Order of Australia
The Order of Australia
is an order of chivalry "for the purpose of according recognition to Australian
citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service". The order was established on February 14
, when Queen Elizabeth
signed Letters Patent instituting the Order. Before this date Australian citizens received British honours
. There were originally Knights and Dames of the Order, who were entitled to the prefix "Sir" or "Dame" and the post-nominal initials AK or AD. However, the award of the AK and AD was discontinued in the late 1980s.
Descriptions and Post-Nominal Entitlement
The Order originally consisted of four grades and a medal:
The Queen is the Sovereign of the Order. The Governor-General of Australia is the Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order.
The insignia of all four grades and the medal of the Order of Australia are convex golden disks representing the wattle flower surrounding a central sea. They were designed by Stuart Devlin - a metalsmith who also designed the Australian currency. There are no posthumous awards in the Order. The Order and the Medal are awarded on Australia Day.
- Knight / Dame of the Order of Australia (AK / AD) - no longer awarded.
- Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) - for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large.
- Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) - for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large.
- Member of the Order of Australia (AM) - for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.
- Order of Australia Medal (OAM) - for service worthy of particular recognition
- List of Australian Awards