Three outstanding Casey residents and one volunteer group were recognised for their inspiring contributions to the community at the 2020 Casey Australia Day Awards event last Sunday.
Bassir Qadiri was named the 2020 Casey Citizen of the Year for his advocacy work with Afghan communities, Andrew Pinxt the Casey Senior Citizen of the Year for his local and overseas philanthropic work, and Jessica Vidic the Casey Young Citizen of the Year for her youth-focused volunteer and mentoring contributions.
The Casey TAC L2P Driver Mentor Volunteers were announced as the 2020 Casey Community Group of the Year for their work in supporting learner drivers get their 120 hours of driving and work towards gaining their licences.
In presenting the awards, City of Casey Mayor Cr Susan Serey acknowledged all the finalists across the four categories and congratulated the winners and nominees for the well-deserved recognition.
“It’s fitting that on Australia Day each year we celebrate the individuals and community groups who give so much to our community and make Casey and our country such a wonderful place to call home,” she said.
“Today, we celebrate our nation, our people and what it is to be Australian. Most importantly, we celebrate the many people who give their time, passion and energy to help build a better community here in Casey.
“I’d like to congratulate our 2020 Casey Citizens of the Year, along with all the nominees for these prestigious awards. Thank you for the contribution you all make to our community.”
Casey Citizen of the Year – Bassir Qadiri
Since 2009 Bassir has been an active, committed and dedicated community member providing support to others through the Bakhtar Cultural Association.
He advocates for community members with disabilities, Afghan women affected by family violence and those who are isolated due to cultural and language barriers.
Bassir organises Australian cultural awareness programs to promote equity, social welfare and the elimination of violence in the community.
He also promotes multiculturalism, harmony and gender equality through regular music and poetry events.
With a passion for cultural diversity, he encourages cross-cultural communication, inclusiveness and the understanding of Afghan Australian values here in the City of Casey.
Casey Young Citizen of the Year – Jessica Vidic
As a mentor for the young residents of Casey, Jessica participates with various community groups, setting an excellent example for Casey’s youth.
Her dedication to karate, the Casey Youth Action Committee, Light FM radio station, Berwick Youth Group and the Doveton Show, demonstrates the variety of her volunteering endeavours.
Her energetic presence at these initiatives has had a significant impact on their success and her demonstrable passion encourages other young Casey residents to get engaged and participate.
She is respected for the time she contributes to community service, which at 18 years of age and while balancing year 12 studies and family time, is an incredible achievement.
Casey Senior Citizen of the Year – Andrew Pinxt
Establishing a philanthropic trust that supports organisations within the Casey community, Andrew leads by example and is an inspirational role model serving his community.
Along with being a Rotarian for over 40 years, Andrew’s commitments have included volunteering for the CFA, serving as an Elder with his church and working tirelessly with parents of adult children with disabilities to develop appropriate residential care options.
In addition to his local contributions, he has project-managed international endeavours in Tonga refurbishing buildings and providing a consistent water supply. He also funded a team of doctors and nurses to provide life-changing surgery to people in developing counties.
Casey Community Group of the Year – The Casey TAC L2P Driver Mentor Volunteers
The mentors in the Casey TAC L2P program consistently demonstrate excellence, inspiring others and leading by example.
This is shown in their commitment to the program, undertaking volunteer roles for 18 months or more until a learner driver is ready to go for their licence test.
With a high number of successful probationary licences achieved over the past 10 years, they continue providing their wisdom and advice to those young learners who are most in need.
The program is open to financially disadvantaged young people in Casey who do not have access to a supervising driver or vehicle. Without volunteer input, many of the learners in the program would struggle to get their probationary licence and progress with study and work aspirations.
As well as the learner drivers benefitting, the mentors cite a sense of satisfaction, purpose, increased community connectedness and reduced levels of social isolation by participating in the program.
Details on the 2020 Casey Australia Day Award recipients
- Casey Citizen of the Year – Bassir Qadiri
- Casey Young Citizen of the Year – Jessica Vidic
- Casey Senior Citizen of the Year – Andrew Pinxt
- Casey Community Group of the Year – Casey TAC L2P Learner Driver Mentor Volunteers
Special mention: Berwick Little Athletics Centre and HPNL (Healesville to Phillip Island Nature Link) were awarded Highly Commended in the Community Group of the Year category for outstanding contribution
Nominees for 2020 Casey Citizen of the Year
- Awour Kut
- Bassir Qadiri
- Emma Fidler
- Francesca Jackson
- Nia McMartin
- Tammie Robertson
- Tony Jackson
Nominees for 2020 Casey Senior Citizen of the Year
- Andrew Pinxt
- Catherine Bashford
- Greg Farley
- James Sammut
- Rob Smith
Nominees for 2020 Casey Young Citizen of the Year
- Aaron Grant
- Jessica Vidic
- Talia Folino
Nominees for 2020 Casey Community Group of the Year
- 2nd Chance Cat Rescue
- Bakhtar Cultural Association
- Balla Balla Morning Melodies Volunteer Group
- Berwick Little Athletics Centre
- Berwick Mechanics Institute and Free Library
- Casey Malayalee
- Casey TAC L2P Learner Driver Mentor Volunteers
- Healesville to Phillip Island Nature Link
- Indian Community Association of Greater Dandenong
- Lynbrook Residents Association
- Neighbourhood Watch Casey
- The Rotary Club of Berwick
- Victorian SES, Narre Warren Unit
- Windmill Theatre Company
Casey Australia Day Awards
The Casey Australia Day Awards have been celebrating remarkable Casey citizens since 1981. Every year, when our nation celebrates Australia Day, Casey celebrates the achievements and contributions of eminent Casey citizens.