The Employer Support Awards are designed to formally recognise civilian employers committed to supporting reservists in their workplace. They acknowledge employers that have gone above and beyond for their reservist employees, over a sustained period or for a special effort to enable the member to complete their Reserve commitments.

Employer Support Awards

The Awards are very well received in the business community and the public sector. While the award program does not provide any direct financial or commercial gain to employers, it does offer the chance to give employers the formal public recognition they deserve.

The Employer Support Awards are held in each state and territory and feed into the annual National Employer Support Awards each year. The categories are small, medium and large private sector, public sector, Defence public sector, and not-for-profit.

The Awards will be announced across the country in the following regions:

  • Australian Capital Territory and region
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory and Kimberley region
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

Employer Support Award Nominations are Closed

Nominations for the Employer Support Awards are now closed.

Employer Support Award Nomination

The Process

Nominations: Annually, reservists are invited to nominate their civilian employer for an Employer Support Award. The nomination consists of answering two questions, in which the reservist should endeavour to provide as many relevant examples of support from their civilian employer over the last 12 months. 

Once the nomination has been submitted, the civilian employer nominee will receive an email from the ADFRES web form, inviting them to further support the nomination with an opportunity for them to share why supporting their reservist employee is important to the organisation. This is not compulsory, however will be shared with the panel during the selection panel.

Selection: Nominations from each region are considered by the region’s selection panel to determine the winners of each of the six categories below:

  • Small Private (0 to 19 employees)
  • Medium Private (20 to 199 employees)
  • Large Private (200+ employees)
  • Not-For-Profit
  • Public Sector
  • Public Sector Defence

Each regional selection panel is chaired by the Assistant Director, ADFRES Regional Engagement and is made up of regional representatives from Navy, Army, Air Force and an independent industry/business representative.

Each panel member is provided a nomination pack in order to independently score and provide commentary on each individual nomination for that region. 

If there is only a single nomination in any one category, the panel will not afford it any less scrutiny, simply because it is the sole nomination. A scoring matrix is used to gauge the strength of all the nominations. The panel will also assess the quality of the nomination on its merits, regardless of how many nominations there are within a category. If the nomination is not meritorious, it will not be awarded a win. 

The awards ceremony: Every year in each region, certificates and awards are presented to employers at a formal awards ceremony. The employer nominee and nominating reservist are invited to attend this ceremony; attendance is invite only. Each category winner and any applicable honourable mentions are presented on the night by the Head of Joint Support Services Division. 

National Employer Support Awards: Each regional category winner is placed in to the national pool for consideration for a National Employer Support Award. The National Employer Support Awards are determined by a national selection panel and follows the same process as the regional selection panels. The difference being that the national selection panel is chaired by the Director ADFRES with Canberra-based representatives.

The National Employer Support Awards are strictly invite only and attended by Ministers and senior Defence officials, demonstrating the importance placed on these Awards.

For further information on the Employer Support Awards please contact our Regional Engagement team at 1800 DEFENCE or via the contact us page.

If your organisation also supports veteran employees, their partners or you’re a current serving member, consider nominating your workplace for the Prime Minister’s Veterans Employment Awards. To find out more and nominate, visit the Veterans Employment website.

Prince Of Wales Awards

The scheme seeks to reward SERCAT 3 to 5 personnel (active reservists) and their civilian employers for their dedication and commitment to ADF service. It provides an opportunity for reservists to undertake a training or development activity that is related to and directly benefits their civilian occupation or profession.

The experience and knowledge gained from a successful activity will provide ongoing benefits to the civilian employer and workplace. The scheme also promotes cooperation and support between Defence and civilian employers.

The activity undertaken is not prescriptive, and may comprise:

  • a training course either held in Australia (physical or virtual attendance) or overseas (physical or virtual attendance)
  • a conference, convention or symposium held in Australia (physical or virtual attendance) or overseas (physical or virtual attendance).

How do I apply?

Nominations are called for annually through internal communication channels, website publications and via our social media channel.

To be eligible for consideration, you must:

  • be a member of the Reserve in Service Categories (SERCATs) 3 to 5 rendering Defence service (including training)
  • hold substantive rank of:
    • Navy - Leading Seaman to Lieutenant Commander, including Chaplain Division 1 and 2, and Maritime Spiritual Wellbeing Officer Class 1 and 2
    • Army - Corporal to Major
    • Air Force - Corporal to Squadron Leader
  • have rendered a minimum of 20 reserve service days per year in the three financial years immediately prior to their POWA application
  • have not undertaken more than three months Service Option (SERVOP) C (Continuous Full-Time Service) in the 12 months prior to the POWA application closing date
  • remain a SERCAT 3 to 5 member throughout the POWA nomination, selection and award use period
  • not be subject to any disciplinary or adverse administrative action relating to their performance, conduct or behaviour.

Applications for this award are developed in close cooperation with the support and endorsement of the Reserve member’s civilian employer.

Applications must be submitted via their relevant service headquarters for final endorsement.
Service Headquarters can be contact via:

POWA applicants must be in full-time or part-time civilian employment and receive the endorsement of their employer.

Prince of Wales Award Applications

Due to the application form being a smart form, some users may experience issues when trying to access the PDF, should this occur please ensure that that latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is downloaded. This can be done via

Applicants that continuing to have issues accessing the application form are encouraged to contact The ADF Reserves and Employer Support Team via

Reservists can access further information about the POWA through their unit chain-of-command, or by the contact us page.

Tasman Scheme

Important update: To make sure Defence is compliant with the current government guidance on COVID-19, the Tasman Scheme is on hold until further notice.

The Tasman Scheme is a bilateral personnel activity between the ADF and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The Scheme seeks to reward selected ADF Reserve junior officers and ADF Reserve junior non-commissioned officers for their overall performance, dedication and commitment to Reserve service and to promote interoperability between the ADF and NZDF.

The Tasman Scheme allows selected ADF Reserve junior officers and junior non-commissioned officers to travel to New Zealand for up to a two-week secondment with a NZ military unit, preferably of capability similar to that of the ADF Reserve member’s unit.

Any Navy, Army or Air Force reservist of the substantive rank of Lance Corporal (E) and Corporal (E), and for junior officers Sub Lieutenant (Navy), Lieutenant / Second Lieutenant (Army), or Flying Officer / Pilot Officer (RAAF), with a minimum of three years of Reserve service is eligible to be nominated for the Tasman Scheme by their Commanding Officer or Officer Commanding.


How do I apply? 

Applications are called for annually, through internal Defence communication channels. A competitive selection process is used to decide the winners of this award.

You can be nominated for the Tasman Scheme if you satisfy a number of criteria.

You must be:

  • an Army, Navy or Air Force reservist (SERCATs 3-5, depending on your service)
  • substantive rank of Lieutenant (E), Corporal (E), Lance Corporal (E) or Private Proficient (E), and
  • a serving member, with at least three consecutive years of effective Reserve service including the period prior to nomination.

Serial Action Time frame


Publicise Tasman Scheme

September to December


Draft application

By 31 March


Submit application

By 30 April


Review applications and conduct interviews

May to June


Head JSSD approval

By 30 June


Tasman Scheme secondments

Post 01 July


Reservists can access further information about the Tasman Scheme through their unit chain-of-command, or by contacting the Defence Reserves Support Policy and International Engagement team on 1800 DEFENCE or via the contact us page.


Employer Support Payment Scheme

Online Claims System