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Honours and awards

Reward and recognition, acknowledging positive behaviour and celebrating achievement are key components in creating a strong performance culture. Defence formally recognises the service and achievements of ADF members, veterans and Defence APS employees through the timely issue of honours, decorations, service medals and awards.

In 2020, 193 ADF members were awarded honours or decorations in the Australia Day and Queen’s Birthday Honours lists, in recognition of their distinguished service on operations, as well as significant dedication, outstanding application of skill or meritorious service.

In 2019–20 Defence issued 16,366 operational medals and long service awards to current ADF members, and 5,804 service medals were issued to veterans and their families in recognition of service in conflicts since World War I. Defence recognised 940 APS employees for their commitment to service and presented Secretary’s Awards for Long Service.

Defence is continuing to modernise and improve the legal instruments for Defence honours and awards to ensure they are fit for purpose. To date, three Medal Regulations are progressing to Her Majesty The Queen, with the remainder of the service and campaign awards anticipated to progress later in the year. The review is now expected to be completed by December 2020.