Star of Courage

The Star of Courage is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.

The Star of Courage is the second highest Australian Bravery Decoration. 

How it is awarded

Anyone may nominate any other person for a bravery decoration. You can find further information on the nomination 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.


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. Award recipients had 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.

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. 

Medal design

The Star of Courage is a silver, ribbed star with seven points ensigned with the Crown of St Edward. The obverse has the shield and crest of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms surmounted by a Federation Star.

A suspender bar is engraved with the words For Courage.

Medal ribbon

The medal ribbon is blood-red with a central magenta band.

Award category

Australian Bravery Decorations