• Entry type: Concept
  • Entry ID: IMP0083

Imperial Honours System


The Imperial System of Honours and Awards is a scheme of honours bestowed on citizens or foreigners by the British monarch. This system has a long history, rooted in Roman traditions of awards for military service. Over the twentieth century the honours system has gradually evolved to recognise civilian service and other achievements.

Until 1975, the British Imperial system was the only system for recognition of the service of Australian citizens to Australia. Today, the Imperial system has been largely replaced by the Australian system, established in 1975. Imperial Honours continued to be awarded to Australians on the recommendation of some States until 1989. The Queen still bestows some honours personally.

Published resources

  • Resource
  • Book
    • The national honours and awards of Australia, Maton, Michael, 1995
    • George, Albert and Edward medals to Australians 1887-1984 : a roll of all Australians awarded the George, Albert and Edward medals from 1887-1984 together with details of the incident for which the award was granted, Fagg, Christopher M., 1988
    • Order of Australia, 1975-1995 : the first twenty years, Kirkland, Frederick, 1995
    • Imperial honours and awards to Australians 1901-1992, Maton, Michael, 1996
    • Australian bravery decorations, Commonwealth of Australia, 1979
    • Australian bravery decorations, Commonwealth of Australia, 1988
    • Ceremonial parade, on the occasion of the presentation of the Queen's and regimental colours to 4th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment by His Excellency, the Governor-General, the Right Honourable Viscount De L'Isle, VC, PC, GCMG, GCVO, Adelaide Oval, 11th April 1965., De L'Isle, William Philip Sidney, 1st Viscount; Royal Australian Regiment; 4th Battalion, 1965
    • Gallantry decorations, 1996
    • Honours and awards presented to members serving with 2nd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment 1945-1995, Baker, John and Downey, Bob, 1997
    • Selected ribbons of the British Empire decorations, 195-
    • For the V.C., an annuity for life, Citizens' Life Assurance Co., Ltd.
    • Honours and rewards in the British Empire and Commonwealth, Pamm, Anthony N., 1995
    • Honours and titles, Publishing Services; Central Office of Information, 1996
    • The Order of the British Empire to Australians : 1917-1989, Maton, Michael, 1998
    • Imperial orders to Australians : 1901-1989, Maton, Michael, 1999
    • A roll of imperial honours bestowed on Australians 1901-1989, Maton, Michael, 1999
    • The Distinguished Flying Cross to Australians, Maton, Michael, c2000
    • A century of Australian bravery, Maton, Michael, 2001
    • Gallantry and distinguished service awards to the Royal Australian Air Force in the Second World War, Maton, Michael, 2002
    • Development of the system of honours and awards in Australia, Jones, W. H., 1987
    • Australian honours and awards. Information Paper., 1984
    • The Australian honours system., Awards and National Symbols Branch; Department of Administrative Services, 1991?
    • Foreign awards to Australia from World War One to the Korean War, Bulow, Kerry, 2000
    • Women and awards : honouring Australian women, 2002
    • Sequence for wearing ribbons of Australian decorations and medals, Frewen, J. J., 1984
  • Report
    • A matter of honour : the report of the Review of Australian Honours and Awards., Petre, Clare, 1995
    • Media release by Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair, AC Chairman of the Council for the Order of Australia, 1997
  • Resource Section
  • Edited Book
    • Service 1993, Kirkland, Frederick, 1993
    • Service 1995, Kirkland, Frederick, 1995
    • Order of Australia, 1996-1997; & Service, Kirkland, Frederick, 1997
  • Journal
    • List of Queenslanders who have been awarded honours in the Imperial and Australian honours systems, Protocol and Hospitality Branch; Premier's Dept; Queensland, Annual
    • The London gazette, 1666-
    • Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 1901-1973
  • Journal Article
    • Queen honours Queensland racism, 1977
  • Newspaper Article
    • Honours for Aborigines, 1971
  • Site Exhibition

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Northcote papers [PRO 30/56] [microform] 1904-1908
  • Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection
    • Jean Fleming Arnot - personal and professional papers, 1890-1995

Related entries

  • Related Exhibitions
    • Faith, Hope, Charity - Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989