Australia — Government to replace medals lost in natural disasters

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Defence, Sen­a­tor the Hon David Feeney, today announced that the Gov­ern­ment will relax the pol­i­cy on replace­ment of Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) medals so that medals lost dur­ing the Queens­land and Vic­to­ri­an floods, the impact of Cyclone Yasi and the fires in West­ern Aus­tralia can be replaced.

“Gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy for many years has been medals can only be issued to the ADF mem­ber who earned them,” Sen­a­tor Feeney said. 

“This usu­al­ly means that medals can­not be replaced if they are lost or destroyed after the ADF mem­ber has died.” 

Where medals are lost in nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, how­ev­er, this pol­i­cy may be relaxed. This was done fol­low­ing the Vic­to­ri­an bush­fires in 2009. 

“While the Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing the integri­ty of our sys­tem of mil­i­tary hon­ours and awards, there are cir­cum­stances in which the Aus­tralian com­mu­ni­ty right­ly expects us to show greater flex­i­bil­i­ty in imple­ment­ing the exist­ing pol­i­cy. I believe this unprece­dent­ed series of nat­ur­al dis­as­ters is one of those cir­cum­stances,” Sen­a­tor Feeney said. 

“I have there­fore decid­ed that ADF medals may be reis­sued to the next of kin or oth­er appro­pri­ate rel­a­tive of deceased ADF mem­bers, if the medals have been lost or destroyed in the cur­rent nat­ur­al dis­as­ters. Fam­i­ly mem­bers who have, in the course of these nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, lost the medals of loved ones, may now make appli­ca­tion for replacements. 

“Unfor­tu­nate­ly, how­ev­er, only medals dat­ing back to the First World War can be replaced. Medals for con­flicts pri­or to this war are no longer in production.” 

Appli­cants should use the appli­ca­tion form and statu­to­ry dec­la­ra­tion locat­ed on the Defence Hon­ours and Awards web­site at:

Com­plet­ed appli­ca­tions should be sub­mit­ted to: Direc­torate of Hon­ours and Awards Depart­ment of Defence, PO Box 7952, Can­ber­ra BC, ACT 2610. Enquiries may also be direct­ed to Defence Hon­ours and Awards toll free on 1800 111 321. 

Media con­tact: Lor­na Clarke 0408 345 730 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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