Frequently Asked Questions


Q. I have just been advised by Defence that I am ineligible for a medal. Can I appeal this decision?

A. An individual is able to appeal directly to the Tribunal about their eligibility for a Defence honour or award but only after an application has been refused by Defence.

Further reading –FACT SHEET 05_Guidance for Applicants

Q. How do I submit an appeal for an award?

    • A. 1. Complete the form –

Form_Application for Review of Decision

This will cover basic information the Tribunal needs to know about you including:

  • Your personal details (name, etc);
  • Your service details;
  • Your contact details (postal/email address and phone number); and
  • A copy of the Defence decision to deny you an honour or award.

2. Prepare your appeal. As a minimum it should contain the following:

  • a concise summary of the issue;
  • a statement of what action or outcome is desired from the submission;
  • provision of as much relevant information as possible (including a copy of the Defence decision) to provide a clear understanding of the submitter’s understanding of the issue; and
  • fully documented evidence in support of the submission.

Further reading – FACT SHEET 04_Preparing an Application for Review

Q. What are the processes involved with an application for review?

A. The following is the standard procedure for considering applications for review of a decision:

  • On receipt of an application for review, a copy of the application will be forwarded by the Tribunal to Defence. Defence is given 30 working days to respond to the application.
  • A copy of the Defence response is forwarded to the applicant, who can, if he or she chooses to do so, provide the Tribunal with a written response.
  • It is usual practice of the Tribunal to then have a hearing with the applicant.  The purpose of this hearing is to give the applicant an opportunity to explain personally why they believe the decision of Defence is wrong and why they should be given the medal or award for which they had applied. Applicants can appear at the hearing in person or by telephone. The Tribunal will direct the manner of appearance. It is our experience that applicants usually prefer to appear by telephone.

Further reading – FACT SHEET 05_Guidance for Applicants

Q. Where can I view advice in regard to which awards the Tribunal is able to review?

A. The list of awards that the Tribunal can review is listed under Part 6 of the Defence Regulations located in the following document: Defence Regulation 2016

Q. What if I am not happy with the Tribunal’s decision? Is there a further avenue of appeal?

A. The Tribunal will not re-open a case after it has made its decision. If the appellant feels that the Tribunal has not been fair in its deliberations in relation to the matter under review, there are a limited number of avenues of appeal to explore.

Further reading – FACT SHEET 05_Guidance for Applicants


Q. How is an inquiry referred to the Tribunal?

A. From time to time, the Government will refer general eligibility issues relating to Defence honours and awards to the Tribunal for inquiry and recommendation. When this occurs, Terms of Reference (TOR) for the inquiry will be agreed by Government and the Tribunal will begin the inquiry with a nation-wide call for submissions.

Q. What are the processes involved with an inquiry?

A. The Tribunal will begin an inquiry with a nation-wide call for submissions. The Tribunal will consider the submissions received and then hold a series of public hearings, where those who the Tribunal invites to speak may do so.

Once the hearings are complete, the Tribunal will deliberate over the matter and then a report will be written and recommendations made. The Tribunal will then present its report to the Government for consideration.

Q. How long does an inquiry take before a report is available to the public?

A. No reporting date is usually set for an inquiry. However, an inquiry can take over 12 months to complete. This time does not include any subsequent considerations by Government.

Q. Why does the Tribunal report to Government when it conducts an inquiry rather than decide the matter itself?

A. Where the Minister directs the Tribunal to conduct an inquiry (section 110W of the Defence Act 1903 ) the Tribunal must hold an inquiry into the matter, and report to the Minister on the outcomes of the inquiry.  The report may include recommendations that the Tribunal considers appropriate and that arise out of, or relate to, the inquiry.

Q. Where can I view a report of an inquiry completed by the Tribunal?

A. Reports pertaining to inquiries conducted by the Tribunal are available on the publications section of this website.

by Ken McFadyen
Oil on canvas on hardboard, 1968

RAAF's first operation over North Korea
Robert Taylor
Oil on canvas, 1986