An important part of the role of the Governor, both at Government House and around the State, is the recognition of significant contributions to the Victorian community.
This is done in a wide variety of ways, including honours and awards in the Order of Australia, Bravery Awards, Australian of the Year awards, Rhodes Scholarships, the Governor of Victoria’s Export Awards, and a range of other awards for volunteering, research and other forms of excellence.
The Governor presents these honours, awards and medals to recipients at official ceremonies and functions at Government House.
Australian honours and awards
Australia’s system of honours and awards recognises an individual’s excellence, achievement or meritorious service and contribution to our society.
The awards and honours are announced twice a year by the Governor-General on Australia Day (26 January) and on the Queen’s Birthday in June.
Australia’s system of honours and awards includes the following categories:
- the Order of Australia, which recognises outstanding achievement and service. The Order of Australia has both a General Division and a Military Division and includes Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
- Australian Bravery Decorations, which recognise acts of bravery by Australian citizens in ordinary life
- Gallantry Decorations, which recognise members of the Australian Defence Force and certain other persons who perform acts of gallantry in action
- Meritorious Awards, including the Public Service Medal, the Australian Police Medal, the Australian Fire Service Medal, the Ambulance Service Medal, the Emergency Services Medal, the Australian Antarctic Medal and the Australian Corrections Medal.
- Conspicuous Service Decorations, which recognise members of the Australian Defence Force and certain other persons for outstanding or meritorious achievement or devotion to duty in non-warlike situations.
For some categories of award, such as awards in the Order of Australia and Bravery Awards, nominations can be made by any person and at any time.
Information about how you can nominate someone for the Order of Australia or a Bravery Award is on the Governor-General's website.
The Governor has particularly urged Victorians to ‘nominate worthy women as well as men, those born overseas as well as those born here, and those from every field of endeavour and every part of our State. The more our individual honours reflect who we are, the more enriched we are collectively’.
Victorian recipients are invested with their awards by the Governor at official ceremonies at Government House, Melbourne. An exception to this is that investitures for Companions of the Order of Australia are conducted by the Governor-General at Government House, Canberra.
If you are a recipient of an honour or award, you will receive a letter inviting you to attend an investiture.
This letter will explain matters such as:
- You may be accompanied by up to 4 guests. Unfortunately, requests for extra guests cannot be met due to the high number of recipients at each ceremony. In the interests of fairness to all recipients, no exceptions are made to this arrangement.
- The dress code is lounge suit/day wear, or uniform where appropriate. Service personnel should consult their respective headquarters on dress. Medals are not worn.
- The time you will be required to arrive at Government House ahead of the ceremony.
Please note that in line with current Victorian Government directives, investitures for recipients of awards in the Order of Australia and Order of Australia Bravery Awards are being conducted in a COVID-safe manner.
The Office of the Governor is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our guests and staff. Sanitisation and physical distancing measures are in place at all events held at Government House Victoria. Read more about our COVID-safe protocols by visiting this page.
Find out who has received an Australian honour or award in the past.
Past investiture ceremonies can be viewed at here.
Australian of the Year awards
Each year, as part of the Australian of the Year awards, a Victorian is selected to progress to the national level of judging in the following categories:
- Australian of the Year
- Senior Australian of the Year (65 years or over)
- Young Australian of the Year (16 to 30 years)
- Australia's Local Hero
The Victorian finalists are announced each year at a State award presentation in October or November, and the national recipients are announced on the eve of Australia Day in January at a ceremony in Canberra.
You can nominate someone for these awards at any time of the year. Nomination forms are available at the Australian of the Year website or by phoning (02) 6120 0600.