Casey Australia Day Awards honour outstanding citizens

Issued Monday 29 January 2018

2018 Casey Australia Day Award recipients  

The City of Casey announced the recipients of the 2018 Casey Australia Day Awards, honouring remarkable individuals and groups who enrich the Casey community.

Council held a special ceremony on Australia Day at Bunjil Place to announce the four recipients of this year’s awards, and acknowledge all the other worthy nominees.

Marie Allen was named the Casey Citizen of the Year, Katherine Morgan the Casey Young Citizen of the Year and Ray Bell the Casey Senior Citizen of the Year. Beaconhills College were awarded the Casey Community Group of the Year.

City of Casey Mayor Cr Geoff Ablett congratulated all the winners and nominees and thanked them for their contribution to Casey.

“Each year when our nation celebrates Australia Day, we recognise some of the wonderful residents and community groups who make us proud to call Casey and Australia home,” Cr Ablett said.

“These awards aim to recognise those who enrich the Casey community, inspire others and demonstrate excellence in their field through their invaluable contribution to our city.

“This year’s recipients go above and beyond in our local community, dedicating their time to making the lives of others better and contributing to make Casey a great place to live.

“Congratulations to all the recipients and nominees; we know you don’t do all that you do for recognition, but your commitment and passion to your respective fields does not go unnoticed.”

Details on the 2018 Casey Australia Day Award recipients:

Casey Citizen of the Year – Marie Allen

Marie established and supported the Vision Australia Giggles Cooking Group for people with low vision and blindness. This group provides a supportive and friendly environment for those at risk of being socially isolated in the community due to their disability. Marie has low vision herself and is a positive and passionate advocate for others with a vision impairment. The group can attest to her energy and enthusiasm for ‘giving things a go’. She encourages those within the community who may feel isolated to join in activities and find common interests and support with their vision loss and daily living.

Casey Young Citizen of the Year – Katherine Morgan

Katherine works with people with a disability through the Wallara organisation. She provides a range of different and exciting experiences for people with a disability including sports events, activities in the mountains, trips to the snow, bush walks and wildlife and nature education field trips. When she's not doing this, she volunteers in the community, supervising and teaching young people at her local church. She also gives up her holidays to volunteer in different countries supporting disadvantaged communities by donating food, clothing, money and time.

Casey Senior Citizen of the Year – Ray Bell

Ray volunteers for CHIPs (Christians Helping in Primary Schools). Ray has mentored children, driven buses, sailed boats for the Sailabilty program, taught children robotics and english as a second language, and provided technical assistance for Christmas activities. Ray has also taught computer skills to older adults and assisted his local church in community work. Ray is a lifelong learner, particularly in the areas of science and the environment. He is a compassionate person who demonstrates selfless service to others. He has helped young people regain hope in themselves and inspires many people through his kindness and good humour.

Casey Community Group of the Year – Beaconhills College

Beaconhills College has instilled in their students a sense of community and service. During the year the college supported the community through fundraising, donations, creative projects, and over 2,200 hours of student volunteering. This included raising $50,000 through Relay for Life for cancer research and development; preparing and distributing food for people in need through the Berwick Vinnies Soup Van; donating food, coats, blankets and Christmas gifts to community service organisations in Casey and across Melbourne; making and donating light globes for people in East Timor and Papua New Guinea; making books for local vision impaired students; and donating $10,000 to enhance educational facilities in the Ermera District of East Timor.