On Monday 25 January, at the 2021 Casey Australia Day Awards, the City of Casey recognised and celebrated several outstanding individuals and groups for going above and beyond in their contribution to the community.
Council held a special, COVID-safe ceremony at Bunjil Place on the eve of Australia Day to announce the recipients of this year’s awards, and to acknowledge all the worthy finalists across the five categories.
Sumandip Kaur, a qualified fitness instructor, was named the 2021 Casey Citizen of the Year, for her inspired commitment and selfless dedication to serving the community throughout Melbourne’s 2020 lockdown. When gyms and other fitness facilities were closed, Sumandip started running free online fitness classes, seven days a week. She welcomed anyone to join, including senior citizens, those with mental health challenges and families.
Ajantha Weerakkody was named the Casey Senior Citizen of the Year, Livinia Walden the Casey Young Citizen of the Year and the inaugural winner of the Casey Local Hero of the Year was awarded to Subhashini Singhal.
Not-for-profit organisation Multicultural Youth Support Services was announced the 2021 Casey Community Group of the Year. They were awarded for their work in supporting young Casey residents from new migrant families to participate in activities and settle into life in Casey.
There were also two Special Mentions awarded. The Lions Club of Cranbourne was awarded Highly Commended in the Community Group of the Year category for their great contribution to the Casey community, and Jawed Niazi was awarded Highly Commended in the Citizen of the Year category for his work in language translation and family violence support in the community.
City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM congratulated all 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 2021 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.”