In 2015 we marked the 40th anniversary of the Australian Honours System. In recognition of this significant milestone, the Mint hosted a temporary exhibition entitled Valour, Courage, Bravery. This exhibition saw all of the Australian Bravery Decorations on display together for the first time.
The Australian Bravery Decorations are an important part of the Australian Honours System. These awards recognise acts of bravery by members of the community whose selfless acts of courage have inspired us.
In Valour, Courage, Bravery, eight recipients of Australian Bravery Decorations shared with us their stories of courage, their photos and their actual medals, to go on display together for the first time.
Australia’s very first Cross of Valour recipient, Mr Darrell Tree CV, has also provided some other objects that help to tell the dramatic, inspiring and tragic story of his attempted rescue of a crane driver and his son from electrocution in 1988.
There are five Bravery Decorations:
The Cross of Valour (CV), Australia’s highest civilian award for bravery, is awarded for acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.
The Star of Courage (SC) is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.
The Bravery Medal (BM) is awarded for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.
The Commendation for Brave Conduct is conferred for an act of bravery that is worthy of recognition.
The Group Bravery Citation, established in 1990, recognises collective acts of bravery by a group of people in extraordinary circumstances.
The Australian bravery medals were designed by Stuart Devlin, who also designed Australia’s first decimal coins. We proudly celebrate this link with the history of the Royal Australian Mint; and indeed several of the medals on display were also manufactured by the Mint.
Valour, Courage, Bravery is on display at the Royal Australian Mint from 15 August 2015. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Royal Australian Mint; the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat, Government House; and the Cross of Valour Association of Australia.
Please visit our acknowledgements page to learn those who the Royal Australian Mint wishes to thank the following individuals and organisations for their assistance in developing this exhibition.