Australia

The Victoria Cross for Australia (VC) is the pre-eminent award for acts of bravery in wartime and Australia’s highest military honour. It is awarded for the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring or pre-eminent acts of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

Star of Gallantry

The Star of Gallantry (SG) is awarded only for acts of great heroism or conspicuous gallantry in action in circumstances of great peril.

Medal for Gallantry
The Medal for Gallantry (MG) is awarded only for acts of gallantry in action in hazardous circumstances.
Commendation for Gallantry
The Commendation for Gallantry is awarded for other acts of gallantry in action which are considered worthy of recognition.
Unit Citation for Gallantry
The Unit Citation for Gallantry recognises gallantry in action by units of the Defence Force and by units of the defence forces of other countries. It is awarded to a unit only for acts of extraordinary gallantry in action.

Last updated November 2023