Public Service Medal
The Public Service Medal recognises outstanding service by employees of the Australian Government and state, territory and local government employees. ‘Outstanding service’ could be shown through:
- service excellence to the public, or to external or internal clients;
- innovation in programme, project or policy development;
- leadership, including as a member of a team; or
- the achievement of more efficient processes, improved productivity or better service delivery.
There is a long tradition in Commonwealth nations of recognising employees for outstanding public service.
Members of the Australian Public Service used to be rewarded through the Imperial Honours system with awards similar to their British counterparts. This ceased in 1975 when the Order of Australia was established.
The Australian Public Service Medal was established on 18 October 1989 by Letters Patent.
How it is awarded
The Public Service Medal acknowledges outstanding service by employees of the Australian Government and state, territory and local government employees.
The various state and territory Public Service Medal Committees consider nominations for eligible employees.
Committees meet twice a year to consider nominations for the Australia Day and Queen’s Birthday honours lists. Closing dates for nominations should be checked with individuals Committee Secretariats but are generally 1 February and 1 August each year.
After considering the nominations, the committee recommends a list of proposed recipients to the Minister or Premier, who then makes a recommendation to the Governor-General who has the authority to approve awards.
There is an annual quota for each government public service, with a total of 100 medals awarded every year.
A person may only receive the Public Service Medal once and is entitled to the post-nominal PSM.
The award is announced on Australia Day (26 January) and the Queen’s Birthday (June) each year.
Download a copy of the Public Service Medal nomination form:
For more information on making a nomination for the Public Service Medal contact:
PSM Committee Secretariat
Honours, Symbols and Legal Policy Branch
Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet
PO Box 6500
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6271 5601
New South Wales
Ms Elissa Callaghan
Protocol and Special Events
NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet
GPO Box 5341
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Telephone: (02) 9228 5014
Ms Emma Chidlow
Australia Day Council of South Australia
30 Wakefield St, Adelaide SA 5000
GPO Box 2343, Adelaide SA 5001
Telephone: 08 8463 5439
Senior Manager, Australia Day and Awards
Strategic Communication, Engagement and Protocol Branch
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Level 34, 121 Exhibition Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Telephone: (03) 9651 9265
Ms Fiona Birkett
State Protocol Officer
GPO Box 123
HOBART TAS 7001
Telephone: (03)6270 5671
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
PO Box 15185
CITY EAST QLD 4002
Telephone: 07 3003 9279 or 07 3003 9246
Mr Mike O’Callaghan
Principal Policy Officer
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Locked Bag 3001
WEST PERTH WA 6872
Phone: (08) 6552 5928
Australian Capital Territory
Protocol, Honours and Ceremonial Events Officer
Protocol, Honours and Ceremonial Events
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
GPO Box 158
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Phone: (02) 6205 3031
Ms Jenny Stephensen
Strategic Workplace Planning and Development
Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment
GPO Box 4371
DARWIN NT 0801
Phone: (08) 8999 4137
The Public Service Medal is a circular nickel-silver medal ensigned with a Federation Star.
The front of the medal shows an inner circle with four planetary gears spaced equally around a sun gear. It is surrounded by the words 'Public Service'. An outer circle shows 36 human figures symbolising a range of occupations and activities.
The back of the medal displays a wreath of mimosa surrounding the inscription 'For Outstanding Service'.
The Public Service Medal was designed by Mr Stuart Devlin AO CMG.
The 32 millimetre-wide ribbon features the national colours of green and gold in a vertical striped pattern.