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National Emergency Medal Committee

The independent National Emergency Medal Committee is made up of five members: two ex-officio members appointed by the Minister with responsibility for the Australian honours system, and three community members appointed on the Minister’s advice by the Governor-General.


As at October 2023

  • Mr Shane Fitzsimmons AO AFSM (Chair)
  • Mr Rob Cameron OAM
  • Ms Quinn Cramer
  • Ms Justine Saunders APM
  • Mr Andrew Walter

Functions of the Committee

The functions of the National Emergency Medal Committee are outlined in the National Emergency Medal Regulations 2011, and include:

  • Advising the Minister whether an emergency should be declared a nationally-significant emergency for the purpose of the Medal, after considering:
    • whether the emergency had a serious impact on the population and region where the emergency happened;
    • whether the emergency caused a large number of casualties;
    • whether the emergency displaced a large number of people;
    • whether the emergency caused significant destruction of, or disruption to, critical infrastructure, including infrastructure used to supply electricity, water, gas and fuel;
    • whether the emergency required interstate or international assistance.
  • Advising the Minister of the sustained service criteria for declared nationally-significant emergencies, including:
    • the name of the clasp for the nationally-significant emergency;
    • the geographical area where the emergency happened;
    • the day on which the emergency began;
    • the duration of the emergency;
    • the type of service that a person is required to have undertaken to qualify for the Medal for sustained service;
    • the minimum duration of service that a person is required to have completed to qualify for the award of the Medal for sustained service.
  • Advising the Secretariat as to whether the service requirements for sustained service may be waived for a person who:
    • died during the nationally-significant emergency; or
    • was evacuated during the nationally-significant emergency due to injury or illness.
  • Making a recommendation to the Governor-General to award a person who has given significant service during a nationally significant emergency, after considering whether the person's service:
    • was part of the response efforts to the nationally-significant emergency;
    • assisted with protecting lives and property;
    • was extraordinary.