National medal




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3 Award of the Medal and clasp


The calculation of service for a candidate for the Medal or clasp can be complex, especially where the person concerned has service in more than one organisation.

The Awards and Culture Branch or the Registrar of National Medals (see Annex 6) will, upon written request by a chief officer or individual member, provide assistance in calculating a person’s eligible service, but responsibility for making or not making a recommendation for an award lies with the chief officer.34

It is the chief officer’s responsibility to decide if a person's service meets the requirements of diligence, training and performance of the primary function. The Governor-General cannot override a chief officer's refusal to recommend the award of the Medal or clasp and has no authority to adjudicate disputes about whether service was eligible service. The Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat at Government House (hereinafter referred to as “Government House”) is not, however, obliged to act on a recommendation if there is doubt about the nomination.

A person must meet certain threshold conditions before they can be recommended for an award of the Medal or a clasp. These are set out in regulations 14 and 15, and must be read in conjunction with regulations 17 and 18.

A person can count all of his or her eligible service which occurred on and after the date each of the organisations in which they served became an approved organisation. In addition, a person who serves in an approved organisation on or after the date it is approved can count all their eligible service in that organisation prior to its approval, subject to any determinations that may have been made specifying the first day of service or the period of eligible service for an organisation.35 This is discussed at 3.1.2, below.

A period of service which ended before the approval date of an organisation can be counted only if it is aggregated with a period of service with another organisation which includes at least one day on or after that second organisation’s approval date. The rule is that at least one day of eligible service in at least one of the organisations a person has served must have occurred on or after that organisation’s approval date. If this is the case, all service with all organisations on or after the earliest date of service for each organisation can be counted.

The Registrar of National Medals maintains the formal Register of Approved Organisations for the National Medal. 36 A list of currently eligible organisations, and their eligibility dates, is available on the National Medal page of the Australian honours website www.itsanhonour.gov.au under “More Information”.

3.1 Key concepts governing the award of the Medal or clasp


3.1.1 Primary Function

The term ‘primary function’ refers to that part of the organisation with members who undertake activities that are eligible service for the National Medal.37 It does not necessarily mean that all or even most of the organisation must be devoted to such activities.

The ‘primary function’ for service organisations and approved government organisations is defined at regulation 5(a) as follows:


  1. to enforce the law in order to protect persons or property; or

  2. to provide in Australia, in times of emergency or natural disaster:

  1. physical assistance to persons through search or rescue; or

  2. physical assistance to protect property or the environment.

The ‘primary function’ for approved voluntary organisations is defined at regulation 10(1)(a) as follows:

to provide in Australia, in times of emergency or natural disaster:

(i) physical assistance to persons through search or rescue; or

(ii) physical assistance to protect property or the environment.

Members of eligible organisations who do not perform the primary function do not accrue qualifying time for the Medal. This is because they are not trained and duty-bound to perform the tasks and face the hazards that their eligible colleagues do. Examples of ineligible members in eligible organisations include, but are not limited to, administration officers and auxiliary (e.g. fund-raising) members.

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

Regulation 18(4)(a) allows for a determination of an approved government organisation or approved voluntary organisation to specify the first date on which eligible service can be counted.

Regulation 18(4)(b) allows a period to be specified within which eligible service may be counted. This could apply to an organisation that had ceased to exist before it was approved.38 Generally it will be used where it is necessary to approve a predecessor organisation for the Medal. Organisations which have ceased to exist can only be determined if they were still in existence on or after 30 April 1987. Service prior to approval in such organisations may be aggregated subject to any determinations under regulations 4 or 9.

3.1.3 Approval dates for organisations

The approval date for an organisation is one of the factors which determine whether a person is eligible to be awarded the National Medal. At least one day of a person’s service must be on, or after, the organisation’s approval date.39

The approval dates for the ‘service organisations’ are set out in regulations 2(2) to 2(5). They are:



Organisation

Approval date

an Australian police force

14 February 1975

an Australian fire service

14 February 1975

an Australian ambulance service

14 February 1975

the Australian Protective Service

1 April 1986

an Australian correctional service

30 April 1987

an Australian emergency service

30 April 1987

the ambulance operations of the Priory in Australia of the Order of St John of Jerusalem

14 February 1975

the ambulance operations of St John Ambulance Australia

1 January 1987

The approval date for approved government organisations and approved voluntary organisations is the date mentioned in the determination or, if no approval date is mentioned, the date of the determination.40 An approval date for these organisations cannot be earlier than 30 April 1987.

3.1.4 Aggregation of service

Regulations 14(a)(ii) and 15(2)(a)(ii) provide for broken periods of service or service in different organisations to be added together and counted towards the Medal or clasp.

3.1.5 Award of clasps to the Medal

Regulation 15 provides that a person who has been awarded the National Medal may be awarded a clasp to the Medal for each 10-year period of service beyond the original 15 years.

3.1.6 Recommendation of Chief Officer

Regulation 16 provides that only the chief officer of the approved organisation can recommend a person for the Medal or a clasp. Where service in more than one organisation is aggregated to achieve the award, the chief officer who is to make the nomination must be satisfied that the earlier service was eligible service.41

Regulation 16(1)(b) allows a recommendation to be made by the chief officer of a successor organisation to that in which the applicant for the award last served. This need might arise where a person seeks recognition some time after completing service, and in the intervening period the organisation has changed its name.

Pursuant to regulation 16(1)(c), an award of the Medal or a clasp under regulation 19 can only be recommended by the Chief of the Defence Force or delegate. Regulation 16(1)(d) makes the same arrangement if required under regulation 21. See the relevant Department of Defence contacts at Annex 6.

3.1.7 Definition of “Eligible Service”

Regulation 17 defines eligible service. Eligible service must be in the performance of the primary function of an approved organisation that meets the Medal regulations and must meet the requirements of training sufficient to perform the primary function.

The regulations previously specified that members must also have maintained fitness and readiness to perform the primary function in order to qualify. It was realised that this was inconsistent with the intention that paid periods of leave due to illness should be able to be counted. The requirements for fitness and readiness have therefore been removed from the ‘eligible service’ provisions, but Chief Officers should still consider a member’s fitness and readiness as part of the assessment of ‘diligence’ pursuant to regulation 17(1)(c).42

Eligible service may have been rendered on a full-time or part-time basis and may have been paid or unpaid.43

3.1.8 Determination of Length of Eligible Service

Regulation 18 sets out the formula for calculating eligible service. Some of this formula is discussed at 3.1.2 above. Regulation 18(1) prevents service that has already been counted for another long service award from being counted for the Medal. There is one exception to this rule, for certain defence service (see 3.2.1, below).

Regulation 18(2) prevents simultaneous service in two or more approved organisations from being counted more than once for the National Medal. Neither regulations 18(1) nor 18(2) prevent a person who simultaneously serves in the ADF and in an approved organisation for the National Medal from earning credit towards both a defence long service award and the National Medal (see 3.2.4, below). However, where defence service is counted towards the National Medal under regulations 20 or 21, it is treated as if it was service in an approved organisation and regulation 18(2) applies.


3.2 Periods of Service with the Australian Defence Force


Long service in the ADF was included in the National Medal from its inception on 14 February 1975. At that time only continuous service could be counted for the National Medal. ADF service alone ceased to earn credit for the National Medal on 20 April 1982 with the introduction of the Defence Force Service Awards (the Defence Force Service Medal, the Reserve Force Decoration and the Reserve Force Medal). On 26 May 1998, a single medal was created to recognise long service in the ADF: the Defence Long Service Medal. Clasps to the Defence Force Service Awards will, however, continue to be issued for some years to ADF members who have previously earned those medals.

There are still circumstances in which ADF service can be used to qualify for the National Medal, and these are explained below. “Fast Facts” boxes are provided, followed by a more detailed description of each relevant regulation and its operation. The chart at Annex 5 is a consolidation of the “Fast Facts” boxes.

For the National Medal, the ‘Defence Force’ includes service in the regular and reserve parts of the ADF. 44

Service with the Australian Defence Force Cadets is not service with the ‘Defence Force’, and is not eligible service for the National Medal.

Regulations 19, 20, 21 and 23 cover instances where service in the ADF may be counted towards the National Medal. Under certain circumstances, seconded service with the ADF may be counted. (See 3.2.5, below, and regulation 23.) The National Medal regulations only recognise ‘DFSA efficient service’ or ‘DLSM qualifying service’ as eligible to be counted in those circumstances where the National Medal regulations allow defence service to be credited towards the National Medal.

3.2.1 Regulation 19: Defence service before 20 April 1982



Fast facts – regulation 19

Nature of service: ADF only.

Time requirements/restrictions: minimum 15 years DFSA efficient or DLSM qualifying service, completed before 20 April 1982 and including at least one day on or after 14 February 1975.

Who nominates for award? Chief of the Defence Force or delegate.

Who qualifies? Persons with defence service which meets time requirements/restrictions (above).

Which medal? National Medal and either DFSA or DLSM (in practice the DFSA unless an election has been made to receive the DLSM).

Regulation 19 was introduced in 1999 (it was then regulation 21) to codify an unusual entitlement that arose from the conditions for awarding the DFSAs. When they were introduced in 1982, the DFSAs were backdated to 1975. The National Medal had been validly awarded to many ADF personnel who had completed 15 years of qualifying service before 1982. The backdating of the DFSAs meant that these National Medal recipients qualified for a second award for the same service. Regulation 19 preserves this arrangement in case anyone has not yet claimed this entitlement.

A person who reached at least 15 years of qualifying defence service after 13 February 1975 and before 20 April 1982, at least one day of which was on or after 14 February 1975, may have their defence service up to 19 April 1982 counted towards both the National Medal and a defence long service award.

An entitlement is not altered by the date order in which application for the National Medal and the defence long service award is made.

The definition of ‘defence long service award’ includes a medal or decoration or clasp under the Defence Force Service Awards or Defence Long Service Medal Regulations or an Imperial defence long service medal or clasp for service in the ADF.45 The prohibition on counting the same service towards more than one long service award (regulation 18(1)) does not apply in this situation.

Regulation 19 allows the 15-year period to be made up of aggregated service.

The Chief of the Defence Force or a delegate recommends persons who may still have an entitlement to the National Medal for ADF service under the terms of regulation 19.46

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



Fast facts – regulation 20

Nature of service: ADF followed by eligible civilian service.

Time requirements/restrictions: must have left ADF. Must not have made an election under regulation 21. Must have at least one day’s eligible service (military or civilian) on, or after, 14 February 1975.

Who nominates for award? Chief Officer of approved civilian organisation.

Who qualifies? Persons with unrecognised qualifying/efficient defence service either insufficient for a defence long service award or in excess of that required for such an award, who subsequently give eligible service in a civilian approved organisation.

Which medal? National Medal only.

Regulation 20 allows a person who has left the ADF (including the Reserves) and subsequently performs eligible service in an approved organisation (for example, as a police constable or bush firefighter) to count efficient/qualifying defence service towards the National Medal, to the extent that that service has not already been counted towards a defence long service award.

Regulation 20 applies to efficient/qualifying defence service whether it occurred before or after 20 April 1982, the date when the National Medal ceased to be the long service award for solely defence service.

Defence service which ceased prior to the National Medal’s inception (on 14 February 1975) may be counted towards the National Medal if:



    • it has not been recognised by another long service award; and

    • service in an eligible organisation has occurred on or after 14 February 1975; and

    • the other conditions of the Medal regulations are met.

A person who is entitled to a defence long service award cannot count the relevant portion of their defence service towards the National Medal. In these circumstances only an ‘excess’ efficient/qualifying service may be counted (regulation 20(1)(a)(ii)). A person whose efficient/qualifying defence service was insufficient to earn them a defence long service award may, by use of this regulation, count all of that service towards the National Medal.

Examples of the application of regulation 20 are given below.



Example 1: A person who has a period of 4 years of DFSA efficient service can count all such service towards the National Medal, in combination with at least 11 years of service with another approved organisation.

Example 2: A person who has a period of 15 years of DLSM qualifying service must count that period towards the DLSM if they have not already done so. It cannot be counted towards the National Medal under regulation 20.

Example 3: A person who has 16 years of DFSA efficient service must count the period of 15 years towards the DFSA if they have not already done so. The excess period of 1 year can be counted towards the National Medal, in combination with at least 14 years of service with another approved organisation.

Example 4: A person who has 22 or 27 years of DLSM qualifying service must count the period of 20 or 25 years towards the DLSM (and clasp if applicable) if they have not already done so. The excess period of 2 years can be counted towards the National Medal, in combination with at least 13 years of service with another approved organisation.

A person who takes advantage of regulation 20 and subsequently rejoins the ADF cannot then count any defence service used for the National Medal towards a defence long service award unless they elect to do so in writing and surrender the National Medal or clasp earned from that defence service.47

Regulation 20 does not restrict a person who serves simultaneously in the ADF and an approved organisation from earning credits towards both a defence long service award and the National Medal for their respective services (see 3.2.4, below). A person in this situation could not take advantage of regulation 20 because regulation 20(1)(b) requires that a person has ceased to be a member of the ADF.

A person who makes an election under regulation 21 (see 3.2.3, below) cannot take advantage of regulation 20.

Persons wishing to have prior uncounted efficient/qualifying defence service taken into account by the chief officer of an approved organisation will need a statement from the Department of Defence showing what portion of their service has not been counted, or is not eligible, for a defence long service award. The applicant for the National Medal should present this statement to the chief officer of the relevant approved organisation. See Annex 6 for details of Department of Defence contacts.

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



Fast facts – regulation 21

Nature of service: Eligible civilian service then ADF, but regulation allows for any mix.

Time requirements/restrictions: must not have a defence long service award or an entitlement to one. A person who has benefited from regulation 19 cannot make an election under regulation 21. Must have at least one day’s service on or after 14 February 1975.

Who nominates for award? Chief Officer of organisation most recently served (Chief of Defence Force (or delegate) if defence service was most recent).

Who qualifies? Persons with unrecognised eligible civilian service who join the ADF and undertake qualifying/efficient defence service.

Which medal? National Medal only (cannot be awarded a defence long service award).

Regulation 21 enables a person who has not received, and is not entitled to, a defence long service award to make a once-only election to have all of their efficient/qualifying defence service counted for National Medal purposes. They cannot subsequently earn a defence long service award. A person who has made an election and who at any time simultaneously serves in both the ADF and in an approved organisation would be serving in two approved organisations for the National Medal and regulation 18(2) would apply to this service (service is only counted once, see 3.1.8, above). A person making an election must still meet the requirements of regulation 14 to be awarded the Medal. They must have at least one day’s eligible service (civilian or military) on, or after 14 February 1975.



Example 1: A person who serves in a police force for 10 years (and has therefore not undertaken sufficient service to earn the National Medal) resigns and then joins the ADF and performs efficient/qualifying service. They can elect to have all their efficient/qualifying defence service counted towards the National Medal. This would allow the person to receive the National Medal after 5 years in the ADF (10 years police service plus 5 years defence service).

Example 2: A person with 17 years of eligible police service has earned the National Medal (15 years) and then joins the ADF. They can elect to have all of their efficient/qualifying defence service counted towards the National Medal. This would enable them to add their efficient/qualifying defence service to the ‘excess’ 2 years of service with the police towards their first clasp to the National Medal. They would therefore be eligible to receive the first clasp after 8 years of efficient/qualifying service with the ADF. If they did not take advantage of this option they would have to undertake 15 years of defence service to earn a defence long service award and their two years ‘excess’ service with the police force would remain unrecognised by any award.

Persons wishing to make an election should contact the Department of Defence (see Annex 6).

If the person most recently served the ADF, the Chief of the Defence Force or a delegate makes recommendations for the Medal or a clasp under this provision.48

3.2.4 Simultaneous service in the ADF and in another approved organisation



Fast facts – simultaneous service (no specific regulation)

Nature of service: Eligible civilian service at the same time as ADF efficient/qualifying service.

Time requirements/restrictions: As per each award

Who nominates for award? Chief Officer of approved civilian organisation served and, if applicable, Chief of Defence Force (or delegate).

Who qualifies? Persons simultaneously serving an approved civilian organisation and the ADF.

Which medal? National Medal and DFSA or DLSM – but National Medal only if person has benefited from either regulation 20 or 21 (in which case the ADF is deemed an approved organisation for the National Medal, and the prohibition on double-counting under regulation 18(2) applies).

A person who has not made an election under either regulation 20 or 21 and who is simultaneously undertaking efficient/qualifying service as a member of the ADF (usually the Reserves) and in another approved organisation (e.g. a volunteer fire service) is in two ‘medal streams’: a defence long service awards stream and the National Medal stream. Such a person can count the simultaneous periods of service for an award in each respective medal stream.

Persons who use the provisions of regulation 20 (have left the ADF and do not qualify for a defence long service award, or have service in excess of that required) and gave eligible service in another organisation simultaneous with their unrecognised defence service, are in a single medal stream. This is because their ADF service is treated as if it was given to an approved organisation for the National Medal. Regulation 18(2) would apply to the unrecognised portion of the defence service, i.e. simultaneous periods of eligible service in approved organisations count as a single period of service.

A person who elects to have all of their defence service recognised through the National Medal under regulation 21 is also treating all their defence service as if it occurred in an approved organisation, hence they are in a single medal stream, and this service is also subject to regulation 18(2) – service in both organisations may only be counted once.

3.2.5 Regulation 23: Service by secondee from foreign service organisation

Fast facts – regulation 23

Nature of service: Member of a foreign equivalent to a service organisation or the ADF is seconded to an Australian organisation (limited by regulation 23(2) to a service organisation or the ADF).

Time requirements/restrictions: After secondment the person must join (not necessarily immediately) the ADF or an Australian service organisation.

Who nominates for award? Chief Officer of approved civilian organisation or Chief of Defence Force (or delegate).

Who qualifies? Persons with seconded service with the ADF or a service organisation who subsequently join the ADF or a service organisation.

Which medal? National Medal for person who subsequently joins a service organisation. National Medal for person who subsequently joins the ADF only if relevant under regulations 19, 20 or 21.

Regulation 23 allows a person who is seconded to the ADF or an Australian service organisation from any country and who subsequently (not necessarily, immediately) joins the ADF or a service organisation, to have their seconded service taken into account for the Medal. It restricts the use of seconded service to selected service organisations and the armed forces so as to maintain the intent of the original regulations. It does not apply to seconded service in approved government organisations or approved voluntary organisations, nor does it apply to subsequent service in such organisations.



Example 1: A member of London’s Metropolitan Police Force is seconded to Victoria Police for 2 years. Some years later the person becomes a member of the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The person could count the 2 years of seconded service toward the award of the National Medal, which could be earned after 13 years with the AFP.

Example 2: A member of the Royal New Zealand Air Force is seconded to the Royal Australian Air Force for 3 years. Subsequently the person becomes a member of the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES). The person could count the 3 years of seconded service toward the award of the National Medal, which could be earned after 12 years with the SES.

3.3 Service in pre-independence Papua New Guinea


Regulation 22 allows certain service in Papua New Guinea prior to 1 December 1973 to be aggregated with later eligible service in Australia. Even though independence was declared in November 1975, the Australian Government handed over administrative control on 1 December 1973, which is why that is the date from which service can no longer be counted. The regulations specify two broad categories of service:

  • as an officer of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC); and

  • in an organisation under the PNG Administration in a capacity which is the equivalent of eligible service in an Australian service organisation (as defined in regulation 2).

Service in any branch of the RPNGC except for the Voluntary Branch may be counted under regulation 22.

The PNG service must meet the other eligibility criteria for the Medal.49 The person must also have at least one day of eligible Australian service on, or after, 14 February 1975 in at least one Australian approved organisation, on or after its approval date50 before they can count any PNG service towards the Medal.

Chief Officers should sight documentation satisfying the requirements of the National Medal regulations before allowing pre-Independence PNG service to be aggregated. If the member is unable to provide satisfactory documentation Chief Officers may seek research assistance from the Awards and Culture Branch (see Annex 6).

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


The Governor-General makes an award of the Medal or a clasp to the Medal only on the advice of the chief officer of an eligible organisation. When service from several organisations is being aggregated the chief officer of the organisation which the person is currently serving, or most recently served, makes the recommendation.51

The chief officer must be satisfied that the person has met the time requirements and that the service has been diligent.52 This should be based on an examination of records and any relevant discharge certificates. Details of all eligible service and dates must be provided to the Registrar of National Medals in the form at Annex 3. Information should also be provided electronically – this can be by e-mail if desired. The e-mail address for sending electronic versions of schedules is honours@gg.gov.au. The e-mail versions should be in Microsoft Word or Excel format for ease of transferring data.

A person who wishes to have earlier unrecognised service with the ADF taken into account (under regulation 20) should obtain a statement from the Department of Defence (see Annexes 5 and 6) confirming that they have left the ADF and outlining what part of their service has not been recognised for a defence long service award. The chief officer should sight this information before making a recommendation for an award of the National Medal or clasp.

It is the chief officer’s responsibility to decide if a person's service meets the requirements for eligible service.53 While the Governor-General is not obliged to approve every recommendation, it is not open to Government House or the Australian Government to compel any chief officer to recommend an award where the chief officer is not satisfied that the requirements have been met.

Where requests from chief officers or members are received in writing the Awards and Culture Branch is available to advise on the interpretation of the regulations, and the Registrar of National Medals can advise on the current application of the regulations. (See Annex 6 for contact details.)

It would normally be expected that an organisation with a devolved structure would channel all recommendations for Medals and clasps through a single point in the organisation.

Schedules should be set out in accordance with the provisions of Annex 3 and forwarded to the Registrar of National Medals under a covering letter along the lines of that also provided in Annex 3. Schedules should not contain more than 200 names.

The Registrar of National Medals checks the schedule and, if satisfied, seeks the Governor-General's approval. Following the Governor-General’s approval, the necessary Medals are engraved with the recipients’ names. Medals and clasps, as the case may be, are dispatched by the Registrar of National Medals to the chief officer for distribution. Chief officers are encouraged to arrange appropriate ceremonies to present Medals and clasps.


4.1 Privacy requirements


Commonwealth privacy law requires that a person must be informed about how their personal information will be used and distributed by an agency collecting such information. This applies to nominations for the National Medal or a clasp to the Medal. Section 14 of the (Commonwealth) Privacy Act 1988 sets out the principles for handling personal information.

Members recommended for the award of the Medal or clasp should be advised that their personal information will be disclosed to Government House in order to seek the Governor-General’s approval of the award, and to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, for publication of information about the award on the Australian honours website www.itsanhonour.gov.au. Information published on the website is limited to the name of the recipient, the name of the award and the date of the award.

4.1.1 Privacy Declaration

The safest way for organisations to ensure they have complied with relevant privacy law is to have members sign a declaration that they have been advised how their personal information will be used, and that they have read and understand the relevant Information Privacy Principles (IPPs). A model declaration for this purpose is provided at Annex 4, as are the relevant IPPs 1, 2, 3, 10 and 11.

If an internal application form is used to initiate Medal recommendations, the privacy declaration can be attached to, or made part of, the application form. If recommendations are initiated without the member’s involvement, the member will need to be advised that a recommendation is being prepared, informed what personal information is to be disclosed in the recommendation and the government agencies which will handle their information, and asked to sign a privacy declaration.

Each person’s declaration should be retained by the recommending organisation. When recommending awards, Government House should be advised whether each member has completed a privacy declaration. A column in the sample schedule at Annex 3 allows processing officers to simply record a Y/N response to this prompt. Non-completion of a privacy declaration will not prevent an award being made, but Government House needs to know whether it can allow the details of an award to be available through the Australian honours website.


5 Cancellation and restoration of awards


Regulation 24 provides that a chief officer or the Minister may recommend cancellation of an award and the reinstatement of a cancelled award. Usually, such recommendations are made by the chief officer of the approved organisation that recommended the award or most recent clasp. Chief officers contemplating the cancellation of an award should contact the Registrar of National Medals for guidance on the necessary procedures (see Annex 6 for contact details).

6 Chief Officer's obligations


The provisions of the following regulations comprise the chief officer’s obligations:

Regulation

Obligation

2(8) and 2(9)

to advise the Registrar of National Medals where a person other than the director of an approved organisation is performing the duties of chief officer for the purpose of the regulations and advising any change

3(1)

to advise where a service organisation ceases to be a service organisation

6(1)

to advise the Awards and Culture Branch where an approved government organisation changes its primary function in such a way that it no longer satisfies the Medal regulations

7(1)

to advise the Awards and Culture Branch where an approved government organisation changes its name

8(1)

to advise the Awards and Culture Branch where an approved government organisation ceases to exist

10(1)(d)

to ensure that a scheme of insurance, compensation or indemnity is in place in an approved voluntary organisation

10(1)(e)

to maintain a training regime in an approved voluntary organisation

10(1)(f)

to maintain appropriate records in an approved voluntary organisation

10(1)(h)

to allow the Minister or a delegate access to the premises and records of an approved voluntary organisation or a voluntary organisation seeking to become an approved voluntary organisation

11(1)

to advise the Awards and Culture Branch where an approved voluntary organisation changes its primary function in such a way that it no longer satisfies the Medal regulations

12(1)

to advise the Awards and Culture Branch where an approved voluntary organisation changes its name

13(1)

to advise the Awards and Culture Branch where an approved voluntary organisation ceases to exist

16(1)

to recommend awards of the Medal and clasp

16(2)

to satisfy him or herself that an applicant’s prior service is eligible before taking it into account for the Medal or clasp

17

to satisfy him or herself that service has been eligible service

18

to determine the length of eligible service

19

to nominate a person for the Medal (only applies to the Chief of the Defence Force or a delegate of the Chief of the Defence Force)

20

to satisfy him or herself that an applicant’s prior service in the ADF is eligible service before taking it into account for the Medal

21

to receive an election to have all ADF service counted towards the National Medal (only applies to the Chief of the Defence Force or a delegate of the Chief of the Defence Force)

22

to satisfy him or herself that an applicant’s prior service in Papua New Guinea is eligible service before taking it into account for the Medal

23

to satisfy him or herself that an applicant’s prior service whilst seconded to the ADF or a service organisation was efficient or qualifying service before taking it into account for the Medal

24

to make recommendations for the cancellation and reinstatement of awards

Chief officers should also consider establishing a system whereby they sign discharge certificates for persons who leave the organisation after performing eligible service. This will assist former members if they need to substantiate their service record when aggregating service for the award of the Medal.

7 Other honours


There is a series of distinguished service awards of interest to persons who serve in groups which qualify for the National Medal. These are:

Name of award

Post-nominal54

Public Service Medal

PSM

Australian Police Medal

APM

Australian Fire Service Medal

AFSM

Ambulance Service Medal

ASM

Emergency Services Medal

ESM

Information about the background and eligibility for these awards can be found on the honours website www.itsanhonour.gov.au. Nominations for these awards are made by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments. The number of awards made is limited by quota.

The Australian Bravery Decorations are available to recognise acts of bravery. The awards in descending order are:



Name of award

Post-nominal

Cross of Valour

CV

Star of Courage

SC

Bravery Medal

BM

Commendation for Brave Conduct

(none)

Group Bravery Citation

(none)

Nominations for a bravery decoration can be made to Government House for subsequent submission to the Australian Bravery Decorations Council, which makes recommendations to the Governor General. (See Annex 6 for contact details.)


Annexes






Annex 1 How to apply to become an Approved Government Organisation


A submission should be forwarded to the Assistant Secretary of the Awards and Culture Branch by, or on behalf of, the relevant Commonwealth, state and territory ministers or Ministerial Council. Although it need not precisely follow the format below, doing so assists the assessment process. In any case, submissions should include all the information outlined.

The organisation(s) (or relevant parts) must meet the primary function as described in regulation 5 and only persons performing this function and meeting the criteria of regulations 5 and 19 earn eligible time for the Medal.



A Contact information

1. Name(s) of organisation(s) or class of organisations seeking to become an approved organisation.

2. Which minister(s), government(s) or Ministerial Council is/are making this submission?

3. Name, title, address, telephone number (including area code) and e-mail address (if available) of an officer who can be contacted for further information about the application.

B The organisations

1. For each organisation, identify the relevant national, state or territory jurisdiction and the structure of the organisation; that is, department, statutory authority and so on. If any are ‘non-profit organisations operating under an arrangement with the Commonwealth, a State or Territory’, identify the arrangement. If any are incorporated companies all the shares of which are owned by the Commonwealth, a State or Territory, identify the corporate arrangements in force and the shareholdings and which ministers control these.55

C History

1. The date(s) the organisation(s) was/were established.

2. The date(s) the organisation(s) began meeting the functions described at regulation 5.

D Nature of organisation

1. Is the organisation(s) (or parts of them) an organisation of the type described in regulation 5(a)?

Provide details, including the laws enforced and/or the powers, duties and responsibilities of the persons enforcing them.



2. Are members performing the primary function exposed from time to time to the risk of death, injury or trauma? Give details.56

3. What occupational categories of the organisation(s) meet the criteria and on whose behalf this application is made?

4. Do the organisation(s) have other functions besides those described in regulation 5(a)?

5. If the answer to 4, is ‘yes’, identify the part(s) of the organisation(s) for which approval is sought.

Identify the part or aspect of the organisation(s) that undertake(s) the primary function, or those members who undertake this function in addition to the other roles. Identify the occupational categories for which the application seeks recognition for the Medal.



6. Provide the latest year statistics for the number of members of the organisation(s) as a whole and the number who undertake the primary function and are in the occupational categories identified at 5.

Provide sufficient detail to give a clear picture of the role of personnel, how they operate, the duties performed and the risks they face. Where personnel perform functions in addition to the primary function, outline how this works, the proportion of persons involved and the percentage of time performing their respective roles.



7. Compare the performance of the primary function with one or more of the eligible service organisations in terms of powers exercised, statistics on death or injury, value of property protected, responsibilities held and hazards faced.

8. If the organisation(s) are approved, how many members do you expect to nominate for the Medal in the first year?

This information has no bearing on the outcome of the application; it is solely to assist the Registrar of National Medals to plan forward orders for Medals.



E Training and fitness

1. Do the organisation(s) maintain a mandatory training regime to ensure the members performing the primary function are fit to fulfil their respective roles? Provide details of the training system in operation.57

2. Are members trained before joining or trained externally or within the organisation? Give details.

3. Are there competency levels that are subject to assessment?

4. Are physical fitness standards applied? If so, give details.

F Records

1. Are sufficient records maintained to enable the chief officer(s) to meet the requirements of nominating eligible persons for the Medal or clasp?58

G Action

The application should be signed by a responsible officer on behalf of the parties making the submission and be addressed to the Assistant Secretary, Awards and Culture Branch (see Annex 6).




Annex 2 How to apply to become an Approved Voluntary Organisation


It is not necessary for each element of a voluntary organisation to apply to become an approved voluntary organisation. Organisations with wide coverage but with a local branch structure should seek approval for the organisation as a whole; districts do not need to apply separately. A search or rescue body with a national charter can apply on behalf of its whole national organisation.

The head of the voluntary organisation should forward a submission to the Assistant Secretary of the Awards and Culture Branch (see Annex 6) presenting information using the headings and question numbers provided below.

The organisation must provide, in Australia, in times of emergency or natural disaster:

physical assistance to persons through search or rescue; or

physical assistance to protect property or the environment.59

This is known as the “primary function”, although it does not need to be the focus of the organisation’s activities. Only persons performing this function and satisfying other eligibility criteria60can be awarded the Medal. Heading “H”, below, seeks specific confirmation of this function.



A Contact information

1. Full registered name of the organisation.

2. Physical address of the head office.

3. Postal address of the head office.

4. Telephone number of the head office (including area code).

5. Facsimile number of the head office (including area code).

6. Name and title of the head of the organisation.

7. Name, title, telephone number (including area code) and e-mail address (if available) of an officer who can be contacted for further information about the application.

B Corporate structure

The Regulations define voluntary organisation, in part, to mean an organisation incorporated in Australia. Therefore, to become an approved voluntary organisation for the Medal, an organisation needs to be incorporated. The following information will need to be provided.



1. Method of incorporation and Australian Securities and Investments Commission number (if relevant).

2. State or territory of incorporation.

Incorporation must be in Australia and can be as a company, association, society, charity or under a royal charter.

A copy of the organisation’s articles of association or constitution and a copy of the most recent annual report and statement of audited accounts should be provided with the application.

3. Has the organisation ever been prosecuted by a regulatory body for being in breach of any requirements of the legislation under which it is incorporated? If ‘no’, this must be stated. If ‘yes’, provide details.

C Voluntary status

The Regulations also define voluntary organisation, in part, to mean an organisation that is not a government organisation61 and is not operated for profit. The following information will need to be provided.



1. Is the organisation a ‘voluntary organisation’ as defined at regulation 2?

2. Are government grants received? If so, provide details.

3. Are fees for service earned? If so, provide details.

4. Are sponsorships received from non-government sources? If so, provide details.

Grants, fees for service and sponsorships do not preclude approval so long as the organisation is a voluntary, non-government, non-profit organisation. The above details will assist the evaluation of the organisation’s role and structure. It is not necessary to specify the value of grants, fees or sponsorship.



D Relationship with home state or territory government

1. Is the organisation recognised by a department or agency of the Commonwealth government, or a state or territory government as an organisation of the kind described in regulation 10(1)? Give details.

2. Which Commonwealth, state or territory organisation recognises the organisation?

3. Is the organisation called upon by police or other agencies, for search or rescue? Give details.

4. Is the organisation part of a state or territory disaster plan? Give details.

5. Does a government body such as a state rescue board register the organisation? Give details.

The organisation should seek an authoritative reference from the appropriate government authority. This authority would normally be the government agency responsible for emergency services with which the organisation works or which calls upon it to provide its search and rescue services. This reference should indicate that the state or territory government recognises and regards the organisation as a bona fide search or rescue organisation. The reference should accompany the application.



E Peak bodies

1. Is the organisation a member of a peak rescue association; for example, the Volunteer Rescue Association of NSW? If so, provide details.

F History

1. When was the organisation established (exact date)?

2. When did the organisation commence providing physical assistance in search or rescue activities, if not at the time of its establishment (exact date)?

Full details, including dates, should also be provided if the organisation previously provided physical assistance in search or rescue under different names. The organisation may also be approved under its earlier names, enabling eligible service during the earlier period(s) to count towards the Medal. Defunct organisations must have been in existence on, or after, 30 April 1987, to be eligible.



G Geographical extent

1. Does the organisation operate nationally or in a particular state or territory or locality?

Advise whether local branches are operative and, if so, where they are located.



H Nature of search or rescue functions

1. Does the organisation (or a part of it) provide in Australia in times of emergency or natural disaster:

  1. physical assistance to persons through search or rescue; or

  2. physical assistance to protect property or the environment?

2. What type of search or rescue functions does the organisation undertake?

For example, “marine rescue in New South Wales”. Give details.



3. What type of physical assistance in search or rescue does the organisation provide?

For example, “rescue by boat, salvage, search and patrol operations”. Give details.



4. Are members performing the primary (search or rescue) function exposed from time to time to the risk of death, injury or trauma?62 Give details.

5. What occupational categories of the organisation meet the criteria (i.e. on whose behalf is this application being made)?

6. Does the organisation have other functions besides search or rescue?

7. If the answer to 6, is ‘yes’, identify the part of the organisation for which approval is sought.

Identify the component or aspect of the organisation that undertakes search or rescue or, if members undertake search or rescue in addition to the other roles of the organisation, identify these (for example, recreational sailing). Identify the occupational categories which the organisation believes should be eligible service for the Medal.



8. Provide the latest year statistics on the numbers of members of the organisation as a whole and details of the number who undertake the primary function and are in the occupational categories identified at 5; that is, those which provide physical assistance (for example, rescue by boat) as opposed to support operations (for example, radio operation) or other activities.

Provide sufficient detail to clearly illustrate the role of personnel, how they operate, the duties performed and the risks faced. Where given personnel perform, over time, both the primary function and support roles, outline how this works and the proportion of persons and percentage of time in the respective roles. Advise how often members who perform the primary function are expected to be on call, undertake training and so on, to be regarded as active members whose time would be counted as eligible service.



9. Provide statistics on how often and how many members performing the primary function were called out and the number of rescues or searches in the most recent year.

10. If the organisation is approved, how many members do you expect to nominate for the Medal in the first year?

This information has no bearing on whether an organisation will be approved. It is solely to assist the Registrar of National Medals to plan forward orders for Medals.



I Insurance, compensation or indemnity

The Regulations also define voluntary organisation, in part, to mean an organisation that is not a government organisation and is not operated for profit. The following information will need to be provided.



1. What scheme of insurance, indemnity or compensation operates for members performing the primary function?63

2. Is it the organisation or the home state or territory government which operates this scheme?

3. Is it a government requirement?

4. Are records maintained in respect of insurance, compensation or indemnity? Who keeps the records?64

5. Provide statistics of the numbers of persons killed or injured in the latest year as a result of performing the primary function and the numbers of claims made under the scheme of insurance, compensation or indemnity.

J Training and fitness

1. Does the organisation maintain a mandatory training regime to ensure members performing the primary function are fit to fulfil their duties? Provide details.65

2. Are members trained before joining or trained externally or within the organisation? Give details.

3. Are there assessed competency levels; for example, for marine rescue? Give details.

4. Are records maintained of members’ training?66

5. Are physical fitness standards applied? If so, give details.67

K Records

1. Are sufficient records maintained to enable the chief officer to meet the requirements of nominating eligible persons for the Medal or clasp?68

Regulation 17(1) establishes that service is “eligible service” if it is in the primary function, throughout the period of service a person has maintained a level of training sufficient to perform the primary function, the member has served diligently. An assessment of diligence should include consideration of a person’s physical fitness and availability. Records of the organisation must be sufficiently detailed to support the conclusion that a person has met these requirements.



2 Are records kept of each search and rescue incident in which the organisation was involved and the names of individual members who attended?

L Chief Officer

1. Does the organisation have a chief officer for the purposes of the regulations?69

The chief officer would usually be the chief executive officer or the person occupying the highest office in the organisation, for example, the President. An organisation may specify another person to perform the duties of chief officer on its behalf; for example, a member or an officer of the organisation’s peak body.



M Responsibility

The following statements should be typed at the end of the application and signed by the responsible officer (normally the head of the organisation):



1. ‘I certify the accuracy of the information in this application for approval of [name of organisation] for the National Medal’;

2. ‘I confirm on behalf of [name of organisation] that both before approval and, if granted, after approval, the organisation agrees to give the Minister or a delegate of the Minister access to its premises and records maintained on its behalf and that this commitment extends to an external person if nominated to act as chief officer’;70

3. ‘I confirm on behalf of [name of organisation] that written advice will be provided promptly to the Awards and Culture Branch of (i) any material change to the organisation which could lead to it no longer meeting the criteria to remain an approved voluntary organisation and (ii) of any change of name’;71 and

4. ‘I agree on behalf of [name of organisation] that in assessing this application, the Awards and Culture Branch may make such inquiries as are deemed necessary, including, but not restricted to, governments, regulatory authorities and voluntary associations.’

WARNING: The provision of false or misleading information may lead to the organisation having its approval revoked and to the cancellation of awards (regulations 24 and 28).

The organisation will be advised as soon as possible as to the outcome of its application or if further information is required. Where successful, the Minister (that is, a member of the government) will make a recommendation to the Governor-General that the organisation be approved. Approved bodies will be gazetted from time to time.



Before sending your submission, check that the following documents are enclosed:

  • articles of association;

  • most recent annual report and statement of audited accounts; and

  • reference from the relevant government authority.

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


Schedules may be submitted as frequently as an organisation wishes. Not more than 200 names per schedule should be submitted but there is no minimum requirement. See the next page for an example of the covering letter which should accompany the schedule. Examples of schedules follow immediately after the covering letter. Each schedule should be accompanied by an electronic copy of the schedule in text only format. Contact the Registrar of National Medals for details of the required format and for any other information on how to submit a schedule (see Annex 6).

Abbreviations used in schedules:

SS = still serving

Dec = deceased.


Example of covering letter

Registrar of Awards

Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat

Government House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Registrar

Applications have been received for the award of the National Medal and/or clasp to the Medal from members of the [name of organisation] and they are specified in the attached schedule[s].
Each member has satisfied the eligibility criteria for which they have been nominated. Members’ dates of service with other eligible organisations have been confirmed. I recommend to the Governor-General that these persons be awarded the National Medal and/or clasp [alter as appropriate].
Members have completed privacy declarations as indicated in the schedule[s].
Should any of the recommendations require clarification, please contact [name of contact] of this office on [telephone/email]. An electronic copy of the schedule[s] has been provided [say how provided].
Yours sincerely

Chief Officer’s name

Position/Appointment
RECOMMENDATION FOR AWARD OF NATIONAL MEDAL
NSW Something or Other Authority Schedule 03 of 2011

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