Community members and groups from across the City of Casey were honoured on Friday evening at the 2019 Casey Volunteer Awards Ceremony.
Clive Butler was announced as the 2019 Casey Individual Volunteer of the Year thanks to his outstanding service in Casey across the past 35 years.
Mr Butler has volunteered with St Andrew’s Berwick Uniting Church since the late 1980’s, fundraising for the upgrade of facilities and holding the position of church treasurer for nine of those years. Since 2013, he has also coordinated the fundraising for Transit Soup Kitchen in Narre Warren, providing important items as needed including food and blankets.
Sadia Batool Ali received a Highly Commended Award in this category for her work in the community assisting Hazara women to settle in Australia.
In a first for the awards, two young people were announced as the joint winners of the Casey Young Volunteer Award. Jessica Borstelj and Tarali Bendix were the two worthy recipients following significant service to the community from a young age.
Jessica is a horse care volunteer with the Riding for Disabled and assists several times a month to care for the horses, while Tarali, at just 11 years of age, is a dedicated junior coach at Berwick Flames Basketball Club. Tarali also inspired her father and some of the other dads to field their own team called ‘Dad’s Army’.
The Casey Volunteering Pair Award was awarded to Ian and Carmel Cuthbertson, a husband and wife duo who have volunteered for many of the Westernport’s coastal safety causes, from transmitting daily weather and safety information to ships at sea, to radio listening and assisting in the rescue of stranded boats.
They also volunteer with a guide dog pet therapy program in hospitals visiting young children at Christmas with gifts as Santa and Mrs Clause.
The longstanding Doveton Show Committee were recognised as the Casey Volunteer Group Award winners, for their efforts as organisers of the iconic event, which attracts more than 25,000 visitors each year.
The Casey Volunteer Organisation of the Year for 2019 was awarded to e.motion21, which bases its services around enhancing lives and changing the perceptions of Down Syndrome in society. The not-for-profit organisation provides innovative dance and fitness programs for children and young adults with Down Syndrome in a supportive and social environment.
City of Casey Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon said she was impressed with both the nominees and the winners and congratulated this year’s recipients.
“I feel very inspired seeing and hearing about the wonderful work being undertaken by dedicated volunteers in our community,” she said.
“Through your efforts, you support our residents in many different ways from assisting people to remain independent and active, providing comfort to some of the most vulnerable members of our community and enhancing social connections across the city.
“Through this awards program we can acknowledge the fantastic volunteer organisations and individuals across Casey, increase awareness of their services and activities and highlight the positive contributions made to our city.”