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Defence Honours & Awards

Australian Awards

Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal

The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal is administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. It is awarded to members of recognised charitable or humanitarian groups who provide humanitarian assistance in designated areas of the world.

For each operation, participating organisations are determined to be eligible organisations for that operation. Defence is an eligible organisation for Indian Ocean, Pakistan, Pakistan II, Japan and Ukraine. Details are contained in the relevant Commonwealth of Australia Gazettes.


The medal is circular nickel-silver 38 millimetres in diameter. The obverse has a stylised eucalyptus tree surrounded by a ring of gum nuts.

The reverse has a ring of gum nuts surrounding the inscription ‘FOR OVERSEAS HUMANITARIAN SERVICE’.


The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, green with a central gold stripe.


The following clasps have been authorised:

  • Afghanistan
  • Balkans
  • Cambodia
  • Christchurch
  • East Timor
  • Great Lakes (Africa)
  • Haiti
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Mozambique
  • Northern Iraq
  • Samoa
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • South Vietnam
  • Indian Ocean
  • Pakistan
  • Pakistan II
  • Ukraine

Source Documents

Regulations and Declarations can be found at

Honours and Awards Manual

Chapter 25 Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal


Additional details and application forms are available at It's An Honour.

Defence members are to submit applications to:

Directorate of Honours & Awards
CP2-1, Department of Defence
PO Box 7952

Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal - Obverse - Click to open high resolution version in new window

Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal - Reverse - Click to open high resolution version in new window

Click image for full resolution