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Australian Merchant Navy Awards Council

Award categories and criteria

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Australian Merchant Navy service cross

Applicants must have a personal record of character, conduct and efficiency acceptable to the Council, and all applications must be on the approved application forms available from the Registrar of the Council.
or each additional 15 years service the Council may award a Laurel Clasp to the Award.
The next of kin of a deceased seafarer may make application for the Award in the name of such deceased 
The Service Cross is a service award and is first in order of precedence of the Council Awards.

Application Process

Applicants can choose the online submission form or download a full PDF form below. If all criteria are met for award the award fee will be payable directly to the Award council agent the Tasmanian Numismatic consultants. The current fee is $120 AUD to cover costs of the medals production and administration. The Council will review all applications and if possible will make arrangements for awards to be presented on ceremonial days (such as rememberance days and Australia day etc.)  where possible by local AMNAC luminaries or the council political patron. The council reserves the right to scrutinize all criteria and ensure the applicant is applying in good faith and of excellent character. The council reserves the right to question any applicants bona fides and may request the submission of supporting evidence.  The process may take time to complete and the council will do their best to expedite all applications as they are received. 

Our Registrar will advise an approved applicant by email, advising if they are successful. A successful applicant after receiving this advice will then be contacted by our Special Agent, Foxhole Medals with the details to procure your award including payment details.


Other AMNAC Awards 

Persons interested in nominating mariners for both the meritorious medal and commendation should be address supporting letters and evidence to the Council through the Registrar for consideration by the Council. Nominations should include detail on how the recipient meets the criteria outlined above, a copy of the criteria can be obtained from the Registrar.

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Online application

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Capt. Ian GRAY MNI

Ian is a Marine surveyor with 35 years in the industry. Ian has commanded various vessels throughout his career and continues to pass his extensive knowledge to New entrants as a Tafe teacher and education consultant. Ian is an active member of the RAN reserve and Chair of the Merchant Navy Awards Council.


AMNAC's role and structure

The Australian Merchant Navy Awards Council, the role of which is “to ensure due national and community recognition of the contribution made by merchant seamen to the development and prosperity of the nation in both peace and war.”

The Council comprises 5-8 maritime luminaries representing Industry (Unions and employers) with a Registrar drawn from their number. The Registrar is responsible for the day-to-day processing of applications for long service and preparing the nominations for recognition of meritorious and commendable service by the Council. 


History of the AMNAC

The AMNAC came into being by assembly as an autonomous entity by merchant seamen on the second of June 1998. It was the assembly's intention the AMNAC be for the benefit of merchant seamen. The AMNAC is charitable by nature and the funded by generosity of personal and industry participants on a non-profit basis with members of the Council giving freely of their time and resources in an honorary capacity. 

The AMNAC functioned continuously without impediment until the death of its founding and tireless Executive Officer Captain D. A. Smith RFD* RD 1 April 2017. 

Regrettably, many records were lost when Captain Smith's estate was dispersed which has led to break in continuity of AMNAC's efforts.

Council Achievements

  • Establishment of the Australian Merchant Navy Specific long Service and Honours Awards (1280 Awards presented) 

  • Written and verbal submissions to the Commonwealth inquiry into matters of Vietnam war service medals for crews of Australian ships, M.V. BOONAROO and M.V. JEPARIT (successful outcome). 

  • Ten year (1999 — 2009) verbal and written submissions to Australian governments concerning withholding of His Majesty’s Campaign Stars and War medals to several thousand Australian seamen who served (1942 — 1945) in the “Forgotten Fleet”. This major task was resolved to the satisfaction of Council. 

  • Flying of the Australian Red Ensign on the Hobart Cenotaph on days of national remembrance (for the first time in over 70 years). 

  • Establishment of the Award Winning Australian Merchant Navy Memorial at Bicheno (Tasmania) in 2003 and entrusting the children of Bicheno Primary School, all and singular, by Illuminated Address, as Guardians and Custodians of the memorial on behalf of the community. 

  • Arranging the formal exercising of the Freedom of Entry” by the tall Ship JAMES CRAIG proudly wearing the Australian Red Ensign (23rd February 2005) 

  • On the 24th June, 2008 His Excellency the Governor General proclaimed 3rd of September in each calendar year to be known as “Merchant Navy Day” 

  • Establishment of “The Australian Merchant Navy Memorial Board of Trustees” and “The Australian Merchant Navy Education Trust” 

  • The Royal Australian Mint introduced a 20 cent coin, “Australia Remembers Merchant Navy”, to honour the Nation’s Merchant Navy, at the request of Council. 

  • Supporting moves to have a Merchant Navy Specific Award established within the Australian system of honours and awards 

  • Crown lands licence for Memorial site is held by the Australian Merchant Navy Awards Council by a Trustee of the Council 


Governance and Records

The Council informally communicates 2-3 times per annum. The communications are facilitated by the registrar using Zoom or similar media. 

All decisions of the Council covering the award of Meritorious Medals, Commendations, policy and governance must be unanimous. 

Members of the Council  bear all their costs associated with their membership including travel and communications. Council members are not entitled to draw any fees against the Council.

The registrar to the Australian Merchant Navy Awards Council shall maintain such records of Awards as the Council may determine and all enquiries shall be directed to the registrar.
The Council may, at its absolute discretion, decline to enter into any discussions or correspondence on it’s business or deliberations and all contact with the Council shall be in writing and addressed to the registrar


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The Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU) has proudly represented thousands of professional merchant marine officers since 1880. The AMOU was formed when the Merchant Service Guild and the Australian Stevedoring Supervisors Association amalgamated in 1993.
The Merchant Service Guild of Australia (an association of Masters, Deck Officers, Marine Pilots, Tug Masters and Port Services Vessel Masters & Engineers) was the first Federal trade union registered when the Conciliation and Arbitration Act was made law by Federal Parliament in 1904. The first case decided under Federal employment law was the Merchant Service Guild of Australasia v Commonwealth Steamship Owners Association in 1905.
With a proud history extending back to early Australian shipping, the AMOU represents and progresses the lives of all professional, administrative, supervisory and technical employees in the maritime and stevedoring industries including Port and Marine Authorities.

Supporters and Sponsors



The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE) is the union representing the industrial and professional interests of marine & power engineers in Australia.
Members of AIMPE work on  a wide range of ships and other vessels including tankers, bulk ships, offshore oil and gas industry vessels, FPSOs, ro-ros, passenger ships, patrol boats, tugboats, ferries, dredges, MODUs, and the power generation industry.



The Maritime Union of Australia, a division of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union, fighting for workers rights since 1872.
The MUA came about as an amalgamation of the Seamen's Union of Australia and the Waterside Workers' Federation in 1993.
But its roots go back to the 19th century and the formation of the first maritime union in the world - the Seamen's Union of Australia in 1872.

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Contact information

Postal Address:

The Registrar

Australian Merchant Navy Awards Council

C/O Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers

202 / 20 Convention Centre Place,

South Wharf, Vic, 3006


Telephone contact:

Nathan Niven AIMPE 0422 815 201

Award agent:

Foxhole Medals

15/15 Stanton Place
Tasmania, 7170.


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