Federal environment minister Greg Hunt has been singled out as the "best minister in the world" by a high-powered international conference.
The World Government Summit, which is meeting in Dubai, was due to present Mr Hunt with the inaugural award in the early hours of Wednesday.
Mr Hunt told Fairfax Media he was "genuinely humbled" by the prize, but noted "this is really an award for Australia".
He said it showed Australia was a leader in environment policy and recognised his portfolio was an "important part of good governance".
"The best minister in the world" award aims to recognise ministers "who lead quality successful initiatives" that serve the needs of citizens.
It also seeks to identify "successful leaders" for the "benefit of the general society".
Among other qualities, the winning candidate must be "highly credible among his peers and the general public".
Media company Thomson Reuters selected the candidates and judging panel for the award. It is understood candidates were whittled down to a short-list of 10 before finally deciding on Australia's Environment Minister.
It is also understood that Mr Hunt, who is in Dubai to collect his award in person, was selected in part for his work on Great Barrier Reef policy.
In 2015, the Great Barrier Reef avoided an "in danger" listing by the UN's world heritage body, although this came with a warning that Australia still had to do more to preserve the marine park. Shortly before this, Mr Hunt announced a ban on dumping dredge spoil in the reef.
Among other considerations for the "best minister" award were Mr Hunt's international work negotiating the phasing out of synthetic greenhouse gasses, his contribution to the UN's climate change conference in Paris last year and the Coalition's emissions reduction fund, which has been slammed by Labor as "wasteful expenditure".
Since he was sworn in as minister, Mr Hunt's other notable accomplishment was to abolish the carbon tax. He has also come under fire from environmentalists for his approval of dredging to make way for the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in north Queensland.
The World Government Summit is an annual event "dedicated to shaping the future of government worldwide".
The 2016 speakers list includes US President Barack Obama (who appeared via video link), World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, OECD secretary-general Jose Angel Gurria and United Nations deputy secretary-general Jan Eliasson.
Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National, quotes UAE cabinet minister Mohammed Al Gergawi as saying the award is to "recognise innovation in global government work".
"Our world today needs ministers to serve as role models of thought and action."
Mr Hunt's honour follows that of former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan, who in 2011 was named finance minister of the year by Euromoney magazine for his work to avoid the global financial crisis.
But Mr Hunt, who has been Environment Minister since 2013, is not expecting any special treatment at home as a result of the international recognition.
On learning the news, his wife Paula told him: "You've still got to put the bins out."