The Victoria Cross for Australia


The Victoria Cross for Australia is the pre-eminent award for acts of bravery in wartime and Australia’s highest military honour.
It is awarded to persons who, in the presence of the enemy, display the most conspicuous gallantry; a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice; or extreme devotion to duty.

About the award

The Victoria Cross is a Maltese Cross cast in bronze from cannons captured during the Crimea War (1854-1856).


The Victoria Cross for Australia was introduced as part of the Australian honours system in 1991. It replaced the Imperial Victoria Cross. The Imperial Victoria Cross was created by The Queen in 1856 and made retrospective to 1854 to cover the period of the Crimean War.

The Imperial Victoria Cross has been awarded to ninety six Australians in the following conflicts:
6 in the Boer War 1899-1902 64 in World War I 1914-1918 2 in North Russia 1919 20 in World War II 1939-1945 4 in Vietnam 1962-1972

Nine of the crosses awarded in World War I were for Australians at Gallipoli. While most recipients received the Victoria Cross while serving with Australian forces, five Australians received the award while serving with South African and British units.
The first award of the Victoria Cross for Australia was made in 2009 for action in Afghanistan.

Corporal Mark Gregor Strang Donaldson, VC was awarded the first Victoria Cross for Australia for most conspicuous acts of gallantry in action in a circumstance of great peril in Afghanistan as part of the Special Operations Task Group during Operation SLIPPER, Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan on 2 September 2008. 

A second Victoria Cross for Australia was awarded to Corporal BenjaminRoberts-Smith VC MG for the most conspicuous gallantry in action in circumstances of extreme peril as Patrol Second-in-Command, Special Operations Task Group on Operation SLIPPER on 11 June 2010. 

Corporal Daniel Alan Keighran VC was awarded the third Victoria Cross for Australia For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril at Derapet, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan as part of the Mentoring Task Force One on Operation SLIPPER on 24 August 2010. 

How it is awarded
The Governor-General awards the Victoria Cross for Australia, with the approval of the Sovereign, on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.
The Victoria Cross may be awarded posthumously. The post-nominal entitlement for the Victoria Cross is VC. The Victoria Cross is a Maltese Cross cast in bronze from cannons captured during the Crimea War (1854-1856).

Medal design
The Victoria Cross is a Maltese Cross cast in bronze from cannons captured during the Crimean War (1854-1856). The obverse of the Victoria Cross bears a crowned lion standing on a royal crown. The words ‘FOR VALOUR’ are inscribed on a semi-circular scroll beneath the crown.
The reverse of the cross is engraved with the date of the act of gallantry and the name, rank and unit of the recipient.

Medal ribbon
The VC ribbon is crimson and 38 mm wide. When the ribbon is worn alone a ribbon bar emblem in the form of a replica of the Cross is worn on the ribbon.

Medal composition

The Victoria Cross is a Maltese Cross cast in bronze from cannons captured during the Crimea War (1854-1856).

The Victoria Cross for Australia is identical to the original VC. It is a bronze cross with the obverse having a Crowned Lion standing on the Royal Crown with the words “FOR VALOUR” inscribed on a semicircular scroll below the Crown. The reverse has the date of the act for which the Cross is awarded engraved within a circle in the centre. The Cross is suspended by a ring from a seriffed “V” attached to a suspension bar decorated with laurel leaves.

POST NOMINAL: VC
INTRODUCED INTO THE AUSTRALIAN HONOURS SYSTEM:
by Letters Patent on 15 January 1991

More information
IT’S AN HONOUR WEBSITE: www.itsanhonour.gov.au

Victoria Cross for Australia Citations


Last Updated 22 February, 2009