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.
The medal recognises humanitarian service, which the Regulations define as 'service that gives immediate remedy to needy or distressed persons in order to sustain their life or dignity; or action to assist needy or distressed persons in order to sustain their life or dignity'.
The medal can be awarded to members of recognised Australian groups who are exposed to risk or danger when giving humanitarian service overseas during international peacekeeping operations or during periods of civil or military strife or war.
The medal is not designed to recognise distinguished service by individuals.
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.
Defence is an eligible organisation for the following clasps in bold:
- East Timor
- Great Lakes (Africa)
- Indian Ocean
- Northern Iraq
- South Sudan
- South Vietnam
- Pakistan II
Declarations and amendments can be found on the website of The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.