Public Service Medal
The Public Service Medal (PSM) recognises outstanding service of public sector employees. Receiving a PSM is an honour, with only 100 recipients awarded nationally each year.
The Public Service Medal (PSM) is a prestigious, internationally recognised award within the Australian Honours and Awards system.
The PSM recognises outstanding service of public sector employees. Outstanding service can be shown through:
- service excellence to the public, or to external or internal clients
- innovation in program, project or policy development
- leadership, including a member of a team
- achievement of more efficient processes, improved productivity or better service delivery.
NSW recipients are awarded at an investiture ceremony hosted by the Governor of NSW on behalf of the Governor-General. PSM recipients can use the post nominal 'PSM' to formally acknowledge their achievement.
The PSM is awarded in the name of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Nominations are invited twice a year for announcement on Australia Day and the King's Birthday.
All local, state and Commonwealth government public sector employees are eligible for the PSM. The award is available to any public sector employee regardless of grade or age. Long service alone is not enough reason for a nomination.
Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers are encouraged to consider nominating employees who deserve official recognition for their outstanding service.
Criteria and eligibility
All employees of the Australian Government and state, territory and local governments are eligible for the medal, except for members of the Defence Force and other uniformed services (police, fire, ambulance and emergency services) who are eligible for comparable awards. The medal is not reserved for senior officers - it is open to all levels of the public service. Past awards have been made across a broad range of government services and locations.
The PSM may be awarded only once to each recipient. A person who has received a PSM and gives further distinguished service may be nominated subsequently for an award in the Order of Australia. Similarly, a person who has received an award in the Order of Australia is not excluded from receiving a PSM, although at least 5 years should elapse between the announcement of awards, in accordance with established honours convention.
A person does not have to be an Australian citizen to be awarded the PSM. However, if the nominated person is not an Australian Citizen, the Australian Government, in accordance with honours convention, must seek the agreement of the government of the country of citizenship before the award can be made. If the nominee is not an Australian citizen, the nomination should clearly indicate this, and if the nomination is recommended to the Governor-General, the Governor General’s office will arrange for the Commonwealth Government to seek the appropriate agreement.
Awards of the PSM can be made to former public servants.
The PSM is not awarded posthumously.
Nominations for the PSM for employees of NSW state and local governments should be made to the NSW PSM Committee. To be eligible for consideration by the committee, nominations for employees of NSW state and local governments should include:
- a nomination statement detailing comprehensive information on the services or achievement for which the nomination is being made (2 to 3 pages)
- at least 3 signed referee statements which comment on the nominee’s service
- proof of endorsement by the relevant Departmental Secretary or Chief Executive Officer.
All information provided within a nomination is treated as confidential and if the nomination is successful the nominee will have the opportunity to advise whether they wish their address details to be published
How are nominations considered?
The NSW PSM Committee meets twice a year to consider eligible nominations for the Australia Day and King’s Birthday honours lists. After considering the nominations, the committee recommends a list of proposed recipients to their Premier or responsible Minister, who then makes a recommendation to the Governor. The Governor forwards the recommendations to the Governor-General who has the authority to approve the awards.
Frequently asked questions
Nominations for the PSM are accepted year-round with closing dates as follows:
- 1 August for the Australia Day Honours List (26 January)
- 1 February for the King’s Birthday Honours List (June).
Please contact the nominee’s agency to find out more about that agency’s own deadlines for seeking endorsement of the nomination by the relevant Departmental Secretary or Chief Executive Officer.
Nominations must be received by the Premier's Department by the close of business on the closing date to be considered for the upcoming announcement. If the closing date falls on a weekend, then nominations will be accepted until close of business on the Monday immediately following.
Yes. To be eligible for consideration by the NSW PSM Committee, nominations must be accompanied by at least 3 referee statements which comment on the services of the nominee. Statements should be on official letterhead (where appropriate) and signed by the referee. The NSW PSM Committee does not contact the referees to obtain statements on the nominator’s behalf.
Please contact the nominee’s agency to find out more about the deadlines for seeking endorsement of nominations by the relevant Departmental Secretary or Chief Executive Officer.
Nominators can find out the outcome of a nomination only when the Australian Honours are announced on either Australia Day (26 January) or the King’s Birthday (June) each year.
Before the announcement, the Honours Secretariat speaks with the nominee to make sure they accept the award.
The nominee is then asked not to discuss it until they are actually made a recipient upon announcement on Australia Day or the King’s Birthday.
- explain how the nominee went ‘above and beyond’ what would normally be expected of someone in the role
- write about what they have done, not just the offices they have held and for how long
- describe how their contribution has impacted on a particular field or community.