Victoria Cross for Australia
The Victoria Cross for Australia is awarded to a person who, in the presence of the enemy, displays the most conspicuous gallantry, or daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty.
The Victoria Cross for Australia was added to the Australian honours system by Letters Patent on 15 January 1991.
The Governor-General awards the Victoria Cross for Australia, with the approval of the Sovereign, on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence.
The Victoria Cross for Australia can be awarded to a member of the Australian Defence Force or another person as determined by the Minister for Defence. It can also be awarded posthumously.
A Victoria Cross for Australia recipient is entitled to use the post-nominals “VC”. A subsequent Victoria Cross for Australia to the same person entitles the recipient to use “VC & Bar”.
The medal is designed in the form of a cross pattée. In the centre is a lion guardant standing upon Saint Edward’s Crown. The words “For Valour” are inscribed below. The date of the VC action is engraved on the reverse.
The medal is suspended from a bar decorated with laurel leaves by a crimson ribbon. On the reverse of the bar, the recipient’s name, rank and unit are engraved.
Hancocks Jewellers of London has manufactured the Victoria Cross since its inception and it continues to make the Victoria Cross for Australia. The medal itself is cast (not struck like a coin or pressed using a die) and hand-finished by the Hancocks jewellers, who use metal from the bronze cascabels of two cannons captured during the Crimean War from the Russians (who, it seems, captured them from the Chinese some years earlier).