Medals and awards
The Department of Defence is responsible for presenting medals and awards. If you want more information about obtaining a medal or award, contact Defence.
Certificates of Appreciation
The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) provides Certificates of Appreciation to certain people under the Australian Government's Saluting Their Service Commemorations program.
Certificates of Appreciation are available under the Australian Government's Saluting Their Service Commemorations program. They are a way of expressing the nation's gratitude to those who served in the defence forces or on the home front in the Second World War or in wars, conflicts and peace operations overseas since. They do not confer any eligibility for entitlements under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 or the Safety, Rehabilitation or Compensation Act 1988.
What certificates are available?
Certificates of Appreciation are available in respect of the following conflicts and events:
- Second World War, for service in the Australian armed forces or on the home front
- British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) Japan
- Korean War
- Malayan Emergency
- Indonesian Confrontation
- Vietnam War
- Gulf War
- Iraq War
- War in Afghanistan
- Peace Operations
Who can apply?
- Veterans and those who served in the wars and conflicts for which certificates are available
- Family members or friends on behalf of eligible persons
What service qualifies for a Certificate of Appreciation?
Second World War
- Service in the Australian armed forces or merchant navy, overseas or in Australia, between 3 September 1939 and 15 August 1945
- Contribution on the home front in war related industries, protected occupations, philanthropic organisations and other voluntary positions which assisted Australia's war efforts between 3 September 1939 and 15 August 1945
Note: Home front services qualifies for a Certificate of Appreciation for the Second World War as this was a period of national mobilisation, and there was direct and widespread civilian involvement in supporting the war effort.
British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) Japan
- Service with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan between 2 September 1945 and 28 April 1952
- Service with Australia's armed forces in Korea between 27 June 1950 and 27 July 1953
Note: Service in Korea from 9 June 1950 until 23 June 1950 and from 28 July 1953 until the present time qualifies for the Peace Operations Certificate of Appreciation.
- Service with Australia's armed forces in Malaya/Malaysia or Singapore between 29 June 1950 and 31 July 1960
- Service in the Far Eastern Strategic Reserve (FESR) between 2 July 1955 and 31 July 1960
- Service with Australia's armed forces in the Malaysian States of Kedah, Perlis, Perak and Kelantan from 1 August 1960 until 16 August 1964 in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 and for which the Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 with the clasp Thai/Malay has been awarded
- Service with Australia's armed forces in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei between 8 December 1962 and 11 August 1966
- Service with Australia's armed forces in Vietnam between 31 July 1962 and 11 January 1973
- Service with Australian logistics support (for example, RAN ships and Qantas charter crews carrying troops and supplies to and from Vietnam, Red Cross, Salvation Army workers, medical staff and civilian entertainers supporting Australian service personnel in Vietnam) between 31 July 1962 and 11 January 1973
- Service with Australia's armed forces in the Gulf War between 1 August 1990 and 30 September 1991
- Service with Australia's armed forces in Iraq or the Persian Gulf between 18 March 2003 and 28 July 2009
War in Afghanistan
- Service with the International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) in Afghanistan and other prescribed areas within Operation ‘Slipper' (the Australian Defence Force contribution to ICAT) since 11 October 2001.
- Service in one or more of Australia's commitments to multinational peace operations since 1947. These include peace building; preventive diplomacy; peacemaking; peacekeeping; and peace enforcement. Definitions of these operations may be found at the ADF Peacekeeping Centre's website.
Eligibility for Gulf War, Iraq War, War in Afghanistan and Peace Operations Certificates of Appreciation
Evidence of service for this certificate will be the Australian Active Service Medal with the clasp – Kuwait. Care should be taken not to confuse this medal with the Australian Service Medal, also with the clasp – Kuwait. Recipients of this medal qualify for the Peace Operations Certificate of Appreciation.
Evidence of service for this certificate will be the Australian Active Service Medal with clasp – Iraq 2003.
War in Afghanistan
Evidence of service for this certificate will be the Australian Active Service Medal with the clasp – ICAT, and the Afghanistan Medal.
Evidence of service for this certificate will be the following medals:
- Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with clasps:
- Middle East
- South East Asia
- Thailand (for service in Ubon)
- West New Guinea
- Australian Service Medal with clasps:
- East Timor
- Middle East
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South East Asia
- Special Ops
- Western Sahara
- Rhodesia Medal
- United Nations Medal
- Police Overseas Service Medal
When are Certificates of Appreciation not available?
Certificates are NOT available for:
- Boer War and the First World War
- Certificates are designed primarily for living veterans to express the nation's gratitude for their service. The number of surviving veterans of conflicts other than the First World War is such that the primary purpose of personal recognition is maintained. All Australian First World War veterans are now deceased and cannot be personally recognised.
- Surviving First World War veterans were formally recognised with a medal specific to their service by the Federal Government under the Australian Honours and Awards system.
- National Service
- Certificates are event-based and do not relate to forms of enlistment such as national service
- National servicemen were recognised in 2001 through the issue of the Anniversary of National Service Medal 1951-1972 (Application is through the Department of Defence)
- National servicemen who served in Vietnam are eligible for that certificate
- Defence Reserve Forces
- Certificates are event-based and do not relate to forms of enlistment such as reserve forces
- Reserve service may be recognised, if certain criteria are met, through the issue of the Reserve Force Medal (Application is through the Department of Defence)
- Personnel who served in one of the nine events for which Certificates of Appreciation are available may qualify for that certificate.
What evidence of service is required?
- Service Record showing service in the relevant period and, for post Second World War certificates, service in the relevant country during the period of conflict, or
- Service Record showing eligibility for medal(s) for the relevant conflict, or
- Medal(s) for the relevant conflicts, inscribed with the veteran's name and service number (on the rim or reverse), or photograph(s) of inscribed medals, or
- Copies of entries from the Second World War, Korean War and Vietnam War Nominal Rolls; or,
- In the case of applicants for a Second World War certificate, evidence or a Statutory Declaration attesting to service on the home front.
In the case of home front service, applicants may not be able to produce supporting documentation. In these circumstances, a statement detailing their contribution should be accepted.
How are applications submitted?
Application forms are available from Federal MPs' offices, Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Offices or can be downloaded from the DVA website: Application for Certificate of Appreciation - DVA Form: D0755 (PDF 280 KB)
Applicants should complete the application form and submit this to their Federal Member.
Eligibility is decided by the Federal Member, in accordance with the Certificate of Appreciation guidelines (DOC 54 KB).
How are Certificates issued?
Only one certificate per conflict should be issued in relation to a person's service.
The Federal Member inserts the veteran's name and his/her own name in the spaces provided, and signs the certificate. The certificate may be presented personally or posted.
Where a certificate is posted, a covering letter is to accompany the certificate.
Where can more information be obtained?
Enquiries about eligibility should be directed to the Federal Member. Enquiries from MPs' electorate offices should be directed to DVA via email to Commemorative Grants or by phone on freecall 1800 026 185.