National medal

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for the



JUNE 2011

Disclaimer: This Manual has been produced by the Awards and Culture Branch of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra, Australia to assist the chief officers of organisations eligible for the National Medal.
The regulations for the National Medal were last amended with effect from 20 April 2011. This Manual should be read in conjunction with those regulations. Nothing in this Manual shall be read as entitling any organisation to be determined for the National Medal or any person to receive an entitlement to the award of the National Medal or a clasp to the National Medal.
For further information, contact the Awards and Culture Branch in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (see Annex 6).

First Edition July 2000

Second Edition November 2001

(Amended) May 2002

(Amended) March 2003

Third Edition December 2006

Fourth Edition June 2011

Table of contents

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Background 1

1.2 History of eligible service 2

2 Approved Organisations for the National Medal 4

2.1 Service Organisations, which meet the criteria of Government Organisations 4

2.2 Approved Government Organisations (Part 3 of the Regulations) 4

2.2.1 How Government Organisations become Approved Government Organisations 5

2.3 Approved Voluntary Organisations (Part 4 of the Regulations) 6

2.3.1 How Voluntary Organisations become Approved Voluntary Organisations 6

2.3.2 Obligations of Approved Voluntary Organisations 8

3 Award of the Medal and clasp 10

3.1 Key concepts governing the award of the Medal or clasp 11

3.1.1 Primary Function 11

3.1.2 Eligible service with approved organisations – first date of service or period of service 11

3.1.3 Approval dates for organisations 12

3.1.4 Aggregation of service 12

3.1.5 Award of clasps to the Medal 12

3.1.6 Recommendation of Chief Officer 13

3.1.7 Definition of “Eligible Service” 13

3.1.8 Determination of Length of Eligible Service 13

3.2 Periods of Service with the Australian Defence Force 14

3.2.1 Regulation 19: Defence service before 20 April 1982 15

3.2.2 Regulation 20: Those who have left the ADF and joined an approved organisation for the National Medal in a capacity which is eligible service 16

3.2.3 Regulation 21: Election that all efficient/qualifying defence service shall be counted towards the National Medal. 18

3.2.4 Simultaneous service in the ADF and in another approved organisation 19

3.2.5 Regulation 23: Service by secondee from foreign service organisation 20

3.3 Service in pre-independence Papua New Guinea 21

4 How to recommend a person for the award of the Medal or clasp 22

4.1 Privacy requirements 23

4.1.1 Privacy Declaration 23

5 Cancellation and restoration of awards 24

6 Chief Officer's obligations 24

7 Other honours 26

Annexes 27

Annex 1 How to apply to become an Approved Government Organisation 28

Annex 2 How to apply to become an Approved Voluntary Organisation 31

Annex 3 How to submit a Schedule of Nominations for the National Medal or clasp 38

Annex 4 Privacy declaration and principles 42

Annex 5 Defence Service and the National Medal 45

Annex 6 Important Contacts 47

Annex 7 The National Medal insignia, and when and how to wear it 48

1 Introduction

1.1 Background

The National Medal was established on 14 February 1975 as one of the original elements of the distinctive Australian system of honours and awards. The Medal recognises long and diligent service in organisations that protect life and property at some risk to their members. Many, but not all, eligible groups are uniformed. The Medal is awarded to persons for long service in eligible organisations who fulfil the ‘primary function’ (see 3.1.1, below) and meet other criteria. Fifteen years eligible service is necessary to qualify for the Medal. Clasps are available for each additional 10-year period.

The National Medal replaced a number of long service and good conduct awards issued to the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Australian police forces and fire services under the Imperial system of honours. Imperial long service and good conduct awards are still worn and are recognised in The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards.1

The number of civilian groups eligible for the National Medal has gradually increased since the Medal's inception. Service with the ADF, which was originally recognised through the National Medal, is now recognised through distinct defence long service awards. However, in some circumstances, ADF service can still be counted towards the National Medal (see 3.2, below).

The original regulations introduced on 14 February 1975 have been amended on five occasions. The current regulations, approved on 20 April 2011, revoke the old regulations in their entirety but anything lawfully done under previous versions of the regulations is not affected.

This edition of the Chief Officer’s Manual was produced principally to address the changes to eligibility introduced in 2011 (outlined in 1.2 below). In addition to those changes, the provisions dealing with approval dates were consolidated in regulation 2. This resulted in a re numbering of regulations from regulation 6 onwards, and this edition of the Manual also takes account of those changes. Officers administering the Medal should carefully check the citation of regulation numbers, particularly those relating to powers to recommend awards and eligibility requirements. Finally, the opportunity was taken to improve the clarity of provisions dealing with the award of clasps (regulation 15) and chief officer arrangements (regulations 2(8), 2(9) and 16).

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