Andrew Harper, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR's representative to Jordan, says Australians "punch above their weight" in war zones and humanitarian disasters.
Mr Harper said he believed he had "one of the best jobs in the world". "I can contribute to improving the wellbeing of those who have fled what is possibly the world's biggest calamity for decades," he said.
"I have a fantastic team working with a Government that, despite its limited resources, has proven it is prepared to offer protection to those fleeing violence when countries that have much more turn away those seeking safety."
The new Member of the Order of Australia said the recognition was humbling. "Obviously, we don't do what we do for recognition and it is humbling when you receive a reward as there are so many more Australians working out on the front lines doing difficult work on behalf of refugees but they're not in the spotlight," Mr Harper said.