Skip to main content

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, business or professional body or similar group can nominate someone for an award.

Appointments and awards 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?

Most people will use the online form available at to complete a nomination. You will need to know some basic information about the person you are nominating to complete the form. This includes their name, age, a telephone number and an address at which they can be contacted and other contact information if available.  You will be asked whether or not they are an Australian citizen, but if you don’t know it won’t stop you completing the form. You will be asked to say why you think the person is deserving of an award and to provide any details of their actions or service that support this that you are aware of.

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

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 and achievements should be provided. As a general guide, up to four referees are required for each nomination.

I want to add more than four referees, but the form will only allow me to add four.

Please choose the four referees you believe can offer the best insight into the Nominee’s service and Achievements.

I thought I had to supply completed referee reports.

There is no need for you to ask referees to provide written comments in advance.  When we are processing a nomination we will often need to put specific questions to referees to assist in our research so it is best we contact them at that stage.

I cut some information from a news article and pasted it into the online form and the form stopped responding.

Some web pages contain features that occasionally conflict with the form. Please type the information or include a web link to it so that we can access the article or website when we are researching the nomination.

How are nominations assessed?

The Council for the Order of Australia is an independent advisory body that meets twice yearly to consider 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.

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?

Nominations are processed by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat at Government House.

Following receipt, nominations are thoroughly researched and referees are contacted. When all relevant information has been obtained, the nomination is submitted to the Council for consideration. Current processing time is between 12 and 18 months, but this process can take up 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 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.

An information brochure is available in Italian, Polish, Greek, Vietnamese, Traditional Chinese and Croatian.

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

To receive an information brochure in any of the above languages, 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 access the nomination form.