A LAKE Illawarra Police officer who aims to help break the cycle of domestic violence has been recognised as a finalist for a prestigious honour.
The combined Rotary Clubs of the Illawarra’s Pride of the Illawarra Awards recognise emergency services personnel who perform above and beyond the call of duty.
Finalists for the fourth annual awards were announced recently.
Senior Constable Diane Martin is the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command’s sole finalist in the police category.
After a prior job working for a manufacturing company, the mother of three took up a career in policing 11 years ago.
The 49-year-old Albion Park resident is currently the command’s domestic violence liaison officer, a role she has filled for about three years.
Senior Constable Martin was “shocked” to be nominated, let alone a finalist.
“Like most police you don’t expect to get awards for doing your job,” she said.
“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything different to anyone else.
“Whatever section, you do what you can to the best of your ability.
“Any police or emergency services personnel, I would expect they would put service above themselves.”
Senior Constable Martin said one of the exciting aspects of her role was that it was never dull.
“I really enjoy the variety of the people and jobs, and having the ability to make some sort of difference,” she said.
Working in the domestic violence sector could be confronting, though.
“It can be challenging, frustrating; but you always get your few people where you can make a difference,” she said.
“Managing to get some out of that domestic violence cycle… The few people you can help make that difference to their lives.”
While individual services have specific internal awards, Pride of the Illawarra aims to ensure all emergency services personnel, both paid and volunteer, are recognised in a combined awards program.
The full list of finalists is: Reg Hitchens, Tora Klebvjer, Neil Shepherd and Norm Rees (Ambulance Service of NSW); Andrew Barber, Cathy Dorahy and Ken Lawrence (Fire & Rescue NSW); Geoff Fitzgerald and Graeme McCrudden (Marine Rescue NSW); Stewart Arnold, Mark Devine, Diane Martin and Cath Williamson (NSW Police Force); Ian Cox, Roslyn Banfield, Colin Crawford and Ron Caitlin (NSW Rural Fire Service); Robyn Huer, David Leigh, Grant McClory and Owen Pacewicz (NSW SES); and Wayne Dreghorn and Darryl Schlodder (NSW Volunteer Rescue) are this year’s finalists.
The winners will be announced at a presentation at Wollongong University on August 8.