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.
The list below is in alphabetical order to make it easier to find the information you seek.
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|
|Distinguished Service Medal (Australia) 5||DSM||DSM|
|Public Service Medal (Australia)||PSM||PSM|
|Australian Police Medal||APM||APM|
|Australian Fire Service Medal||AFSM||AFSM|
|Ambulance Service Medal (Australia)||ASM||ASM|
|Emergency Services Medal (Australia)||ESM||ESM|
|Medal of the Order of Australia||OAM||OAM|
|Order of St John 3||Varies|
|Distinguished Conduct Medal 2, 5||DCM|
|Conspicuous Gallantry Medal 2, 5||CGM|
|Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying) 2, 5||CGM|
|George Medal 2||GM|
|Conspicuous Service Medal||CSM||CSM|
|Australian Antarctic Medal||AAM||AAM|
|Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry 2||QPM|
|Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Gallantry 2||QFSM|
|Distinguished Service Medal (UK) 2, 5||DSM|
|Military Medal 2||MM|
|Distinguished Flying Medal 2||DFM|
|Air Force Medal 2||AFM|
|Sea Gallantry Medal 2||SGM|
|Queen’s Gallantry Medal 2||QGM|
|Royal Victorian Medal||RVM||RVM|
|British Empire Medal 2||BEM|
|Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service 2||QPM|
|Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service 2||QFSM|
|Reserve Force Decoration||RFD||RFD|
|Member of the Australian House of Representatives||MP|
|Member of the Legislative Assembly||MLA|
|Member of the Legislative Council||MLC|
|Member of the House of Assembly (Tasmania)||MHA|
|Justice of the Peace||JP|
|Special Justice (South Australia)||SJ|
Vice Regal Appointments
|Aide-de-Camp to the Governor-General or State Governor||ADC|
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:
|Date||Imperial award||Australian award|
|1975||GC||George Cross||CV||Cross of Valour (Australia)|
|18 Oct 1989||RRC & ARRC||Royal Red Cross||NSC||Nursing Service Cross (Australia)|
For ADF Personnel
|Date||Imperial award||Australian award|
|15 Jan |
|DCM||Distinguished Conduct Medal||SG||Star of Gallantry|
|CGM||Conspicuous Gallantry Medal|
|DSO||Distinguished Service Order|
|1991||DSC||Distinguished Service Cross (UK)||DSC||Distinguished Service Cross (Australia)|
|1991||DSM||Distinguished Service Medal (UK)||DSM||Distinguished Service Medal (Australia)|
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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