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Faith, Hope, Charity
Australian Women and Imperial Honours:
About the Project

Faith, Hope, Charity: Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989 is a project undertaken by the Australian Women's Archives Project (AWAP), funded by the Commonwealth Office of the Status of Women (OSW). The bulk of the work for the project was carried out between April and November, 2002. AWAP is a project of the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW).

Exhibition text   Brief history of the Imperial Honours System in Australia

Within the broad scope of the project, which aimed to include Australian women recipients of Imperial Honours on the AWAP Register, we needed to make decisions regarding the meaning of 'Australian' and the dates within which we would identify women recipients. During this process we referred to the work of scholar Michael Maton, who explicitly deals which these questions in several texts about Australian and Imperial Honours.[1]


While the Australian system of Honours and Awards has largely usurped the Imperial System, in that Australian governments no longer recommend Australians for Imperial Honours, there are some exceptions which allow Australians to receive Imperial Honours. For example, Dame Joan Sutherland was appointed to the Order of Merit in 1991 'by The Sovereign in exercise of the Royal Prerogative'.[2]

While including such exceptions on the register, we decided to name the project according to the date range 1901-1989, the end date reflecting the year during which in practice, the Australian system of honours was accepted by all Australian states as the primary system for recognition of service to Australia.


The Australian Style manual for authors, editors and printers (6th edition) was used to guide our references to titles and honours during the project. Additional advice was sought from the Australian Honours Secretariat, Government House, Canberra.

Data Source

The data on honours presented in the Faith, Hope, Charity listings was extracted from the Australian Honours List, maintained by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (please refer to their disclaimer).

1. See, for example, Michael Maton, 'Introduction' in Maton, Michael 1996, Imperial honours and awards to Australians 1901-1992, Michael Maton, St Ives, NSW, pp.10-15.
2. Government House, 'The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards', 4 April 2002.