Nominating: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who can be nominated?

Any living Australian citizen or permanent resident can be nominated for an award within the Order of Australia. Any individual, community organisation, professional body or similar group can nominate someone for an award.

Appointments in the Order of Australia are not made posthumously. However, a nomination will be considered if the person is alive when the nomination form is received by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat.

How do you prepare a nomination?

When filling out the nomination form, it is important to provide specific examples of how the nominee’s contribution(s) has been outstanding.

In addition to providing a list of appointments or positions held by the nominee, it is helpful to include examples that best show how the nominee has gone above and beyond what could be reasonably expected of someone in a similar position. In preparing the nomination, time should be devoted to considering why you think the nominee’s service and achievements are outstanding and worthy of recognition through the Australian honours system.

How are nominations assessed?

The Council for the Order of Australia is an independent advisory body that meets twice yearly to consider all nominations and make recommendations to the Governor-General on who should receive awards in the Order of Australia. The Council also recommends the level of award.

The Council consists of 19 members from across Australia. These include a number of public office holders, representatives from each state and territory, and a range of community representatives who are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Its diversity means that the Council has a national perspective.

In considering nominations, the Council seeks to satisfy itself that the person concerned has:

  • demonstrated achievement at a high level;

  • made a contribution over and above what might be reasonably expected through paid employment; or

  • whose voluntary contribution to the community stands out from others who may have also made a valuable contribution.

The degree and value of the contribution, rather than merely length of service, is the primary focus of the Council’s consideration. After assessing the nominations, the Council recommends a list of recipients to the Governor-General for approval.

Is it necessary to provide referees?

Yes, the names and address of individuals who would be in a position to comment directly on the nominee’s service should be provided. As a general guide, about four referees are required for each nomination. We will contact the referees to obtain comment.

Are nominations confidential?

All nominations are strictly confidential and the information provided will be used only to assist the Council in considering the merits of the nomination.

The person being nominated should not be approached for information or advised of his or her nomination at any stage.

How long does it take for nominations to be considered?

All nominations are processed in order of receipt by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat at Government House.

Following receipt, each nomination is thoroughly researched and referees are contacted. When all relevant information has been obtained, the nomination is submitted to the Council for consideration. This process can take 18 months to 2 years.

How are recipients told of their award?

Recipients are advised in writing of the offer of an award. The names of successful nominees are published twice a year, on Australia Day (26 January) and the day set aside in June to officially commemorate The Queen’s Birthday.

Are nominators advised?

Nominators are advised of the outcome of their nomination approximately one week prior to the official publication of the Honours List for which the nomination was considered.

More information or help

If you have any further questions, or require guidance in the preparation of the nomination, please call the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat, Government House, Canberra on telephone (02) 6283 3604.

The above information is available in Italian, Polish, Greek, Vietnamese, Traditional Chinese and Croatian.

You must, however, complete the nomination form in English.

To receive a copy of this information in any of the above languages, or additional nomination forms, you may leave your name and postal address on the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat’s 24 hour toll free number 1800 552 275. You may also visit the website at to obtain a nomination form.