Recognising the exceptional work of Australians in the COVID-19 response

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Media release
24 Jan 2021
Prime Minister

Australians are being encouraged to nominate those people, professionals and volunteers, who have displayed extraordinary service and achievement during the COVID-19 response and recovery, for an Australian National Honour.

Individuals recognised for their contribution, service or achievement relating to COVID-19 will feature on a dedicated COVID-19 honours roll as well as the official Australian honours database from the Queen’s Birthday in June.

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Prime Minister agree that the once in a 100-year pandemic has seen an extraordinary period of service for our nation.

The Prime Minister said that Australians have displayed courage and selflessness during the course of COVID-19.

“The pandemic has challenged our nation in a way we have not seen since World War Two, yet we have seen the best of Australia as we have come together, helping one another to keep us safe,” the Prime Minister said.

“There has been heartbreaking loss and hardship but our overall success has been built on the incredible sacrifices of many. From health professionals providing critical care to COVID-19 patients or those in aged care, to mental health counsellors, and workers going above and beyond to keep critical services and the economy going.”

“Australia Day this year will be a day of giving thanks for this service and we want to ensure there is lasting recognition.”

“If you know someone who has made an outstanding contribution, on the front-line or behind the scenes, I urge you to consider nominating them for an award.”

Just like the National Emergency Medal is available to recognise responders to the 2019-20 Bushfires and 2019 North Queensland Floods, and the Bravery Decorations recognise acts of bravery where people selflessly put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others, the Australian Honours System includes awards which provide a valuable mechanism to recognise the extraordinary contributions of Australians.

It includes a range of honours and awards that celebrate outstanding achievements and contributions of Australians that make a significant difference to their communities and to Australia. For example the Order of Australia, and specific occupation-based ‘meritorious’ awards for those in emergency and other services.

The Federal Government will recommend that no COVID-19 honour count towards existing quotas for awards where relevant.

The Prime Minister has also asked Premiers and Chief Ministers to gather nominations for work on COVID-19 response and recovery in each of the states and territories.

Nominations can be made now.

For more information on Australian Honours, as well as information on how to make a nomination, visit: