By Victoria Stone-Meadows
The 2017 Casey Council Australia Day awards were presented to five people and two events at a ceremony at the Casey Council offices on the night of 26 January.
There was stiff competition across all the categories, and the winners were picked for their dedication and stand-out performance in serving the communities of Casey.
The Casey Citizen of the Year award was presented to Anne McGill of Berwick for her work with Rotary Inner Wheel both within Australia and internationally.
A member of the Narre Warren Inner Wheel for 36 years, Ms McGill has inspired members to raise over $2.5 million for various community causes.
The Casey Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to 16-year-old Alyssa Weston from Cranbourne for her outstanding work with the Casey Basketball Association on and off the court.
Alyssa plays for the Casey Cavaliers representative junior and senior teams and is a Big V women’s development player.
She also coached young girls, representative teams and children with autism all while studying with the selective sports academy at high school.
Casey Senior Citizen of the Year was received by Edward (Ted) Clay of Tooradin for his long and dedicated involvement with the Tooradin fire brigade.
Mr Clay first signed up with the brigade in 1956, and has held four distinct leadership roles over his 60 years of service, including captaining the brigade for 22 years.
Casey Sportsperson of the Year is Reiley Mark from Berwick, a promising young cricketer who at 13 years of age has achieved more in the sport than men twice his age.
Reiley represented Victoria three years running, won three national titles, and has been named an Australian All Star as well as the vice-captain of the Australia A team on his first international tour in 2015.
This year, the City of Casey awarded a Casey Non-resident of the Year prize to a man who has done a lot of work for the people of Casey but doesn’t actually reside here.
David Nugent, founded Heavy METAL (Men’s Education Towards Anger and Life) and operated from the Hallam Senior College was awarded the prize.
His teachings offer behaviour change programs and counselling support to men, women and children affected by family violence.
The Casey Community Fund-raising Event/Activity of the Year was given to Frost Week, Cure de Berwick, led by the Berwick College Frost Learning Team.
The event consists of a special Christmas lunch held for around 300 disadvantaged or vulnerable members of the Casey community.
Christmas Lunch 2016, held on 20 December 2016, was collaboration between the Cranbourne Turf Club, The Salvation Army Cranbourne Community Support Services and the Cranbourne Information and Support Service.