Australian Bravery Decorations

Australian Bravery Medal

Australian Bravery Medal
Star of Courage front

Star of Courage front
Australian Cross of Valour front

Australian Cross of Valour front
Commendation for Brave Conduct front

Commendation for Brave Conduct front


Australian Bravery Decorations recognise acts of bravery by members of the community. They selflessly put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others.

Bravery or courage differs from fortitude in a crisis situation. Bravery is a deliberate choice to go from a place of safety to danger or remain in a perilous position to provide help.

The Cross of Valour is the highest bravery decoration. It is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

The Cross of Valour has been awarded five times since 1975


Australian Bravery Decorations date from the establishment of the Australian honours system in February 1975. The Group Bravery Citation was added in 1990.

The decorations recognise acts of bravery by members of the community.

There are four levels of decoration:

There is also the Group Bravery Citation an award for a group of people involved in a single incident. 

How it is awarded

Anyone may nominate any other person for a bravery decoration. You can find further information on the nominations process on the Governor-General's website.

The nomination may be for a brave act by an Australian citizen in Australia or overseas. A decoration may be awarded to a person who is not an Australian citizen for either an act done in Australia or for an act which, though done outside Australia, merits recognition as an act in the interest of Australia.

Bravery decorations may be made posthumously.

The Honours Secretariat at Government House researches the nominations. The Australian Bravery Decorations Council then considers them.

The Council has fourteen members including representatives of each state and territory, two ex-officio members and four community members appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, by the Governor-General.

The Australian Bravery Decorations Council makes recommendations for awards direct to the Governor-General. The Council also recommends the level of awards.

There is no set timeframe for announcing bravery awards. Generally there are two announcements each year in April and August.

After the announcement of awards, recipients are invited to a ceremony or investiture at Government House in their state to receive their award.