A range of awards to recognise gallantry and distinguished service were introduced to the Australian system to replace Imperial awards in 1991. The only award retained from the former Imperial system is the Victoria Cross, which was renamed Victoria Cross for Australia.
The key differences between the Australian and Imperial awards are:
- Australian awards are applied to all Services;
- the level of the Australian award is not restricted by rank but is determined by the quality of the action or service; and
- the establishment of Australian unit awards for gallantry and meritorious service.