Five AFP officers recognised in Australia Day Honours List

Five AFP officers have been recognised with one of Australian policing’s highest accolades in this year’s Australia Day Honours List.

Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough, Commander Peter Sykora, Commander Andrea Quinn, Superintendent Corey Heldon and Detective Sergeant Craig Marriott will each receive an Australian Police Medal (APM) in recognition of their work across a range of AFP operational areas.

The Australian Police Medal is awarded for distinguished service by a member of an Australian police force.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw APM congratulated the officers, who together have served almost 170 years cumulatively in the AFP, thanking them for their commitment to protecting Australians.

“The work of these five exceptional officers in Australia and overseas is a testament to their commitment and professionalism. They all thoroughly deserve this recognition for their contributions to the AFP and to the Australian community they’ve sworn to protect,”

“Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough is an excellent role model and mentor to many members of the AFP. After a stellar operational background, she has led a renewed focus on inclusion, diversity and a commitment to the development of women in leadership roles across the AFP, demonstrated through her role as ‘Diversity Champion for Women’.”

“Commander Peter Sykora is being recognised for his outstanding work in national security investigations, high tech crime operations and as part of the AFP’s International Network. He has delivered and maintained a collaborative relationship between the AFP, the Australian Government and Chinese and Asian law enforcement, notably during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Commander Andrea Quinn delivered the national coordination of Operation PROTECT – the AFP’s response to COVID-19.  Through committed leadership, detailed planning, and skilful negotiation with Commonwealth and Northern Territory stakeholders, Commander Quinn ensured a constant rotation of skilled AFP officers to all these locations, while keeping them safe during the pandemic.”

“Superintendent Corey Heldon has demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence as a crucial member of the ACT Covid-19 Response Taskforce. Leading police members on the frontline, she facilitated critical information flows and reporting while maintaining exceptional resilience and patience during an unprecedented time of crisis.”

“Detective Sergeant Craig Marriott is a valuable member of both the ACT’s Criminal Investigation and the AFP’s Negotiation Operations teams. He has achieved successful resolutions in high-risk crisis negotiations, and as a leader of the ACT Gangs Taskforce, has managed investigations relating to drive-by shootings, high-level drug trafficking and attempted murders.”

Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough joined the AFP in 1990 and was posted to the AFP’s Sydney office. In 2013, she transferred to ACT Policing as a District Superintendent and performed the role of Deputy Chief Police Officer Crime. In 2015, she was deployed as the AFP's Senior Liaison Officer in Hong Kong.

Upon her return to Australia in 2017, she was promoted to Commander and assigned to Crime Operations, and in 2020 promoted to Assistant Commissioner. She was selected to establish and lead the AFP Cyber Command in late 2021.

Commander Peter Sykora joined the AFP in August 1985 and was assigned to the AFP’s Sydney office. In 1996, he deployed with the 50th Contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). In 2007, he transferred to the High Tech Crime Centre and was promoted to Superintendent later that year.

He moved to the Information Technology portfolio in 2012, where he managed business engagement, before moving to the Business Alignment and Innovation branch. Since January 2020, he has been deployed to Beijing, (China) as Commander Asia.

Commander Andrea Quinn began with the AFP in June 1983 and has worked in a range of operational areas including airport security, intelligence, serious fraud, narcotics, surveillance, and general crime investigations.

Commander Quinn assumed the responsibility for the national coordination of Operation PROTECT—the AFP’s response to COVID-19.

Superintendent Corey Heldon started with the AFP in January 1990 and has worked in many areas of ACT Policing including general duties, intelligence, crime prevention, road policing, and emergency management and planning.

Superintendent Heldon has been the Superintendent of the Road Policing and Emergency Management and Planning Team since April 2017.

Detective Sergeant Craig Marriott joined the AFP in 1999 and, was assigned to ACT Policing Woden Patrol. In 2002 he began in ACT Policing’s Territory Investigations Group with a response crime team.

In 2013, he was seconded to Norfolk Island Police Force as part of the AFP's commitment to providing community policing services to external territories. On his return to Australia, Detective Sergeant Marriott resumed in ACT Policing criminal investigations.

Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough, Commander Peter Sykora, Commander Andrea Quinn, Superintendent Corey Heldon and Detective Sergeant Craig Marriott will receive their medals from the Governor-General at a later date.

The Australia Day Achievement Medallion (ADAM) has been awarded to 33 AFP members across a range of portfolios. The ADAM recognises the significant contribution to the public sector by dedicated employees.

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