[King George V knights Sir John Monash on the battlefield]In 1975, on the recommendation of the Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, The Queen approved the creation of a three level Order of Australia. The government intended that it would supersede all other honours for Australian purposes.The Queen is the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia and the Governor-General is the Principal Companion. As Chancellor, the Governor-General is charged with the administration of the Order. The Official Secretary to the Governor-General is the Secretary of the Order.…Knights  and Dames….  The Fraser Liberal Government (1975–83) began recommending Imperial honours again and added a fourth level of knight (or dame) to the Order of Australia. .This level was removed by the Hawke Labor Government (1983–91). Proposals to restore this were rejected by the Howard Liberal Government (1996-2007)…Imperial honours….   The awards of knighthoods and ranks in Imperial honours orders continued to be recommended by State Coalition governments, but were suspended under State Labor governments. They were brought to an end by The Queen in 1994. Knights and dames and others holding Imperial honours retain legal recognition, for instance in the Australian Order of Precedence.…Sovereign’s personal honours ….  The Queen of Australia may  confer honours upon Australians where these emanate from her personally rather than on the advice of government, in particular the Order of the Garter (last awarded to former Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen, 1994), the Order of the Thistle (last awarded to former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, 1963), the Order of Merit (last awarded to Dame Joan Sutherland, 1991), the Royal Victorian Order (the Knighthood was last awarded to David Smith, 1990), and the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (for services to St John Ambulance).…a solution?…The absence of a fourth level of the Order of Australia makes it difficult to compare with imperial and foreign orders. In the meantime politicians who object to imperial knighthood seem to have no objection to accepting foreign knighthoods, and to seeking approval to the retention of the honorific “ the Honourable”.Australian honours do not obtain great recognition internationally in contrast with knighthoods – henc ethe high take up of the offer of the New Zealand government to allow certain recitionet of NZ honours to take one.The objection to knighthood sdoes not seem to be to the knighthood itself but rather to the titles. We have suggested a compromise in these columns based on a precedent offered by bishops of the Church of England.For some time it has been the practice of Anglican bishops to refuse the accolade, that is the dubbing, the stroke on the shoulder with the sword, and consequently, the title “Sir”. This is because a knight would once give military service to the king, and the clergy did not think this appropriate for them.  So when they accepted a knighthood, they would not them take the title, “Sir”. This was also the practice in Australia among Anglicans, Sir Marcus Loane being an exception.  Catholic bishops in Australia would normally take the accolade, and proudly used the title granted by their Sovereign. You can imagine that there might have been a tinge of regret among the Anglican bishops (and their wives) when they read or heard of the activities of, say, Sir Norman Cardinal Gilroy or Archbishop Sir James Duhig. Perhaps this Anglican practice provides the solution. Reinstate the AK and the AD, but allow recipients to reject the accolade. Those who don’t want the title could reject the accolade; those who were happy with it could accept it.  Is this the solution?