Australian citizens may accept and wear foreign awards, provided the award is listed on the Schedule of awards approved by the Governor-General. Information on accepting and wearing foreign awards by Australians as well as the Schedule of Foreign Awards can be found on the Governor-General’s website. If Australian citizens wish to accept and wear foreign awards that are not listed on the approved Schedule, individuals must seek approval by writing to the Honours and Awards Secretariat, Government House, with full details of the reasons for the proposed award, a curriculum vitae and confirmation of their citizenship. If the nominee is not Australian by birth, the nominee must provide details of their becoming an Australian citizen.
If a Senator or Member of Parliament wishes to accept and wear a foreign award, the usual practice is to bring to the Senator’s/Member’s attention their personal responsibility pursuant to s44 of the Constitution for avoiding any conflict of allegiance and for seeking any legal advice if necessary to satisfy that requirement.
If a DFAT or Defence officer wishes to accept and wear a foreign award, officers should direct their requests to their home Department in Canberra for approval to avoid any conflict of interest issues arising.
Individuals must inform the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat, Government House, of awards bestowed on Australians for purposes of record-keeping.
People who are not Australian citizens can also be recognised by honourary awards in the Order of Australia. The first recipients of honorary awards were announced in January 1980.
These are honorary awards but the same post-nominals are used and insignia is presented.
These awards are processed by the Honours, Symbols and Legal Policy Branch of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Prime Minister recommends awards to the Governor-General.
Inquiries should be directed to the Honours, Symbols and Legal Policy Branch.