Ribbon Bar for the National Medal (Specimen), Australia, 1975.
'The National Medal recognises 15 years of service by individuals in government organisations such as ambulance, correctional, emergency, fire and police forces, or voluntary organisations such as lifesaving or search and rescue groups. Long Service awards also recognise long-term diligent members of the armed forces'.

Physical Description

A rectangular ribbon bar for the National Medal it has alternating gold and blue stripes. The back has two pins for attachment to clothing

Obverse Description

Yellow and blue striped ribbon bar.

Reverse Description

Yellow and blue striped ribbon bar with two stick pin attachments.


The National Medal was established in 1975 as one of the first three elements of the Australian honours system.

When the medal was first introduced it recognised 15 years of diligent service by members of the Australian Defence Force, Australian police forces, and fire and ambulance services.

In 1982, eligibility changed. The Defence Force Service Awards were introduced recognising long service in the Australian Defence Force. Eligibility for the National Medal progressively expanded to include people who had participated in part-time and volunteer service, members of the Australian Protective Service and correctional and emergency services.

In 1997 the government commissioned a review of the National Medal. Two significant features were added: eligibility was extended to include members of qualifying volunteer search and rescue groups provision was made for an individual's service to be aggregated more easily across different qualifying organisations. The new regulations were formally introduced on 18 June 1999 by Letters Patent.

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