In January, my father announced that he had been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Today we attended the official ceremony at the beautiful Government House. It was a really nice ceremony. Typically, there were lots of officials, speeches, hand shaking, brass band, the national anthem. But it wasn’t too long-winded or overly sacred. And it was casual and friendly enough to make it feel wonderfully… Australian?

At the end of the event, my dad was handed a pack. It was like a medal showbag, full of medal goodies. It had 4 different versions of his medal – a full-sized one, a miniature, a ribbon bar and a lapel pin. A certificate, display box, instructions on how to store and clean it. And a little handbook with meticulous instructions on how to wear it and when and where he can wear each version of the medal. It was all pretty complicated, but interesting!