Former Frensham head mistress Julie Gillick has been awarded a medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to education and professional associations.
Ms Gillick said she felt honoured.
"I was surprised because it's not something you expect is going to happen," she said.
"I'm honoured to receive the award."
Ms Gillick was the head of Frensham and Frensham Schools between 2000 and 2020.
"I felt very fortunate to work at a school with values closely aligned to mine in regards to education and community," she said.
"When I reflect on it, it's not often you get a chance to be a part of something you really believe in, where you're working with a fantastic team of people and a community that extends around the world and cares about the school."
Prior to that, Ms Gillick was deputy head and head of curriculum at Queenwood School for Girls in Mosman between 1997-2000 and senior mistress at SCECGS Redlands between 1983-1996.
Ms Gillick has also served on a number of educational boards. She is currently a board member for the Association of Independent Schools New South Wales, a former member of the Combined Independent Schools Sports Committee, a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' School and member of hte Independent Girls' School Sports Association Standing Committee.
"I've been on the board of the Association of Independent Schools and that has been a very exciting opportunity," she said.
"I'm able to support and get a very close understand of how independent schooling across Australia is managed, supported and governed.
"I've been able to learn from that and contribute to that over a number of years and I've really valued that opportunity."
Ms Gillick recently stepped down from her role as Head of Frensham School and is looking forward to the future.
"I'm looking at where I can be most useful in education," she said.
"It's an exciting time and it's a challenging time for schools, so if I can be useful somehow in that area, I would like to be.
"I would also like to continue to study so this might be a good opportunity to do that."
Did you know the Southern Highland News is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.