A 50-year-old woman from Sydney who tragically drowned on a South Coast beach two years ago after rescuing her two children from a rip, has received a bravery medal this week.
On the afternoon of the 17th of January 2021, Leonie Jackson, managed to save both of her kids after they were caught in a rip approximately 30 metres from shore from Congo beach, around 15 kilometres south of Moruya.
Ms Jackson entered the water and brought one of her children back to the beach before she returned and reached her other child.
She kept their head above the water but struggled to keep herself afloat.
Two people nearby saw Ms Jackson and her child struggling, grabbed surfboards and ran to the water.
By the time they reached the pair, they saw that Ms Jackson’s head was no longer above the water.
They brought Ms Jackson and the child back to shore where emergency services arrived shortly after and took control of the scene.
Sadly, Ms Jackson did not survive the incident.
She is survived by her now 12 and 15-year-old children.
Leonie is remembered as a mother and family woman, friend, farmer, community champion and a pioneer of bilingual Deaf education in Australia and throughout her teaching, corporate and not-for-profit career she championed the rights of Deaf children.
Australia’s Governor General, David Hurley, announced the Australian Bravery Awards this week, honouring a range of people from across the country, who put themselves in danger to help others.
“These awards recognise and celebrate the bravery of inspirational Australians,” Mr Hurley said.
“In perilous situations they chose to try and save others, often at great risk or cost to themselves, sadly one recipient of the Bravery Medal lost her life seeking to save her children,” the Governor General continued.
“For the loved ones of those no longer with us, I hope the posthumous acknowledgement of their bravery gives some comfort, their stories will not be forgotten.”
The Governor-General announced 39 Australian Bravery Decorations to recognise the courageous acts of 66 people.
Ms Jackson was one of 11 Australians to receive a bravery medal in the latest round of honours.
Images: Tony Abrahams