Release type: Media Release


Time to honour local teachers


The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education

Today I’m launching a campaign with former Governor-General of Australia, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd), to encourage more Australians to nominate a teacher for an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Yesterday, on Australia Day, 517 OAMs were awarded.

Only one was a working teacher.

It’s time to change that.

In the last four years, more than 3500 people have been awarded an OAM.

Only 12 were classroom teachers.

There aren’t many jobs more important than being a teacher.

The last few years of COVID and home schooling have reminded all of us who are parents just how important and difficult the work our teachers do is.

But this hasn’t led to an increase in nominations for OAMs.

We have a teacher shortage crisis at the moment.

Last August I convened a Teacher Workforce Roundtable in Canberra, attended by principals, teachers and other education experts.

One of the things teachers told me there was the need to raise the status of teaching and respect for the profession.

This is just one way to do that.

It is one of 27 actions Education Ministers signed off in December with the release of the National Teacher Workforce Plan.

Quotes attributable to General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd)

“Local community heroes deserve greater recognition in the Australian Honours system.

“There are no greater local heroes than teachers in classrooms around Australia giving our kids the greatest gift – an education.

“In every suburb and town and remote location, our hardworking teachers spend years and decades of their lives sharing knowledge, setting our kids up for bright futures.

“I encourage local communities and organisations to get together and nominate your local dedicated teachers for one of Australia’s highest honours – the OAM.”

Quotes attributable to Patrick Gorman MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister

“Community nominations ensure the success of our Australian Honours system.”

“As the son of two teachers, I know the important role teachers play in their local communities and the need to celebrate teaching on the national stage.

“This year, please take the time to nominate a teacher who goes above and beyond for their students and the wider community.”

There are four easy steps to nominating someone for an Order of Australia Medal:

  • Make sure the teacher is an Australian citizen or permanent resident and get the nomination form from
  • Fill out the nomination with teacher’s name and contact details and provide your contact details
  • Explain why your teacher deserves an OAM
  • List four referees to support your nomination

The nomination form is here: Order of Australia Nomination Form (