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Defence Honours & Awards

Honours and Decorations

Public Service Medal

The Public Service Medal was established on 18 October 1989 to recognise outstanding service by employees of Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments.

Awards of the Public Service Medal are made as part of the Australia Day and Queen’s Birthday Honours Lists each year.


The award recognises outstanding service, which can be shown through:

  • service excellence to the public, or to external or internal clients
  • innovation in programme, project or policy development
  • leadership, including as a member of a team
  • the achievement of more efficient processes, improved productivity or better service delivery


The medal is circular nickel-silver 38 millimetres in diameter, ensigned with the Federation Star. The obverse has an inner circle showing four planetary gears spaced equally around the sun gear at its centre and is surrounded by the words ‘PUBLIC SERVICE’. An outer circle shows 36 upright human figures representing a range of occupations and activities.

The reverse has a wreath of mimosa surrounding the inscription ‘FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE’.


The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with 12 alternating stripes of green and gold of varying widths. The widest green stripe appears on the left-hand side and the widest gold stripe appears on the right-hand side when viewed from the front.


Recipients of the medal are entitled to the postnominal letters ‘PSM’.


Further details and a nomination form can be found at It’s an Honour.

Nominations should reflect the performance of staff of all rank levels located throughout Australia and overseas and reflect the contribution of women working within Defence.

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

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

Click image for full resolution