Someone I know received an Order of Australia Medal. These I think are substitutes for imperial honours that used to be awarded on our Queens Birthday holiday, even though it is not actually her birthday and the majority of Australians wish that she was not our ultimate ruler.
This chap would be around eighty or more. He was secretary of a union for many years and upon retirement at the age of sixty five, continued to contribute greatly to the industry with which he was involved, purely as a volunteer. I have never had a problem that I needed his help with, but many have and he has helped many, including financially. Do the wrong thing by him though, and you will become persona non grata and a subject of the vilest adjectives.
I consider his award well deserved, unlike the many who just receive the award for doing their jobs. The terms for judgement should read something like, 'for duties and efforts above and beyond the normal job description'.
One thing for sure, yours truly will never get one, well certainly not work related.