All nominations received at Government House are considered by the Council for the Order of Australia.
The Council for the Order of Australia is an independent advisory body that meets twice a year to consider all nominations and make recommendations to the Governor-General for awards within the General Division of the Order of Australia. The Council also recommends the level at which awards should be made.
The Council has 19 members. They include:
representatives of each State and Territory,
three ex-officio members, and
eight people appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. These people may be drawn from a cross-section of the community including leading public and sporting personalities.
The Council must establish the worthiness of each person nominated for an award. It determines whether the service of that person could be considered as over and above the normal call of duty, or what reasonably can be expected from someone in a similar position.
All Order of Australia awards are authorised by the Governor-General acting on the advice of the Council for the Order of Australia.
After the announcement of the Honours List, recipients are invited to attend an awards ceremony at Government House in the State where they live.
These award ceremonies are called Investitures and usually take place in April/May and September/October each year.