In 1975 the Australian Government decided to move away from recommending Australians for imperial awards for acts of bravery and instituted an AUSTRALIAN BRAVERY SYSTEM.

In 1991, the government constituted an Australian Gallantry set of awards and defence long service awards including, a Victoria Cross for Australia. (Pictured on the left below)

In conjunction with this move they also instituted the Order of Australia (for community / military service) and the National Medal for long service in the uniformed forces / services.

The Australian Bravery and Gallantry decorations systems consist of four levels of award plus a Group Citation.

Awards for Bravery and Gallantry are not freely given and indeed only five Crosses of Valour (pictured left) have been awarded and approximately 125 Stars of Courage. Indeed, Gallantry awards have even been more infrequently awarded.

'The importance of the Bravery and Gallantry Awards can scarcely be overstated. They are the ultimate recognition that an individual can receive. The Cross of Valour and the Victoria Cross are level one awards and rate equal to each other. Although listed after the Victoria Cross in the Order of Wearing, the clear intention was that they should be seen as equal'.

These awards have gone to men and women, for acts of bravery in Australia and overseas. They have been made in times of peace and war, and war-like situations. Nearly every tragedy in Australia has produced, as Sir Roden Cutler VC describes, " True Heroes ".

The Australian Bravery Association membership consists of all recipients of an Australian or Imperial Honour or Award for Bravery or Gallantry. This extends to other official groups who confer awards in recognition for Bravery or Gallantry such as Police Services, Fire Services and Royal Humane / Life Saving Society’s etc. Recipients of these awards are welcome as members. Other classes of membership are open to recipient’s families.

The Associations National Executive Committee consists of a National President, Deputy National President, National Secretary, National Treasurer, Membership Secretry, Public Officer, and National Vice Presidents representing each State and Territory of Australia. 

It should be noted that the Australian Honours System is administered independently of the Australian Bravery Association through the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat located at Government House in Canberra. The Secretariat also serves the Australian Bravery Decorations Council which considers nominations and make recommendations for awards to the Governor-General. Whilst the Australian Bravery Association plays no role in the determination of awards, it provides information and guidance on nomination for and acceptance of bravery awards at both state and federal level.