Australia scraps knighthoods, damehoods

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (AAP)
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (AAP)

Australians aspiring to one day be called Sir or Dame have had their dreams cut short today, with the government announcing it would be scrapping knighthoods and damehoods from the Order of Australia.

The move came after the Queen approved a recommendation from Cabinet to amend the Letters Patent, which guides the Order of Australia.

"The Cabinet recently considered the Order of Australia, in this its 40th anniversary year, and agreed that knights and dames are not appropriate in our modern honours system," Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement today.

"Awards in the Order of Australia are an important way of honouring the achievements and service of many Australians, including those unsung heroes who might not otherwise be recognised outside their local communities."

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott reintroduced the honours in 2014, after they were outlawed in 1986 under the government of Bob Hawke.

They were first created in 1976 under Malcolm Fraser.

The change would not affect current knights or dames of the Order, Mr Turnbull said.

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