Awards and honours

Post-nominals and titles of status show the awards and honours an individual has. List them in the correct order.

Use post-nominals in the correct order

Post-nominals are the shortened forms for academic awards and civil and military honours.

There is an order in which to write the post-nominals.

In summary, the rule is to write the highest honour first. The order is:

  • post-nominals for honours and awards
  • King’s Counsel (KC) or Senior Counsel (SC) or Justice of the Peace (JP)
  • university degrees and diplomas
  • membership of professional associations
  • membership of parliament.

Don’t use:

  • full stops or spaces within post-nominals
  • commas before or between post-nominals.


  • Professor Fiona Wood AM FAHMS
  • The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP
  • The Hon Linda Burney MP

Write titles before a person’s name in the correct order

Vice-regal and ecclesiastical titles and Australian Defence Force ranks usually precede all other titles.

Follow these with any other titles (such as ‘Dame’, ‘Sir’ and ‘Dr’) immediately before a person’s name.


  • His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)
  • The Right Reverend Dr Sarah Macneil
  • General Sir John Wilton KBE CB DSO

Release notes

The reference to ‘King’s Counsel’ replaced the reference to ‘Queen’s Counsel’ upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The digital edition consolidates information from the sixth edition and uses topic-specific pages to help users find what they need. It includes updated examples.

The sixth edition had substantial information on awards and honours spread throughout the manual, but concentrated in an appendix.

Examples in the digital edition do not follow the sixth edition’s requirement for a comma before and between post-nominals. This is consistent with this edition’s recommendation to use minimal punctuation.

The Content Guide had brief guidance for punctuating abbreviations of honours, awards and distinctions. The digital edition is consistent with that guidance.

About this page


Australian Bar Association (9 September 2022) Statement on the use of postnominals [media release], Australian Bar Association, accessed 12 September 2022.
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2016) It’s an honour, PM&C website, accessed 13 June 2020.
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia (n.d.) Australian honours and awards, The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia website, accessed 8 June 2020.


Anglican Diocese of Grafton (n.d) History, Anglican Diocese of Grafton website, accessed 10 June 2020.

Australian Council of Health and Medical Sciences (2020) Council of the Academy, Australian Council of Health and Medical Sciences website, accessed 8 June 2020.

Debrett’s (1991) Debrett’s handbook of Australia, Debrett’s Peerage (Australasia) & Collins, Sydney.

Department of Defence (n.d.) The order of wearing Australian honours and awards list, Department of Defence website, accessed 8 June 2020.

Gobbet H (2017) Indigenous parliamentarians, federal and state: a quick guide, Parliament Library, Parliament of Australia, accessed 8 June 2020.

Hyslop R (1992) Dear you: a guide to forms of address, AGPS Press, Canberra.

Joel A (1988) Australian protocol and procedures, 2nd edn, Angus & Robertson, Sydney.

Parliament of Australia (n.d.) Senators and members, Parliament of Australia website, accessed 8 June 2020.

The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia (n.d.) About the Governor-General, The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia website, accessed 8 June 2020.

This page was updated Monday 12 September 2022.

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