ABOVE: Sonya Marks from Casino SES Unit was on this year’s Australia Day Honours List. Photo: Contributed
You may not personally know Sonya Marks but her work has kept all of us safe.
From doorknocking houses under threat during the bushfires to doing CPR at the scene of a car accident.
On Australia Day, she was one 197 people across the country to receive a Meritorious Award.
Sonya said just being nominated was an honour.
“On Wednesday morning, I woke to my phone constantly ‘dinging’ as messages started coming through congratulating me,” Sonya said.
“Then one message said: ‘Congratulations Sonya Marks ESM’ and I realised.
ESM stands for Emergency Services Medal.
“I was a bit stunned to be honest,” Sonya said.
Sonya has been an emergency services volunteer since 1997. She joined the SES in Casino in 2018.
In June 2020, Sonya was appointed Chief Inspector and Local Commander for the Richmond Valley Cluster and is one of the main trainers across the Northern Rivers.
Sonya was there during the 2019-2020 bushfires helping the RFS. She door knocked and delivered food and supplies to fire crews.
The RFS specifically requested Mrs Marks fill the role of communications operator because of her extensive experience with bushfire emergencies and radio communications.
It was in 2019, when she was driving through Kyogle that she came upon a car accident. The driver had had a medical episode. Sonya stopped to help with CPR and continued helping even after the car burst into flames.
NSW Police nominated Sonya for a Bravery Award for her actions that day.
For 20 years, Sonya has shown dedication and commitment serving the community.
She has been an inspiring role model to other female volunteers.
Congratulations Sonya on receiving an Australia Day Meritorious Award.
And thank you for all you do for our community.