Have you ever seen someone’s name with a string of letters/abbreviations after it and wondered what they meant? Most people recognize that MD stands for Medical Doctor and CPA means Certified Public Accountant. Those are called post-nominals and consist of abbreviations or initials to indicate that the individual holds a position, office or honour.
Post-nominals are written without periods. If a person has more than one, a comma is inserted between them. When there are several post-nominals after someone’s name, honours are listed first in descending order of precedence, followed by degrees and memberships of learned societies in ascending order.
Order of Australia (OAM, AM, AO, AC)
Only the highest Order of Australia award a person receives is used for their post-nominal. This means a person receiving the OAM, AM and AC is addressed as Jane Smith AC not Jane Smith OAM AM AC.
Post-nominal initials associated with honours granted by the Sovereign take precedence over other post-nominal initials. The special nature of the Victoria Cross (VC), the George Cross (GC) and the Cross of Valour (CV) requires their post-nominals to come before all others. Some obsolete positions are not listed unless recipients who continue to use the post-nominals even after the order becomes obsolete are still living.
Postnominals in Order of Precedence >> Part 1 Part 2
The list below is in order of precedence.
Orders and Decorations
|since Oct 1992||before Oct 1992|
|Victoria Cross and Victoria Cross for Australia 1||VC||VC|
|George Cross 2, 5||GC|
|Cross of Valour 5||CV||CV|
|Knight / Lady of the Garter||KG / LG||KG / LG|
|Knight / Lady of the Thistle||KT / LT||KT / LT|
|Knight / Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath 2||GCB|
|Order of Merit||OM||OM|
|Knight / Dame of the Order of Australia 3||AK / AD|
|Knight / Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George 2||GCMG|
|Knight / Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order||GCVO||GCVO|
|Knight / Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire 2||GBE|
|Companion of the Order of Australia||AC||AC|
|Companion of Honour 2||CH|
|Knight / Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath 2||KCB / DCB|
|Knight / Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George 2||KCMG / DCMG|
|Knight / Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order||KCVO / DCVO||KCVO / DCVO|
|Knight / Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire 2||KBE / DBE|
|Knight Bachelor 2 (confers title of “Sir” / “Dame”)||no postnominals|
|Officer of the Order of Australia||AO||AO|
|Companion of the Order of the Bath 2||CB|
|Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George 2||CMG|
|Commander of the Royal Victorian Order||CVO||CVO|
|Commander of the Order of the British Empire 2||CBE|
|Star of Gallantry 5||SG||SG|
|Star of Courage (Australia)||SC||SC|
|Companion of the Distinguished Service Order 2||DSO|
|Distinguished Service Cross (Australia) 5||DSC||DSC|
|Member of the Order of Australia||AM||AM|
|Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order||LVO||LVO|
|Officer of the Order of the British Empire 2||OBE|
|Companion of the Imperial Service Order 2||ISO|
|Member of the Royal Victorian Order||MVO||MVO|
|Member of the Order of the British Empire 2||MBE|
|Conspicuous Service Cross (Australia)||CSC||CSC|
|Nursing Service Cross (Australia) 5||NSC||NSC|
|Royal Red Cross (1st Class, Member) 2, 5||RRC|
|Distinguished Service Cross (UK) 2, 5||DSC|
|Military Cross 2||MC|
|Distinguished Flying Cross (UK) 2||DFC|
|Air Force Cross (UK) 2||AFC|
|Royal Red Cross (2nd Class, Associate) 2, 5||ARRC|
|Medal for Gallantry||MG||MG|
|Bravery Medal (Australia)||BM||BM|
1 Refers to both the Imperial Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for Australia. Awarding of the Imperial
Victoria Cross to Australian citizens ended when the Victoria Cross for Australia was created as part
of the Australian Honours System in 1991. The Australian Victoria Cross has yet to be awarded.
There have been 96 Australians awarded the Victoria Cross.
2 These are Imperial awards. All Imperial awards made to Australian citizens after 5 October 1992 are
classed as foreign awards, and hence such Australian citizens are not entitled to use the associated
post-nominal letters. However, those presented with these awards before that date are still permitted
to use the post-nominal letters.
3 Post-nominals within the Order of St John are not recognised as notified in the Governor-General’s
media release of 14 August 1982.
4 Provision for further awards at the Knight & Dame level within the Order of Australia was removed by
Her Majesty The Queen on 3 March 1986 on the advice of the Prime Minister. Those who have been
awarded this rank are still permitted to use the title and the post-nominal letters.
5 In the period 1975-1991, for Australian citizens and ADF personnel, a number of Imperial awards were
replaced by Australian awards. See charts below:
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia article postnominal.
For more information visit the Australian government website http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/
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