The 36-year-old received 38 percent of the vote from past and present Australian one-day players. Current captain Ricky Ponting was second with 19 per cent, while former captain Steve Waugh was third with 14 per cent.
The vote was open to the 163 players who have represented Australia since their first one-day international in 1971, with 110 casting votes.
''To be given this enormous honour by my peers is unbelievably humbling and ranks highly amongst the accolades l have received over my career,'' Gilchrist said in a statement on the ACA's Web site.
''I have been very fortunate to have played in such a successful era and with such a great group of players. I feel very fortunate to be acknowledged in this way.'' Gilchrist, whose swashbuckling batting style has garnered more than 9,000 runs in 275 matches at an average of 35.98, smashed 149 off 104 balls in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
He has scored 15 one-day centuries and 52 half-centuries -- with a high score of 172 -- throughout his career at a strike rate of 96.66. He has also taken 400 catches and made 53 stumpings and been a member of three World Cup winning sides.
''The ACA is thrilled to present this award to Adam Gilchrist,'' said ACA chief executive Paul Marsh.
''It is a richly deserved honour for a player who has in many ways re-defined the role of the wicketkeeper and opening batsman in one-day cricket.''