Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal Regulations

The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal was established in 1999 by the Australian Government as part of the Australian honours and awards system.  This Medal will honour members of recognised Australian groups which render humanitarian service overseas in hazardous circumstances such as war zones, during peacekeeping operations or in times of  natural  disaster or civil strife. Australian groups may be part of, or operating under, the direction  of the United Nations, other international organisation or Australian or international non-Government organisations.
The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal is placed just below the Police Overseas Service Medal in The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards.
The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal was designed by Balarinji of Sydney.  The central symbol is the Australian eucalyptus tree, spreading its branches out from the Australian land at the base of the Medal, to the world. The world is symbolised by the circle, which encloses the tree.  Surrounding the circle of the world is a circle of gum nuts, symbolising life after disaster – the regeneration of eucalyptus seeds following bush fire ensures the survival of the Australian bush.  Just as humanitarian service assists recovery and restores celebration of life.  The style of motif is contemporary Australian with an indigenous base.
The medal reverse repeats the ring of gum nuts, and details the award and recipient.
The colours of the ribbon are metallic gold and eucalyptus green.  Gold symbolises the Australian sun, optimism and hope.  Eucalyptus green continues the re-generation symbolism of the medal design.

Award of the Medal

The Governor-General may, on the recommendation of the Secretary, award to a person who has given eligible service during a declared operation the Medal and clasp.

Wearing of the Medal

Evening functions

On occasions such as evening receptions and dinners where decorations are prescribed, holders of the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal should wear the miniature on the left breast.

Day functions

When attending day functions where decorations are prescribed, such as Anzac Day or Remembrance Day ceremonies, the full-size insignia is normally worn.  It is generally worn on the left breast.

Everyday use

The ribbon bar may be worn with all forms of dress at the discretion of the holder.  However, it should not be worn at the same time as full-size or miniature medals.

Amendments to Regulations, Declarations and Determinations