The Australian system of honours and awards was established in 1975. At this time The Queen approved the institution of the Order of Australia: “an Australian society of honour for according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service”.

Prior to 1975 Australians were recognised under the British honours system, also known as Imperial awards.

The Queen is the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia and the Governor as Chancellor is charged with the administration of the Order. The Official Secretary to the Governor-General is the Secretary of the Order of Australia.

From 1976 to 1986 and 2014 to 2015 there was provision for the appointment of Knights and Dames in the Order of Australia.

The Gippsland branch of the Order of Australia held its inaugural meeting at the Morwell RSL on 15th November 1998. That meeting saw Mal Bugg OAM, JP elected as Chairman, John Brookes OAM elected as Deputy Chairman & Secretary, and Eddie Grinpukel OAM, JP as Treasurer.