28 January 2022
AGS Senior Executive Lawyer, Sonja Marsic, was awarded a Public Service Medal (PSM) in the Australia Day honours list this week.
Sonja was awarded the PSM for her outstanding public service to the Commonwealth through the provision of legal services, particularly for enforcement of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation.
Sonja’s award marks a highly impressive and unprecedented record of achievements in Commonwealth law enforcement, stretching over more than 17 years.
In 2005, Sonja assisted the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) in developing and drafting the Anti-money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF). This legislation helps protect Australians from money laundering, financing of terrorism and international crime and drug syndicates.
Since this time, Sonja has led AGS teams which worked closely with colleagues at AUSTRAC in a series of ground-breaking AML/CTF cases which resulted in civil penalties totalling more than $2 billion and changed attitudes to compliance with anti-money laundering laws. Each case set a new benchmark for corporate civil penalties in Australia.
Praise for Sonja’s achievements
Sonja’s PSM citation said: ‘Sonja’s expertise and professionalism has resulted in AUSTRAC’s increased standing as a regulator and built strong awareness in the corporate sector of the need to comply with AML/CTF requirements.’
Attorney-General’s Department Secretary, Katherine Jones, congratulated Sonja on this achievement, adding that Sonja had led legal teams in cases that had ‘reshaped the regulatory environment’.
The Australian Government Solicitor, Michael Kingston, said Sonja had brought extraordinary dedication, tenacity and skill to her work in the AML/CTF field and had a record of extraordinary achievement.
Sonja’s achievements, in conjunction with colleagues at AUSTRAC and AGS, have helped to send a clear signal that anti-money laundering laws must be taken seriously. This has benefited all Australians and has made Sonja a very worthy recipient of the Public Service Medal.
Congratulations Sonja Marsic PSM.