2014 Casey Australia Day Award Winners

 2014 Casey Australia Day Award winners2014 Australia Day Study Tour recipients2014 Casey Australia Day Award nominees

The annual Casey Australia Day Award winners were announced at a special ceremony on Australia Day, Sunday, 26 January 2014.

Casey Australia Day Awards 2014 winners

Casey Citizen of the Year - Bert Rae OAM

Bert has been a devoted and active community member since he was a child and is involved in daily community volunteer work. He is the chair of the Narre Warren North Community Carols and was instrumental in starting the event. Bert is also a committee member for the Berwick & District Benevolent Society, Berwick Agricultural Show Society, Narre Warren North Community Association and volunteers for a range of other community organisations.

Casey Young Citizen of the Year - Ben Hill

Ben is a dedicated young leader at Fountain Gate Secondary College and is respected by his peers for his selfless drive to improve the social, physical and spiritual environment of the school. As school captain he has lead the fight against youth depression, raised funds for Fountain Gate Secondary College’s sister school in East Timor and fostered school spirit through a number of student versus teacher sporting matches. He also volunteers at the Clyde Tennis Club and in the St Vincent De Paul soup kitchen.

Casey Senior Citizen of the Year - Margaret Sansom

Margaret has been volunteering in the community for many years, including the local preschool, primary school and Berwick Calisthenics Club as her children grew up. Over the past 30 years, Margaret has been part of the Meals on Wheels program, delivering meals to residents across the community. Her commitment to helping others continues through her current involvement and service with the Rotary Inner Wheel Club of Narre Warren.

Casey Sportsperson of the Year - Shabnam Safa

Shabnam is an accomplished community sports star practicing karate and retaining titles of Victorian Champion and Australian Champion multiple times since 2011. She is the current state champion for her age group in Kata and Sparring, and is the national Sparring champion. Shabnam has been an Australia Day Study Tour recipient, was the 2012 Casey Youth Ambassador and promotes the importance of preserving Victoria’s marine environment.

Casey Non-resident of the Year - Maree Cullinan

Maree is a coordinator at the Balla Balla Community Centre where she has developed a sense of partnership and community in the rapidly growing area. In her role, she encourages community participation for people of all abilities, through promoting a range of programs and special events. Her dedication is not only evident with her work at the Balla Balla Community Centre, but with the seven other organisations she is involved with across the City of Casey.

Community Event of the Year - Year 11 VCAL students of Alkira Secondary

College for their performance of ‘In their footsteps’ Students from Alkira Secondary College have written biographies for 22 veterans who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. The biographies were written about veterans from local RSLs (Cranbourne, Berwick and Dandenong) and collated into a booklet titled ANZAC Veterans Reflections 2013. The biographies were then presented to the veterans in a special presentation ceremony. This project highlighted the importance of making connections between students and older members of the community.

Community Fundraising Event of the Year - Berwick Rotary Club for their Annual Charity Golf Day

This annual event brings businesses from across the community together to participate in an Industry Charity Golf Day at Berwick Montuna Golf Club. The day involves a round of golf, the chance to network with other business owners/operators, and an opportunity to promote local business. The day culminates with a trophy presentation and dinner at Berwick Rotary Club. In 2013 a total of $13,000 was raised on the day, $9,000 of which was donated to Windermere Child and Family Services and $2,000 to the Berwick and Beaconsfield Fire Brigades.

Highly Commended Certificate

Lynbrook Residents Association for the Lynbrook Lake Lantern Festival.

Australia Day Study Tour recipients

Stephen Capon                         Maranatha Christian School, Endeavour Hills

Samantha Chapman               Casey Grammar School, Cranbourne

Kelsy De Prada                         Beaconhills College, Berwick    

Sarah Dunstan                         Casey Grammar School, Cranbourne

Sitarah Mohammadi                Narre Warren South P-12 College, Narre Warren South

Mason Peatling                         Beaconhills College, Berwick   

Nelson Phan                              Nossal High School, Berwick

Arnhie-Marie San Juan            Narre Warren South P-12 College, Narre Warren South

Asanga Seneviratne                 Haileybury College, Berwick

Wali Sultani                                Cranbourne Secondary College, Cranbourne

2014 Casey Australia Day Nominees

Don Bergman - Don has helped to enhance the performing arts community in Casey by donating his time, technical abilities and materials to create a variety of specialist props for Cranbourne Secondary College, BATS Theatre Company and the Windmill Theatre Company.  Don’s creations such as a remote control crocodile, grandfather clock and bell ringers have helped to provide the wow factor in many local productions.

Natalie Burns - As a drama teacher at Casey Grammar School Natalie has produced seven school productions including three that she wrote herself.  The original productions were created to highlight important issues to young people.  Natalie’s ongoing support and mentoring has helped students to build their self-confidence and encouraged them to go on to further education.

Sheila Downey - Sheila is a dedicated maths teacher at Cranbourne Secondary College who is always willing to help all students.  Her resilience, smile and can do attitude has inspired and encouraged her students and others around her.  Sheila has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for breast and ovarian cancers and hopes to reach her personal fundraising target of $10,000 in March 2014.

Carol Gloss - Carol is a volunteer with an Outlook participant group, adults with disabilities, at Brentwood Park Neighbourhood House in Berwick.  She facilitates the group in the community garden, maintaining it, improving it and growing vegetables for all community members. Carol has developed strong relationships with the participants and has a wonderful ability to bring out the best in people.

Ron Gloss - Like his wife Carol, Ron is also an Outlook volunteer at the Brentwood Park Neighbourhood House.  Ron helped to overhaul the community garden program and is instrumental in garden planning, propagating and purchasing products.  On rainy days Ron is also happy to bring along his guitar and engage those participants who are not involved in the garden.

Dr Jon Hodson - Jon is one of an elite group of 15th Dan Black Belts and for over 10 years he has shared his passion for martial arts by teaching self defence programs at local martial arts studios.  Jon’s training has helped community members to feel stronger and more confident and his nomination highlighted the value of his spiritual development classes and non-violent approach.  Jon’s discipline, motivation and positive outlook on life has inspired and encouraged his students to be the best they can be.

Jessica Kelcey - Jessica is passionate about tackling problems which affect her peers and through her work on the Casey Youth Action Committee she is working hard to improve the support available for young people with mental health issues.  Jessica has become a role model for young people and is helping others to see themselves in a positive way.

Juan Carlos Loyola - Since establishing the Doveton Special Soccer School in 1993 Juan Carlos has worked hard to improve the wellbeing and community participation of young people with disabilities and their families through sport.  Juan Carlos not only trains the players he also organises soccer games against local clubs, primary and secondary schools, the Victoria Police Soccer Club as well as recreational visits to country areas.

Katie McCann - Katie is a current member of the Casey Youth Action Committee and is actively working to tackle youth mental health issues in the local community.  She has also demonstrated her strong work ethic and commitment to the community by volunteering at the Andrews Centre, helping to answer phones, collect food for hampers and compile statistics for an in-house service.

Jasmine Mace - Jasmine is actively working to promote the safety and security of her local community through her involvement in the Devon Meadows CFA and Cannons Creek Residents Association.  In 2013 Jasmine became the first female lieutenant on the Devon Meadows fire brigade and her current role as community coordinator provides a critical connection between the emergency services and the community.

Ross Neilson - Ross is a local business person and is a passionate advocate for the business community in Casey.  Ross is the president of the Narre Warren Region Business Group, a committee member of the Casey Cardinia Business Group and he was part of the working group that sought to establish the Casey Cardinia Business Group.  Ross has also helped local sporting clubs and charitable organisations through sponsorship and donations.

Raymond Rickards - Raymond has served the community through his involvement in the Hampton Park Fire Brigade for over 54 years.  He is an accredited Community Information presenter and Fire Safe Kids presenter visiting childcare centres, kindergartens and primary schools to spread the fire safe message.  Raymond has attended in excess of 2000 fire calls for the Hampton Park community. He is an Honorary Life Member of the CFA and a recipient of the National Medal CFA and the National Emergency Medal CFA – Victorian Fires 2009.

Lesley Smith - Lesley is a long term community volunteer who has increased her community participation since retiring.  Recognised as a great motivator and an asset to the groups she joins, Lesley is an active member of the Lioness Club of Endeavour Hills, Lions Club of Endeavour Hills, St Vincent de Paul Society and Casey North Information & Support Service.

Kathy Smullen - Kathy has been an active volunteer for the Clyde CFA for over 25 years and received the National Emergency Medal for the role she played during the 2009 Black Saturday fires.  Kathy has also been an active member of the Cranbourne University of the Third Age for six years taking on the presidency in 2013.  This nomination recognises her dedication, strong work ethic and commitment to the community.

Lisa Summers - After the birth of her second child, Lisa identified a lack of support for second time parents struggling to balance the demands of a new baby with the needs of an older child.  This led to Lisa establishing a Facebook page where local parents could offer encouragement, guidance and the opportunity to connect with other parents facing similar challenges.  Lisa’s Facebook page now has over 1000 members and helps to provide support and reduce the sense of isolation felt by many new parents.

Pat (Janette) Wingrave - For over 34 years Pat has been helping local girls and young women to become the best they can be through Girl Guides.  Pat was one of the original guide leaders when Guiding first started in Narre Warren in 1979.  Since then Pat has been a Guide Leader with Narre Warren Brownie Guides, Narre Warren Guides and Narre Warren Ranger Guides.  She has produced exciting and varied activities teaching the guides important life skills and training the next generation of Guide leaders.  In 2012 the Rotary Club of Berwick awarded her with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award in recognition of Pat’s contribution to the community.

Blairlogie Living and Learning: Blairlogie's Got Talent theatre production - The clients of Blairlogie Living and Learning developed a production which included 12 variety acts performed live on stage, interspersed with judges’ comments and multimedia ads created and filmed by the participants.  The acts, advertisements, props and costumes were all the work of the clients, demonstrating their talents and helping to promote acceptance of people with all abilities.

Cascades on Clyde Residents Group: Easter Egg Hunt - The Cascades on Clyde Residents Group recognised that they needed a way for new residents to get to know each other.  In March 2013 they held an Easter egg hunt to develop and promote a sense of community spirit in the newly established estate.  Local residents were encouraged to showcase their businesses and support others within their community.  The event also aligned with “Get to know your Neighbour Day” which fell on the same weekend.

The Cascades on Clyde Residents Group: Teddy Bear’s Picnic - The Cascades on Clyde Resident’s Group held the teddy bear’s picnic as a way for children of all ages, together with their parents, to get together and have fun while getting to know new people. The event celebrated International Teddy Bear’s Day and encouraged a sense of community and positivity in a rapidly growing estate.

Dandenong Eisteddfod of Dance: Casey Comps - Since 2006 the Dandenong Eisteddfod of Dance has held the Casey Comps at the Cranbourne Community Theatre providing local dancers with the opportunity to compete close to home.  Approximately 3,000 people attended over the four weekends of competition which awarded more than $10,000 in prize money and trophies to the competitors.

Hampton Park Networking Group: Black and White Ball - Held in July 2013 the Black and White Ball celebrated 10 years of the Hampton Park Networking Group.  Over 200 people attended the milestone event at Arthur Wren Hall, where everything was supplied by local businesses and the backdrop created by community volunteers.  The event provided great entertainment and a different type of networking opportunity for the Hampton Park business community.