Casey’s 2024 Community Award Winners Announced

Winners of the 2024 Casey Community Awards were announced at a gala celebration event at Bunjil Place on Friday 22 March.

The annual awards are a recognition program which celebrate the outstanding individuals and groups who go above and beyond in their contribution to the community.

CFA member Shane Keen was named Casey Citizen of the Year, Gunaikurnai/Yorta Yorta Elder Aunty Lucy Boothey the Casey Senior of the Year and Maya Pinn the Casey Young Citizen of the Year.

CEO of the Cancer Support Angels, Jodie Hollis was named Casey Woman of the Year, Berwick and District Woodworkers Club member John McMahon won the Lindsay King Art Award and Fiona Spargo was named the Environment and Sustainability Champion.

Casey Rainbow Community advocate Ray Adcock won the Casey Diversity and Inclusion Award and Wild Days Wildlife Shelter was named Casey Community Group of the Year.

City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM congratulated all the nominees for the well-deserved recognition.

“It was fantastic to come together and celebrate the many people who give their time, passion and energy to help build a better community,” she said.

“I’d like to congratulate the 2024 winners and all the nominees for these prestigious awards. Thank you for the contribution you all make to our community.”

Background information: 2024 Casey Community Award recipients

2024 Casey Citizen of the Year – Shane Keen

Shane has been a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority since 1977. He was at Hampton Park Fire Brigade for 30 years, including 10 years as captain. Since then, he has served with the Narre Warren North Fire Brigade, where he has been Captain for the past three years. Shane is also the Casey Group Officer, who is responsible for facilitating information sharing and emergency response capability development between the 13 brigades within the City of Casey. Shane is a representative of the City of Casey Municipal Fire Management Working Group and the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee.

2024 Casey Young Citizen of the Year – Maya Pinn

Maya is business owner, university student and a single carer/mum to a six-year-old child, who is severely disabled, and a neurotypical three-year-old. Maya has advocated for better policy throughout her paid and volunteer role at Syndromes without a Name (SWAN) and Association for Children with a Disability, as well as through Dandenong Valley SDS school council. Maya has hosted numerous events as a volunteer peer support facilitator for parents and carers of children with undiagnosed or rare genetic conditions. She is also on the community advisory group at SWAN and Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance, and contributed to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) review for zero to eight-year-olds.

2024 Casey Senior of the Year – Lucille Boothey (Aunty Lucy)

Proud Gunaikurnai/Yorta Yorta Elder Aunty Lucy is a pillar in the Aboriginal community, committed to sharing the invaluable gifts of story, culture, and care for Country. Aunty Lucy tirelessly volunteers and connects to community and country through various contributions including gardening at the Aboriginal Gathering Place and engaging in the codesign and facilitation of cultural elements in playgroups. Lovingly known as ‘Nan’, a term only used with the upmost respect and regard in many cultures, these contributions to the Casey community have had a profound and lasting impact.

2024 Casey Woman of the Year – Jodie Hollis

Jodie’s journey began in 2017 with her volunteer work for the Narre-Cranbourne Relay for Life in the City of Casey. In recognition of her outstanding commitment to the community, she received the Holt Australia Day Award in 2020. In December 2019, Jodie founded her own charity, Cancer Support Angels to assist cancer patients and their families during challenging times. As Cancer Support Angels enters its fourth year, it now boasts more than 70 dedicated volunteers nationwide and has touched the lives of more than 5,000 patients.

2024 Casey Community Group of the Year – Wild Days Wildlife Shelter

For more than 15 years, Wild Days Wildlife Shelter has cared for sick, injured and orphaned Australian native wildlife from Casey and surrounds. Founder and licensed wildlife carer Kay Taranto, and her wonderful team of volunteers operates 24/7, 365 days a year to fulfill their mission to rehabilitate wildlife that need help, nurture their environment and return them to the wild. Wild Days is passionate about sharing knowledge of biodiversity by training carers, mentoring, speaking with community, schools and groups, attending expos, consulting with Council and guiding junior volunteers.

2024 Casey Environment and Sustainability Champion Award – Fiona Spargo

Fiona began collecting recyclable items when she started working at the Botanic Gardens Retirement Village two years ago. She expanded her recycling efforts to include the residents living there, and in August last year also began collecting items from the Coral Mews Retirement Village. Some of the items are given to local childcare centres and schools and the rest are taken away for recycling. For events such as Detox Your Home and textile recycling days, Fiona does a collection on behalf of the retirement village residents’ and books in a time to drop items off on their behalf.

2024 Casey Equity and Inclusion Award – Ray Adcock

Ray has made an outstanding contribution to the Casey community over the past year by facilitating numerous social events for the Casey Rainbow Community and providing a strong voice for the group. Ray partnered with the local Casey Cardinia Rotaract Club to auspice a grant for the facilitation of events in a neurodiverse inclusive space for an intersectional community.

2024 Lindsay King Art Award – John McMahon

John is a member of the Berwick and District Woodworkers Club. As part of this club, he contributes to the significant handmade toy contribution that the club makes to local children’s charities each year. John has recently prepared a proposal for the establishment of a National Woodcraft Collection and Exhibition Centre to be located in Berwick. He has spent many hours researching the project and dedicated his own time to meeting with Council, as well as local and federal MPs to gain support for his project.

Caption for photo: John McMahon, Lucille Boothey (Aunty Lucy), Fiona Spargo, Shane Keen, City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, Maya Pinn, Jodie Hollis and Kay Taranto and Stefanie Cruscz from Wild Days Wildlife Shelter.

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