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

Military members of the Australian Defence Force are not eligible for this award. Australian Public Service employees of the Department of Defence are eligible to be nominated for the Public Service Medal and the Directorate of Honours and Awards is able to assist with preparing the nomination.

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 post-nominal letters ‘PSM’.

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

Contact the Directorate of Honours and Awards for assistance with nominating a Defence public servant.