Protocol Guidelines

Appendix 22, Commonwealth Table of Precedence

Within Australian society there is a listing of precedence whereby seatings and introductions can be made in the correct order. This list differs from Commonwealth to the States and indeed from state to state.

It should be noted with all tables that when a person is acting on behalf of any of the positions listed, they shall enjoy the precedence of the person for whom he is acting with the understanding the, where there is more than one person in the class that the person is acting in, then persons who are attending in their own right shall take precedence. Similarly a married couple shall enjoy the precedence of the spouse with the higher precedence. Thus be it the husband or wife who has the higher standing then they shall both enjoy that higher standing.

The States of South Australia and of Western Australia do not issue an official Order of Precedence. Therefore the Commonwealth Order of Precedence should be used as a guide when working within those jurisdictions.

Commonwealth – as Gazetted in Special Gazette No. S206 on Tuesday, 5 October 1982.

1. The Governor General.

2. a) The Governor of the State.

b) Governor of other States according to their date of appointment.
NB A Lieutenant-Governor of a State who is not also Chief Justice shall, when not administering the Government of the State, have, within the State, precedence immediately after the Chief Justice of the State.

c) The Administrators of the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island within their own Territories.

3. The Prime Minister.

4. The Premier within his/her own State. The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the Chief Minister of Norfolk Island within their own territories.

5. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives according to the date of appointment; if they are appointed at the same time, the President shall have precedence.

6. The Chief Justice of Australia.

7. a) Ambassadors and High Commissioners according to the date of presentation of their letters of Credence or Commission, or, in the case of High Commissioners who do not present letters of Commission, according to the date of arrival in Canberra.

b) Charges d Affaires en pied or en titre according to the date of the presentation of their letters of Credence.

c) Charges d Affaires and Acting High Commissioners according to the date of assumption of duties.

8. Members of the Federal Executive under summons.

9. The Administrators of Northern Territory and of Norfolk Island.

10. The Leader of the Opposition.

11. a) Former Governors-General according to the date of leaving office.

b) Former Prime Ministers according to the date of leaving office.

c) Former Chief Justices of Australia according to the date of leaving office.

12. The Premiers of the States according to the population of their respective States and then Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and of Norfolk Island.

13. The Lord Mayor within his City.

14. Justices of the High Court according to seniority.

15. a) The Chief Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

b) The President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.

. The Chief Justice of the State and, after him other Chief Justices according to seniority.

17. Privy Counsellors.

18. The Chief of the Defence Force.

19. Chief Judges of the Federal and Territory Courts according to the respective dates of first appointment to any of those offices.

20. Members of the Parliament of the Commonwealth.

21. Other Judges of Federal Courts and the Deputy Presidents of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission according to the respective dates of first appointment to any of those offices.

22. Lord Mayors of capital cities according to population.

23. Heads of religious communities according to the date of assuming office in Australia.

24. Presiding Officer or Officers of the State legislatures and after him or them the Presiding Officers of the other state legislatures according to the date of their appointment, then the Presiding Officers of the Northern Territory and the Norfolk Island legislatures.

25. Members of the State Executive Council under summons to the council and, after them, the members of the other State Executive Councils according to the population of their States, then the members of the Executive Council of the northern Territory.

26. The Leader of the Opposition in the State and, after him, the Leaders of the Opposition in the other States according to the population of their States, then the Leader of the Opposition in the Northern Territory.

27. Judges of the State and Territory Supreme Courts according to seniority.

28. Members of the Federal Executive Council not under summons.

29. Members of the State legislature and, after them, members of the other State legislatures according to the populations of their States, then members of the Legislative Assemblies of the Northern Territory and of Norfolk Island.

30. The Secretaries of Departments of the Australian Public Service and their peers and the Chiefs of the Australian Naval, General, and Air Staffs, according to the date of first appointment to an office within this group.

31. Consuls-General, Consuls and Vice-Consuls according to the date on which their recognition was granted.

32. Recipients of decorations and honours taking precedence over Knights Bachelor and Knights of various Orders (including Knights Bachelor), all according to precedence promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette Monday June 17 1996.