ROBERT Mulas received a Public Service Medal on Australia Day for outstanding work as principal of Fairfield High School.
He has improved educational outcomes at a school with one of the highest numbers of refugee students in NSW.
Mr Mulas also introduced the Parent Cafe program which provides a meeting, sharing and learning place for those parents with limited English language skills.
The success of this initiative led to recognition by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and a request in 2012 for Mr Mulas and some students to present details about the initiative in Geneva.
"We have successfully developed the Parents Cafe to be a global best practice model in supporting parents to better understand their new school environment and supporting their children along the education pathway," he said.
He has also implemented a healthy canteen strategy to provide a wide variety of nutritional food choices for the school community.
"As a teacher and public servant in the NSW system I was most surprised and extremely grateful for being nominated.
"I believe that this award acknowledges all the work that is done by public servants at the state and federal levels across Australia."
Mr Mulas said he would continue to encourage parental involvement in school life and was looking forward to the opening of a school facility constructed specifically for parent and community use.