Defence Honours & Awards is a Defence People Group website
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It was recognised that there was a need to have a series of awards to acknowledge outstanding achievement and performance of duty in non-warlike circumstances. There had been no option for such recognition other than using awards within the Order of Australia.
With the ceasing of the Imperial system there was no award to provide specific recognition for the outstanding performance of nursing duties. This had previously been recognised by the two grades of the Royal Red Cross. The Nursing Service Cross was introduced in 1989 to provide an Australian award to recognise outstanding devotion to duty in the field of military nursing by Australian nursing personnel in both operational and non-operational service.