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Government to replace medals lost in natural disasters

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator the Hon David Feeney, today announced that the Government will relax the policy on replacement of Australian Defence Force (ADF) medals so that medals lost during the Queensland and Victorian floods, the impact of Cyclone Yasi and the fires in Western Australia can be replaced.

“Government policy for many years has been medals can only be issued to the ADF member who earned them,” Senator Feeney said.

“This usually means that medals cannot be replaced if they are lost or destroyed after the ADF member has died.”

Where medals are lost in natural disasters, however, this policy may be relaxed. This was done following the Victorian bushfires in 2009.

“While the Government is committed to maintaining the integrity of our system of military honours and awards, there are circumstances in which the Australian community rightly expects us to show greater flexibility in implementing the existing policy. I believe this unprecedented series of natural disasters is one of those circumstances,” Senator Feeney said.

“I have therefore decided that ADF medals may be reissued to the next of kin or other appropriate relative of deceased ADF members, if the medals have been lost or destroyed in the current natural disasters. Family members who have, in the course of these natural disasters, lost the medals of loved ones, may now make application for replacements.

“Unfortunately, however, only medals dating back to the First World War can be replaced. Medals for conflicts prior to this war are no longer in production.”

Applicants should use the application form and statutory declaration located on the Defence Honours and Awards website at:

Completed applications should be submitted to: Directorate of Honours and Awards
Department of Defence, PO Box 7952, Canberra BC, ACT 2610. Enquiries may also be directed to Defence Honours and Awards toll free on 1800 111 321.

Graham Hampton
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