Australian Sports Medal

The Australian Sports Medal is an award given to recognise achievements in Australian sport to commemorate Australian participation in major sporting events. Original recipients of the award included competitors, coaches, sports scientists, office holders, and people who maintained sporting facilities and services. During the original period of its award in 2000–2001, over 18,000 medals were awarded. The award was permanently reactivated in 2020 to commemorate Australian contributions and participation in major multi-sport events.

Australian Sports Medal

Obverse of medal and ribbon
Awarded forSporting achievements [1]
DescriptionIntroduced to recognise Australian sporting achievements.
Presented byAustralia
EligibilityAustralian Citizen
StatusCurrently issued
Established23 December 1999
First awarded8 February 2000
Last awarded2022 Special Honours
Order of Wear
Next (higher)80th Anniversary Armistice Remembrance Medal[3]
Next (lower)Centenary Medal[3]


  • The medal is circular and made of nickel-silver with a highly polished finish. The obverse design symbolises Australian sport featuring the stars of the Southern Cross, and lines depicting the athletics track at the Australian Sports Stadium.
  • The reverse features the same lines as the obverse symbolising the athletics track, with the words ‘to commemorate Australian sporting achievement’ appearing in the raised rim of the medal. The reverse is also marked with the year ‘2000’.
  • The medal is suspended from a 32 mm ribbon by a connector piece and ring. The ribbon’s colours are Australia’s national sporting colours green and yellow.


The Prime Minister announced the creation of the Australian Sports Medal on 31 December 1998 and was formally established on 23 December 1999 by Letters Patent. The medals were first awarded during the year 2000 and were discontinued in 2001.

On 4 December 2020, the Queen of Australia assented to amendments to the regulations for the Australian Sports Medal, which reactivated awards to commemorate Australian sporting participation in major multi-sports events, including:[4][5]

How it is awarded

The Australian Sports Medal is awarded by the Governor-General. This commemorative medal was introduced to recognise Australian sporting achievements. The medal acknowledges a range of Australians who, in different ways, contributed to the nation’s sporting success. Recipients included former competitors, coaches, sports scientists, office holders, and people who maintain sporting facilities and services. Most of the medals were presented to people following their nomination by the sports community. Peak sports bodies recognised or funded by the Australian Sports Commission were given quotas according to a formula based on the number of their registered competitors. All Australian parliamentarians could make nominations. The Australian Sports Medal does not carry a post-nominal entitlement.

With the reactivation of the award in 2020, details regarding the eligibility criteria, administration and application process have yet to be released, and new applications are not yet accepted for the award. On announcing the reactivation of the medal on 18 December 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the medal "will enable official members of Australian teams who participate in eligible international multi-sport events to be awarded the medal [...] The Australian Sports Medal will be awarded to eligible Australian team members and officials in recognition of their participation at international multi-sport events, and a number of international events for people with a disability."[6]


The Australian Sports Medal has been awarded to various notable sportsmen and women, and among them are the following:

  • Gary Ablett, Sr
  • Willie Carne. For contribution to Australia's international standing in the sport of rugby league
  • Cathy Freeman
  • Rod Laver
  • Tim Macartney-Snape. For service to mountaineering.[7]
  • James Hardy (sailor). for being an Olympic Australian sailor and America's Cup skipper
  • Bob Fordham. For services to Australian rugby union.

See also


  1. "Australian Sports Medal" Archived 16 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 June 2011
  2. Medal Yearbook 2013. Honiton, Devon: Token. 2013. p. 396. ISBN 978-1-908-828-00-2.
  3. "The Order of Wearing of Australian Honours and Awards" (PDF). It's an Honour. Australian Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 February 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  4. "Australian Sports Medal". It's an Honour. Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  5. "Australian Sports Medal Regulations 2020" (PDF). Governor-General of Australia. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  6. Morrison, Scott (18 December 2020). "Australian Sports Medal" (Media Release). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  7. "Search Australian Honours". Australian Government. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
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