Public Service Medal

Recognising outstanding service

The Public Service Medal recognises outstanding public service of Australian, state, territory and local government employees. It is part of the official Australian system of Honours and Awards and is awarded by the Governor-General on Australia Day and the Queen’s Birthday.

Up to 100 Public Service Medals are awarded each calendar year. Of these, six can be awarded in Western Australia. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal ‘PSM’.

Award criterion

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The single award criterion is ‘outstanding public service’ which includes:

  • service above and beyond the normal requirements of a position
  • special achievement or success in the performance of duty in difficult or unusual circumstances
  • sustained performance with a focus on outcomes and recognisable benefits to clients, the workplace or community.

Length of service should not be used as a basis for making nominations.


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The Public Service Medal:

  • is open to current employees of the Australian, state, territory or local governments at any level, except for members of the defence force, police, fire, ambulance and emergency services who are eligible for comparable awards
  • can be awarded to former public servants within 12 months of their retirement
  • can only be awarded once to each recipient
  • can be awarded to non-Australian citizens with agreement of the government of the country of citizenship (agreement sought by Governor-General’s office)
  • can be awarded to recipients of the Order of Australia, although at least five years should elapse between awards
  • is not awarded posthumously.

Preparing a nomination

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Anyone can make a nomination to the WA Public Service Medal Committee for WA State and local government employees.

Nominations must include:

1. Nomination form

2. Nomination statement

This needs to be prepared and signed by the nominator and be no longer than two pages. The statement should give a clear idea of how the nominee meets the criterion of outstanding public service under the following headings:

  • Service: In what role(s) has the nominee excelled? Describe the nature of the occupation, length of service and how the nominee’s contribution has exceeded expectations.
  • Achievement: How has the nominee demonstrated outstanding service? For example, has the nominee: shown innovation in program, project or policy development; provided excellence in leadership; achieved more efficient processes; improved productivity or service delivery? Detail key achievements that have resulted from the nominee’s involvement.
  • Impact: How has the nominee’s contribution had an impact on their organisation and its clients? What are the broader outcomes of the nominee’s work or the significance of the nominee’s efforts? How has their contribution had an impact on a particular field or community?

The statement should explain everything clearly and contain enough information to put the nominee’s contribution into context so the Committee can assess it relative to the duties normally expected of a person at a particular level.

It may be helpful to assume that the Committee doesn’t know anything about the area the nominee is working in or has worked, or understand the significance of their achievements and impact.

3. At least three referee statements

In addition to the nomination statement, nominations require at least three signed referee statements providing comments on the nominees service. Each statement must:

  • detail specific examples of outstanding service by the nominee
  • be no longer than two pages
  • be signed by the referee
  • be on official letterhead, if possible.

Referee statements can be sourced from outside the public sector (for example, if the person is being nominated for outstanding service to a particular community or industry). There is no limit to the number of referee statements.

4. Endorsement by the nominee’s Director General or Chief Executive Officer

Nominations must be accompanied by written proof of endorsement by the nominee’s Director General or Chief Executive Officer.

Please note that:

  • if the Director General or Chief Executive Officer is the person submitting the nomination then further endorsement is not required
  • if the Director General is the person being nominated, endorsement must be sought from another Director General or Chief Executive Officer.

All information in a nomination is kept confidential.

Submitting a nomination

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Compile the necessary nomination documents and email to the WA Public Service Medal Committee Secretariat at

Nomination deadlines

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Nominations must be submitted to the WA Public Service Medal Committee Secretariat by:

  • 1 February (or the following Monday if this falls on a weekend) for the Queen’s Birthday honours list (June)
  • 1 August each year (or the following Monday if this falls on a weekend) for the Australia Day honours list (26 January)

Late nominations are not considered.

Consideration of nominations

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Nominations are considered by the Western Australian Public Service Medal Committee which comprises:

  • The Public Sector Commissioner (Chair, core member)
  • Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (core member)
  • Director General (agency rotated annually)
  • Director General (agency rotated annually)

Rotating members of the Committee are invited by the Chair. Tenure of rotating members is for a period of one year with all members eligible for a second term.

The Committee meets twice a year to assess the nominations and recommend proposed recipients to the Premier. The Premier makes recommendations to the Governor-General who approves the awards.

The Honours Secretariat of Government House contacts proposed recipients to confirm acceptance of the award and arranges for announcement of the awards to appear in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette. Proposed recipients may decline the medal if they wish. After gazettal, the recipient will be notified by Government House of the arrangements for them to receive their medal at an official ceremony.

Page reviewed 19 May 2020