Constitution of the Order of Australia

The Order of Australia
1
(1) The Order of Australia (hereinafter called ‘the Order’) shall consist of a General Division and a Military Division.
(2) A person appointed to the Order shall be appointed in the General Division or in the Military Division.
(3) Appointments to the Order shall be as Companion, Officer, or Member.
(4) There shall be a Medal of the Order called the ‘Medal of the Order of Australia’.
(5) Every Australian citizen appointed to the Order or awarded the Medal of the Order is a member of the Order, and every other person appointed to the Order or awarded the Medal of the Order is an honorary member of the Order.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Officers of and Council for the Order of Australia
2
(1) The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia shall be the Chancellor of the Order.
(1A) If the Governor-General is a Knight or a Dame in the General Division, the Governor-General shall be the Principal Knight or Dame in that Division.
(1B) If the Governor-General is not a Knight or a Dame in the General Division, the Governor-General shall be the Principal Companion in that Division.
(2) Where a person ceases to hold office as Governor-General, he or she shall continue to be a member of the Order in the General Division in the class of membership that he or she held immediately before ceasing to hold that office.
2A
(1) The Governor-General shall have precedence, after the Sovereign, of all other members of the Order.
(2) His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, shall have precedence in the Order immediately after the Governor-General.
(3) His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales shall have precedence in the Order immediately after His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
3 The Chancellor is charged with the administration of the Order.
4
(1) There shall be a Council for the Order, hereinafter called "the Council" which shall consist of —
(a) ************************
(b) the Vice-President of the Federal Executive Council; 
(c) the person for the time being occupying, or performing the duties of, the office prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph by the Minister responsible for the administration of the Australian honours system or any Minister or member of the Executive Council acting for or on behalf of that Minister; and
(d) the person for the time being occupying the office of Chief of the Defence Force or, if another office is prescribed for the purpose of this paragraph, the person occupying the office so prescribed; and
(e) 16 persons appointed by the Governor-General, of whom:
(i) 8 shall be nominated by the Prime Minister; and 
(ii) one shall be nominated by the State of New South Wales; and
(iii) one shall be nominated by the State of Victoria; and
(iv) one shall be nominated by the State of Queensland; and
(v) one shall be nominated by the State of Western Australia; and
(vi) one shall be nominated by the State of South Australia; and
(vii) one shall be nominated by the State of Tasmania; and
(viii) one shall be nominated by the Northern Territory of Australia; and
(ix) one shall be nominated by the Australian Capital Territory.
(2) A member of the Council referred to in paragraph (1) (e) shall hold office for a period of two years from the date of appointment and is eligible for re-appointment.
(3) The Governor General shall:
(a) on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, appoint one of the members appointed under subparagraph (1) (e) (i) to be Chairman of the Council; and 
(b) in the event of the Chairman being unavailable to act in the office, appoint another member appointed under subparagraph (1) (e) (i) to act as Chairman of the Council.
(4) If a member of the Council is absent or unable to act in that capacity, the member may be represented on the Council:
(a) if the member is the Vice-President of the Federal Executive Council — by another member of the Federal Executive Council under summons chosen, in accordance with arrangements made by the Governor-General, to act in the member’s place as a member of the Council; or 
(b) if the member is a member referred to in paragraph (1) (c) or (d) or subparagraph (1) (e) (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii) or (ix) — by a  person chosen, in accordance with arrangements made by the Governor-General, to act in the member’s place as a member of the Council.
5
The Council shall —
(a) consider the following nominations:
(i) nominations of Australian citizens for membership of the Order through appointment to the Order in the General Division or award of the Medal of the Order in the General Division;
(ii) nominations of permanent residents for honorary membership of the Order through appointment to the Order in the General Division or award of the Medal of the Order in the General Division; and
(b) make recommendations to the Governor-General in relation to those nominations; and
(c) advise the Governor-General on such other matters concerning the Order as the Governor-General may refer to the Council for consideration.
5A
(1) 10 members of the Council constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Council.
(2) In this section, ‘member of the Council’ includes a person chosen to act, under subsection 4 (4), in the place of a member mentioned in paragraph 4 (1) (b), (c), (d) or (e).
6
(1) There shall be a Secretary of the Order who shall be appointed by the Governor-General.
(2) The Secretary shall maintain the records of the Order and of the Council, and shall perform such other functions in respect of the Order as the Governor-General directs.
7 The Governor-General may appoint such other officials for the Order as are, in the Governor-General’s sole discretion, considered to be necessary for the purpose.
8 A person is not a member of the Order by reason only of that person being a member of the Council or an official of the Order.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Appointments and Award
8A
************************
9 Appointments (including honorary appointments) to the Order and awards of the Medal of the Order shall be made, with the approval of The Sovereign, by Instrument signed by the Governor-General and sealed with the Seal of the Order.
10 Nothing in this Constitution limits the right of the Governor-General to exercise all powers and authorities of The Sovereign in respect of the Order.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
General Division
Eligibility for Appointment
11
(1) Australian citizens including members of the Defence Force, are eligible to be appointed to the Order as members in the General Division.
(2) Persons other than Australian citizens are eligible to be appointed to the Order as honorary members in the General Division.
(3) The Medal of the Order in the General Division may be awarded to Australian citizens and other persons.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Order of Australia - Companions in the General Division
12
(1) Appointments as Companions or honorary Companions in the General Division shall be made for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a distinguished person who is not an Australian citizen may be appointed an honorary Companion in the General Division where it is desirable that the person be honoured by Australia.
13 ************************
14 The Governor-General may appoint to be Companions in the General Division, other than honorary Companions, not more than 35 persons in any calendar year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Order of Australia - Officers in the General Division
15
(1) Appointments as Officers or honorary Officers in the General  Division shall be made for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a distinguished person who is not an Australian citizen may be appointed an honorary officer in the General Division where it is desirable that the person be honoured by Australia.
16 The Governor General may appoint to be officers in the General Division, other than honorary officers, not more than 140 persons in any calendar year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Order of Australia - Members in the General Division
17
(1) Appointments as Members or honorary Members in the General Division may be made for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person who is not an Australian citizen may be appointed an honorary Member in the General Division where it is desirable that the person be honoured by Australia.
18 The Governor General may appoint to be Members in the General Division, other than honorary Members, not more than 340 persons in any calendar year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Medal of the Order of Australia - Awards in the General Division
18A Awards of the Medal of the Order in the General Division may be made for service worthy of particular recognition.
 
 
 
Nominations
19
(1) Any person or organisation may submit a nomination mentioned in paragraph 5(a) to the Secretary of the Order for consideration by the Council.
(2) Upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister, the Governor-General may make persons (other than Australian citizens or permanent residents) honorary members of the Order through appointment to the Order in the General Division or award of the Medal of the Order in the General Division.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Military Division
Eligibility for Appiointment
20
(1) The following are eligible to be appointed to the order as members in the Military Division:
(a) members of the Defence Force; and 
(b) former members of the Defence Force whose Defence Force service has ceased for not more than one year; and
(c) other persons determined by the Minister for Defence for the purposes of this paragraph.
(2) Members of the armed forces of a country other than Australia are eligible to be appointed to the Order as honorary members in the Military Division.
(3) In any calendar year, the number of appointments, other than honorary appointments, to the Military Division, shall not exceed one tenth of one per cent of the average number of persons who were members of the Defence Force on each day of the immediately preceding year.
(4) The Medal of the Order in the Military Division may be awarded to:
(a) members of the Defence Force; and 
(b) former members of the Defence Force whose Defence Force service has ceased for not more than one year; and
(c) other persons determined by the Minister for Defence for the purposes of this paragraph.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Order of Australia - Companions in the Military Division
21
(1) Appointments as Companions or honorary Companions in the Military Division shall be made for eminent service in duties of great responsibility.
(2) The Governor-General may, in any calendar year, appoint as Companions in the Military Division, other than honorary Companions, a number of persons that is not greater than the number of persons that most closely approximates to five per cent of the total number of persons who may be appointed under subsection 20 (3) to all categories of membership, other than honorary membership, in the Military Division in that year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Order of Australia - Officers in the Military Division
22
(1) Appointments as Officers or honorary Officers in the Military Division shall be made for distinguished service in responsible positions.
(2) The Governor-General may, in any calendar year, appoint as Officers in the Military Division, other than honorary Officers, a number of persons that is not greater than the number of persons that most closely approximates to twenty per cent of the total number of persons who may be appointed under subsection 20 (3) to all categories of membership, other than honorary membership, in the Military Division in that year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Order of Australia - Members in the Military Division
23 Appointments as Members or honorary Members in the Military Division may be made for exceptional service or performance of duty.
 
 
 
 
Medal of the Order of Australia - Awards in the Military Division
23A Awards of the Medal of the Order in the Military Division may be made for meritorious service or performance of duty.
 
 
 
Nominations
24 (1) Upon the recommendation of the Minister for Defence, appointments to the Order as members in the Military Division and awards of the Medal of the Order in the Military Division may be made by the Governor-General.
(2) Upon the recommendation of the Minister for Defence, appointments to the Order as honorary members in the Military Division may be made by the Governor-General.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Termination of Membership in the Order and Cancellation of an Award of the Medal
25 (1) A person does not cease to be a member or honorary member of the Order by reason only of that person ceasing to be eligible to be appointed to the Order or to be awarded the Medal of the Order.
(2) A person ceases to be a member or honorary member of the Order upon —
(a) the death of the person; 
(b) the resignation of the person from the Order in writing, which resignation shall have effect from the day on which it is accepted by the Governor-General;
(c) the termination of the appointment of the person to the Order by Ordinance; or
(d) the cancellation of the award to the person of the Medal of the Order by Ordinance.
(3) An appointment that has been terminated, or an award of the Medal of the Order that has been cancelled, may be restored by Ordinance.
26 ************************
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Insignia
27 When worn in Australia by an Australian citizen, the insignia of the Order shall be worn in the prescribed manner.
28
(1) Except as otherwise provided by Ordinance, the insignia of the Order shall remain the property of the Order.
(2) Where a person ceases, otherwise than by death, to be a member of the Order, that person shall forthwith return to the Secretary of the Order the insignia of the Order.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seal
29 The Governor-General shall have the custody of the Seal of the Order.
 
 
 
Ordinances of the Order
30

The Governor-General may make Ordinances, not inconsistnt with this Constitution, prescribing all matters that are required or permitted by this Constitution to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Constitution and, in particular, prescribing matters for:
(a) the government of the Order;
(b) the insignia of the Order;
(c) the designations of members of the Order and persons who have been awarded the Medal of the Order; and
(d) investitures; and
(e) terminations and cancellations. 

 
 
 
 
Definitions
31 In this Constitution:
Australian citizen has the meaning given by the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
permanent resident has the meaning given by the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Notes to the Constitution of the Order of Australia
Note 1
The Constitution of the Order of Australia (in force under Letters Patent) as shown this compilation is amended as indicated in the Tables below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Table of Instruments
Title Date of notification in Gazette Date of commencement Application, saving or transitional provisions
Letters Patent and Constitution of the Order of Australia (1975, No. S28) 17 February 1975 14 February 1975  
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1976, No. S92) 2 June 1976 24 May 1976
Changed “Civil” Division to “General”.
Introduced Knights (AK), Dames (AD) and Medal (OAM).
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1981, No. S53) 27 March 1981 14 March 1981 Gave Prince Charles precedence in the Order, as a Knight (AK).
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1986, No. S101) 11 March 1986 3 March 1986
Removed AK/AD level.
Increased the maximum number of recipients in any calendar year for Companions (from 20 to 25), Officers (from 50 to 100) and Members (from 125 to 225) in the General Division.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1988, No. S160) 10 June 1988 12 April 1988
Increased appointed members on the Council to 15.
Added ACT and NT representation to Council.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1989, No. S58) 16 February 1989 1 February 1989 Made Governor-General Chancellor of the Order and Principal Companion in the General Division.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1991, No. S353) 20 December 1991 5 December 1991 Altered to reflect self-government in the ACT.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1993, No. S80) 10 March 1993 24 February 1993 Medallists of the Order deemed to be members of the Order.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1996, No. S303) 16 August 1996 1 August 1996 Varied composition of Council for the Order.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (1998, No. S147) 3 April 1998 5 March 1998
Varied composition of Council for the Order.
Variations to Military Division.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (2003, No. S197) 6 June 2003 30 April 2003 Increased the maximum number of recipients in any calendar year for Companions (to 30), Officers (to 125) and Members (to 300) in the General Division.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (2014, No. G635) 17 April 2014 19 March 2014 Reinstated AK/AD level.
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (2015, no. G155) 30 January 2015 7 January 2015 Gave Prince Philip precedence in the Order, as a Knight (AK).
Letters Patent and Amendments of the Constitution of the Order of Australia (2015, no. G00523) 13 April 2015 10 March 2015 Provided for Council to make recommendations for AK/AD level.
Letters Patent and Amendments to the Constitution of the Order of Australia (2015, no. G02163) 22 December 2015 29 October 2015 Removed AK/AD level.
Amendments to the Constitution of the Order of Australia (no. C2016G01347) 11 October 2016 10 September 2016
Provided for Council to consider permanent residents for honorary award or appointment
Increased the maximum number of recipients in any calendar year for Companions (to 35), Officers (to 140) and Members (to 340) in the General Division.
 
Table of Amendments
ad. = added or inserted    am. = amended    rep. = repealed    rs. = repealed and substituted
Provision affected How affected
S. 1 am. 1976 No. S92; 1986 No. S101; 1993 No. S80; 2014 No. G635; 2015 No. 2163
S. 2 rs. 1976 No. S92; 1986 No. S101
am. 1989 No. S58; 2014 No. G635; 2015 No. 2163
S. 2A ad. 1986 No. S101
rs. 2015 No. G155
am. 2015 No. 2163
S. 3A ad. 1981 No. S53
rep. 1986 No. S101
S. 4 am. 1976 No. S92; 1986 No. S101; 1988 No. S160; 1991 No. S353; 1996 No. S303; 1998 No. S147
S. 5 am. 1976 No. S92; 2014 No. G635; 2015 No. G523
rs. No. C2016G01347
S. 5A ad. 1998 No. S147
S. 7 rs. 1976 No. S92
S. 8 am. 1976 No. S92
S. 8A ad. 2014 No. G635; rep. 2015 No. G523
S. 9 am. 1976 No. S92; 1986 No. S101; 1993 No. S80; 2014 No. G635; 2015 No. G523
Heading before s. 11 am. 1976 No. S92
S. 11 rs. 1976 No. S92
Heading before s. 11A ad. 1976 No. S92; 2014 No. G635
rep. 1986 No. S101
S. 11A ad. 1976 No. S92; 2014 No. G635
rep. 1986 No. S101; 2015 No. 2163
S. 11B ad. 1976 No. S92; 2014 No. G635
rep. 1986 No. S101; 2015 No. 2163
S. 11C ad. 1976 No. S92
rep. 1986 No. S101
Heading before s. 12 am. 1976 No. S92
S. 12 am. 1976 No. S92
S. 13 rep. 1976 No. S92
S. 14 am. 1976 No. S92; 1986 No. S101; 2003 No. S197; No. C2016G01347
Heading before s. 15 am. 1976 No. S92
S. 16 am. 1976 No. S92; 1986 No. S101; 2003 No. S197; No. C2016G01347
Heading before s. 17 am. 1976 No. S92
S. 17 am. 1976 No. S92
S. 18 am. 1976 No. S92; 1986 No. S101;  2003 No. S197; No. C2016G01347
Heading before s. 18A ad. 1976 No. S92
S. 18A ad. 1976 No. S92
am. 1986 No. S101; 1989 No. S58
S. 19 am. 1976 No. S92; 2014 No. G635; 2015 No. G523
rs. No. C2016G01347
Renumbered s. 19 (1) 1998 No. S147
S. 20 am. 1976 No. S92; 1998 No. S147
Heading before s 23A ad. 1976 No. S92
S. 23A ad. 1976 No. S92
S.24
am. 1976 No. S92; 1993 No. S80
rs. 1998 No. S147
Heading before s.25 am. 1976 No. S92
S.25 am. 1976 No. S92; 1993 No. S80
Heading before s.26 am. 1986 No. S101
S.26
rs. 1976 No. S92
rep. 1986 No. S101
S.28 am. 1976 No. S92; 1993 No. S80
S.30 am. 1986 No. S101; 1988 No. S160; 1998 No. S147
S.31 ad. No. C2016G01347