The Bishop of the Diocese of Broken Bay wishes, from time to time, to acknowledge and honour the contribution of men and women to the life and Mission of the Church. Therefore, the Bishop has established a Diocesan Awards Committee to consider nominations for the honours and awards to encourage aspirations and ideals of the highest standards and value of the Catholic Church.

This Committee will provide the Bishop with a consistent and transparent framework for the encouragement, evaluation, and recommendation of nominations.

  1. Any person worthy of grateful recognition by the Church and by society can be nominated for consideration of an Award by the Bishop.
  2. Any person, including any clergy or Religious, or Church agency, commission, or similar group, can make nominations.
  3. A Nomination Form is to be completed.
  4. Nominations are to be confidential:
    i. The person being nominated should not be approached for information or advised of their nomination at any stage.
    ii. The Committee or the Diocese shall not respond to any requests made by nominators or other interested parties in respect of the progress of any particular nomination.
    iii. The information provided the Committee in a nomination will be used only to assist the Bishop and the Committee in considering the merits of the nomination.
  5. The process of assessment and recommendation may take up to two years.
  6. Recipients are to be advised in writing by the Bishop of the Award.
  7. In respect to Papal Awards, if the Bishop accepts the recommendations of the Committee, the Bishop shall forward the nomination to the Vatican Secretariat of State for consideration. The final decision on such Awards rests with the Holy See.

The three awards categories are:


The papal honours system dates for many centuries. Each honour or award has its own history and relevance.

The system of papal honours for laity is constituted by three separate Orders:

  1. The Order of Pius IX
  2. The Order of St Gregory the Great
  3. The Order of St Sylvester

The Pontiff may also grant the Pro Ecclesia et Pontrifice Cross, the Benemerenti medal.

Papal honours recognise those who have:

  1. Shown outstanding valour and bravery
  2. Carried out conspicuous deeds of merit
  3. Provided significant services to the Church maintaining unswerving fidelity to God and the Pontiff

The Diocesan Medal encourages and recognises outstanding contributions and service by members of the Diocese. It is awarded for outstanding service to parish, diocese, and community.

The Diocesan Medal is primarily intended to recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution in the context of their local parish. 

At the discretion of the Bishop, the Diocesan Medal may be awarded to a non-Catholic, recognising their support for, or contribution to, the work of the Diocese and its parishes.

Nominations for the Diocesan Medal are assessed in the same way as nominations for Papal Awards, but the decision to make the award rests solely with the Bishop rather than the Holy See.

Australian and other civic honours encourage and reinforce community and national aspirations, ideals, and standards by identifying role models.

Information about the Order of Australia can be found at

A person who is nominating a Catholic for a civic honour may write to the Diocese of Broken Bay Awards Committee (listed below) requesting that the Bishop, or another appropriate diocesan representative support the nomination.

The Committee is pleased to receive details of a person who it is suggested may be suitable to be nominated for Australian or other civic honours by the Bishop or Another appropriate diocesan representative.

The Diocesan Awards Committee has been appointed by the Bishop for the period November 2023 to November 2026 (renewable once).

Membership, comprising no less than six members, includes three ex officio and three appointed:
  1. The Vicar General (Chair)
  2. The Chancellor
  3. The Director of Communications
  4. A Member of the Council of Priests
  5. Two lay members with appropriate skills and knowledge.

The Diocesan Awards Committee will meet a minimum of twice a year.

Any person worthy of grateful recognition by the Church and by society can be nominated for consideration of an Award by the Bishop.

Nomination forms for the awards, requirements including referees, and where to submit forms can be downloaded here:

Papal Honours

Diocesan Awards

Civic Awards

If further information is required please email