Order of Australia Timeline

The process from nomination to award

1.    Nomination receipt

       When a nomination is received by the Secretariat, it is registered and an acknowledgement is sent to the nominator. 

2.    Nomination research 

Secretariat staff conduct research and may contact referees suggested by the nominator and others sourced directly by the Secretariat.  The purpose of the research is to:

  • confirm information provided by the nominator; and
  • provide additional information that may be relevant to the Council.

       Referees are supplied with  guidelines to assist them in providing useful comment.

3.    Council consideration

Once research is completed, nominations are presented to the Council for consideration.  
The outcome of the nomination can either be:

  • an appointment or award recommended;
  • no appointment or award recommended; or
  • deferral of the nomination for consideration at a later meeting. 

4.     Council recommendations/Sounding

 The Council makes recommendations to the Governor-General on appointments and awards at all levels. However, prior to the   Council recommending a nominee to the Governor-General a letter of approach (sounding)  is sent to establish whether the   nominee would be willing to accept an award if offered one.  As part of this process advice is sought to ensure that the personal     details provided with the nomination are correct for the Register of Awards.  Additionally, the proposed recipient will provide advice   regarding details to be publicly released. 

5.     Governor-General approval

 Once the Governor-General has considered and approved those recommended for appointment or award in the Order,   congratulatory letters are sent to successful recipients. Awards should remain in strict confidence until public announcement.  

6.      Announcements

Awards and appointments in the Order of Australia are publicly announced on Australia Day (26 January) and The Queen’s Birthday public holiday (June), on this website and through the media.  Publication of the list is also notified in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette. The Honours List is strictly embargoed until 10pm on the eve of Australia Day or The Queen’s Birthday.  Recipients may, however, be contacted by the media prior to this announcement as we enlist their support in celebrating the achievements of recipients and promoting the Australian Honours system.

7.     Investitures

Recipients are invited to a ceremony at the Government House in the state or territory in which they reside, where they are presented with their award in the Order of Australia by either the Governor General or State Governor or the Administrator of the Northern Territory (dependent on location and level of award).

         Investitures take place twice a year, usually in April and September.