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How to nominate someone for the Order of Australia

This page has information to help you complete the Order of Australia nomination form.  

All nominations are independently researched before they are considered by the Council for the Order of Australia. This research checks the information you provide and gathers more details about the person you are nominating.  

The Council for the Order of Australia considers the information and makes a recommendation to the Governor-General. 

Ultimately, the outcome is primarily based on the impact that your nominee has had. Your nomination is a starting point in the process and success is not based on how well you write the nomination. 

If you need help to complete your nomination form, call (02) 6283 3604 (business hours – AEST/AEDT) or email honours@gg.gov.au.  

Eligibility

The Order of Australia celebrates Australians who make an outstanding contribution to the community – at the local, national or international level.  

The Council decides who should be recommended based on a person’s actions, achievements and the difference they make. People who are recognised go above and beyond what is reasonably expected (or could be expected) to make life better for others.  

To be eligible for the Order of Australia, a nominee must: 

  • be alive at the time their nomination is received  

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (see note below) 

  • have not been recognised through the Order of Australia in the last five years. 

Non-citizens and permanent residents may be recognised through honorary awards. Recognition for non-citizens is the responsibility of the Department of the Prime Minister Cabinet

Australians from all walks of life are recognised through the Order of Australia.  They may: 

  • be a volunteer whose service is over and above the contributions of other volunteers 

  • have made an outstanding contribution within their professional field (whatever that is) 

  • have done both – made an impact in their job/s and contributed as a volunteer. Usually recipients have contributed in many ways. 

It doesn’t matter what their background is or what type of work they do, if someone makes a positive difference they may be recognised.  

You can read recipient stories to learn about some of the different ways people have contributed. 

Generally, someone who has been nominated and was unsuccessful, will not be considered for another three years (unless in exceptional circumstances).  

Completing the nomination form

Nominee details

Purpose

We use the details you provide about your nominee so that we can accurately identify them. This is important for the research process. Every nominee is independently researched. 

If your nominee is recommended for an award, we use the details you provide to contact them. We do this to ask if they are willing to accept the award. 

Information required

Mandatory questions are marked with an ‘*’. You must answer these questions to complete the form. For some mandatory question you can select ‘I do not know’. 

You are asked to provide: 

  • Name* 

  • Gender* 

  • Date of birth (or an age range)* 

  • Any contact details you know (including address, phone number and email)* 

  • Any qualifications, honours or awards your nominee has received 

  1. types of qualifications, honours or awards could include: trade or academic qualifications (for example, teacher, builder or doctor), award/s from an organisation, Council or another body, or recognition through other honours systems 
  2. your nominee does not need to have a qualification or another honour or award to be recognised in the Order of Australia. Providing this information helps with the research process. 
  • If the nominee uses post-nominals  

  1. post-nominals are letters after a person’s name that show they have a qualification, role or high-level award. Examples of post-nominals include BSc, PhD, MBA and MP. You might find post-nominals on someone’s signature block (for example, on emails and letters), business cards and social media profiles 

  2. your nominee does not need to have post-nominals to be recognised in the Order of Australia. Providing this information helps with the research process. 

Responses to the next questions about your nominee’s background do not have an impact on the outcome of your nomination.  

We ask for information about your nominee’s ancestry and whether they have an ongoing disability to help us see if all parts of the community are represented in Australia’s Honours and Awards system. We look at the combined responses across all nominees, not individual responses. 

You are asked to provide (if you know): 

  • If your nominee is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin 

  • Whether they speak a language other than English at home 

  1. if they do, there is a free-text box for you to tell us which language (if you know) 

  2. as you begin typing the first letters of the language, options will appear. For example, if you type ‘Vie’ the option ‘Vietnamese’ will appear  

  • Their cultural ancestry or background 

  1. if your nominee has multiple ancestries, select all that apply  

  2. as you begin typing the first letters of the ancestry, options will appear. For example, if you type ‘Aus’ the options ‘Australian’ and ‘Austrian’ will appear  

  • Whether they have an ongoing disability 

  1. the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers defines disability as any limitation, restriction or impairment which restricts everyday activities and has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months. 

  2. more details about the types of limitation restriction or impairment

Nomination details

Purpose

This is where you tell us about what your nominee has done that is outstanding. You don’t need to know every detail about them. Provide as much information as you can. 

We use the information you provide as a starting point for research.  

Every nominee is independently researched to produce a complete picture of their service and the difference they have made. This full package of information is used by the Council for the Order of Australia to recommend the outcome of the nomination. 

If you need help to complete your nomination form, contact call (02) 6283 3604 (business hours – AEST/AEDT) or email honours@gg.gov.au.   

Information required

Mandatory questions are marked with an ‘*’. You must answer these questions to complete the form. 

You are asked to provide: 

  • How you know the person you are nominating*
  1. if you know them personally, describe your relationship to them 
  2. if you don’t know them personally, briefly tell us how you know of them. For example, you might have seen what they do to help others or read about their good work through media coverage or heard about them from someone else. 
  • A statement about why you think your nominee should be recognised (see below)*  
  • You can include attachments to support your nomination 
  1. for example, you may attach copies of your nominee’s resume, news stories about their contribution, evidence of other types of recognition or achievements 
  2. you should not include statements from referees (see guidance on referees)

Answering the question ‘Why should the nominee be recognised within the Order of Australia’

Every nomination is different. There is no right or wrong way to tell us why you think your nominee should be recognised. If you don’t know all the details, that’s ok.  

  • Provide as much information as you can 

  • You can use dot points or any other format that suits you. 

If you are able, tell us how your nominee has gone above and beyond to make life better for others.  

  • Give examples of the good work they have done. 

  • Describe how they have made a difference. Rather than just saying ‘they served in this position for x years’ tell us what they did that was above and beyond ‘as <position> they achieved …’ 

The below questions are only prompts to help you consider how to respond (you do not have to answer any or all of them): 

  • How does your nominee’s role and contribution stand out from others? 

  • What was it like before they started their work? How has the situation improved? 

  • What difference did they make to the community? Was their impact at a local, national and/or international level? 

  • What obstacles or challenges did they overcome? How did they go above and beyond? 

  • How have they earned the respect of others and become a role model in their field? 

  • What do they do that puts them in the top level of achievement in their field? 

Referee details

Purpose

We use the information you provide about referees to contact them. You should not get statements from referees to support your nomination. We do this as part of the research. We ask you that your nomination remains confidential.   

We also identify and contact other people who can comment on your nominee’s contribution.  

Even if you have provided a referee comment, we will still contact people independently.  

As detailed in our privacy policy <insert link> we will never share what a referee tells us with you or the nominee. 

Information required

Mandatory questions are marked with an ‘*’. You must answer these questions to complete the form. 

If you do not know the answer to a mandatory question, you can select ‘I do not know’. 

You are asked to provide the names and contact details of a maximum of six referees, including:  

  • Title and name* 

  • If the referee uses post-nominals 

  1. post-nominals are letters after a person’s name that show they have a qualification, role or high-level award. Examples of post-nominals include BSc, PhD, MBA and MP 

  2. the rank or title of a referee does not affect how we consider their comments 

  • The business or organisation associated with the referee and their position* 

  1. sometimes we will also approach someone else in the same organisation for comment 
  2. the rank or position of a referee does not affect how we consider their comments 
  • How they know the nominee* 

  1. a referee is anyone who can comment on the person you are nominating. They do not need to personally know the nominee, but have knowledge of their contribution. 

  2. a referee could be a peer or someone who knows the nominee well, a member of an organisation where the nominee worked or volunteered, or an industry expert. 

  • Any contact details you know (including address, phone number and email)*.

Your details

Purpose

We use the contact information you provide to:

  • Send an acknowledgement of receipt that includes a reference number
  • Get in touch with you if we need more information or clarification
  • Let you know when your nomination is complete (once the selection process is complete). 

Information required

Mandatory questions are marked with an ‘*’. You must answer these questions to complete the form. 

You are asked to provide: 

  • Name and title* 

  • Gender* 

  • Date of birth* 

  • If you have post-nominals  

  1. you do not need to have post-nominals to nominate someone. Providing this information allows us to address you correctly. 

  • Your contact details* 

Responses to the next questions about your ancestry and whether you have an ongoing disability are to help us see if all parts of the community are represented in Australia’s Honours and Awards system. Information about your background does not have an impact on the outcome of your nomination. We look at the combined responses across all nominations, not individual responses.  

You are asked to provide: 

  • Your country of birth* 

  • If you are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin 

  • Whether you speak a language other than English at home 

  1. if you do, there is a free-text box for you to tell us which language. 

  2. as you begin typing the first letters of the language, options will appear. For example, if you type ‘Vie’ the option ‘Vietnamese’ will appear 

  • Your cultural ancestry or background 

  1. if you have multiple ancestries, select all that apply 

  2. as you begin typing the first letters of your ancestry, options will appear. For example, if you type ‘Aus’ the options ‘Australian’ and ‘Austrian’ will appear.  

  • Whether you have an ongoing disability 

  1. the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers defines disability as any limitation, restriction or impairment which restricts everyday activities and has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months. 

  2. more details about the types of limitation restriction or impairment.

Application declaration

Purpose

We use this information to: 

  • Confirm the information you have provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge
  • Improve the nomination process into the future.

Information required

Mandatory questions are marked with ‘*’.

You are asked to provide:

  • Confirmation the information you have provided is true and correct to the best of your knowledge
  • Where you heard about the Order of Australia
    • Options include word of mouth, media (including social), an event, website, google, other.
  • Whether there was a specific prompt to nominating (now)
    • We want to encourage more Australians to nominate outstanding people for recognition – your insight could help us promote the Order of Australia to people who have not previously considered nominating
  • Feedback on the form.