Marie Cunnington joined as a volunteer for the Northern Territory (NT) Emergency Services (NTES) in 2016, before getting involved as a volunteer firefighter at NT Fire & Rescue Service in 2018.
“Growing up around NTES, it was always something I wanted to do. Both my parents were volunteers”, said Marie.
“But from a young age, my dream was to become a firefighter, so when a friend of mine told me they were looking for members, I decided to go and try it out.”
At the age of 26, Marie has already achieved so much, including her recent award at the 2021 NT Young Achiever Awards last month, where Marie was recognised for her passion for volunteering and putting the needs of others first.
“To me, it means giving something back to your community without expecting anything in return whether it’s big or small”, said Marie.
Marie isn’t just an advocate for her community, she’s a mum of two and teaching her kids the importance of supporting our community through volunteering, is something that can provide a young person with a sense of pride and identity.
“My eldest is now a St John junior cadet with the aspiration to become a paramedic and NTES volunteer like me and her grandparents. My youngest has the dream to become a firefighter and follow in my footsteps”.
During Marie’s time as a volunteer, she has had the opportunity to meet and work with people who have the same desire and drive to help protect the community in a time of need.
“Seeing the gratitude and relief on someone’s face when you have saved their home, just makes me love what I do more.”
Marie’s advice to anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer – take the plunge she says.
“You may surprise yourself with what you can do and how far you can go.”