The Australian Bravery Decorations are our own pre-eminent awards for the recognition of acts of bravery. Since the establishment of the Australian honours system in 1975 these awards have recognised acts of bravery by people whose selfless actions put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others.

There are four levels of awards for individuals, as well as an award to recognise the bravery of a group of people involved in a single incident. The awards, commencing with the highest, are:

  • Cross of Valour (CV) - Awarded for acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.
  • Star of Courage (SC) - Awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.
  • Bravery Medal (BM) - Awarded for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.
  • Commendation for Brave Conduct - Awarded for other acts of bravery which are considered worthy of recognition.
  • The group award is known as the Group Bravery Citation. It shall be awarded for a collective act of bravery, by a group of persons in extraordinary circumstances, that is considered worthy of recognition.

Brave acts usually involve a deliberate choice to go from a place of safety to danger or remain in a perilous situation to provide help to another. Acts involving the preservation of life, (for example, first aid) while admirable, may not be considered brave.



The following persons can be nominated:

  • Australian Citizens.
  • A person who is a citizen of another country and who carries out an act that may be considered worthy of recognition by Australia and in Australia’s interest.
  • Members of Australia’s armed forces who carry out an act in times of peace, or of war (where the act was carried out in circumstances other than in actions against the enemy).
  • Service personnel from other countries, whether in Australia or overseas.

All nominations are strictly confidential and the information provided will be used only to assist the Council in considering the merits of the nomination. The Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat keeps all nominations confidential to respect privacy and to avoid disappointment if an award is not made. We ask for the cooperation of nominators and others involved in respecting this policy.

Anyone may make a nomination by completing a nomination form.

Awards may be made posthumously and presented to the next of kin.