NSW community stalwart Andrew Casey passes away at 64

February 2, 2018 by J-Wire Staff
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Tributes have made by community identities following the untimely sudden  death of Sydney identity Andrew Casey. 

Andrew Casey

In 1993 Andrew Casey, at that time working for the ACTU as communication officer  told a journalist that Judaism has a lot to say how about employers should treat their workers”.

The President of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Jeremy Spinak said: “Andrew was a beloved member of our community whose passion for progressive causes and the pursuit of tikun olam was ceaseless.

He brought warmth, intellect and empathy to all of the work he did for the board and to all of the organisations to which he gave his time so generously. A man who never forgot his own roots as a refugee from Hungary and never stopped defending the rights of those less fortunate in society.

His loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him, especially those of us who worked with him on jewish community matters.

We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and loved ones.”

His brother John Casey is en route to Sydney from the United States. He posted on Facebook:  “I confirm the sad news that my brother Andrew Casey collapsed on a Sydney street. They were unable to revive him. Devastated, shocked, saddened, … what else can I say?”

The president of ECAJ Anton Block and executive director Peter Wertheim said: “We are deeply saddened by the news of the sudden passing yesterday of Andrew Casey z”l.

He was a passionate campaigner for the rights of workers and the humane treatment of refugees, among a range of progressive causes, yet he was always measured and practical in his approach to issues. He never forgot his own roots as a refugee from communist Hungary after the 1956 uprising, or the dreadful tragedy of Hungarian Jewry, including members of his own family, during the Shoah. ”

Andrew played an invaluable role as an adviser to the ECAJ about Labor and trade union affairs”,  said Peter Wertheim.

“He will be irreplaceable as a wise friend and mentor. He led a full and meaningful life, but was taken much too soon. His death will be deeply felt by his many friends”.

He added: We wish long life to his family and close friends. May they be comforted among the mourners

Joan Evatt, a member of the famous political family, posted: “He was such a special man. Andrew had such a strong moral and ethical core. His ongoing fight for social justice and equity never wavered or lagged. I am a better person for having known and worked with him. Vale Andrew Casey You will be much missed.”

Social media has been overflowing with fond tributes to NSW Jewish community stalwart, trade unionist and social justice activist Andrew Casey, NSW Labor frontbencher and deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel Walt Secord said.

Mr Secord has joined the growing number of tributes saying he was “deeply saddened and shocked to discover the unexpected passing of Andrew Casey – a Fairfax international correspondent, a proud unionist, social justice activist, a life-member of the ALP, joining at the age of 17 and a proud member of the Jewish community being active in the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies”.

I first met Andrew Casey in the late-1980s when I was a journalist and he worked for the ACTU. I loved locking horns and arguing with him. He was passionate, intelligent and fearless. He will be greatly missed. Andrew Casey lived by and was guided by the principles of tikkun olam.

The response on social media to his passing has been extraordinary with dozens of spontaneous tributes. Clearly, he touched so many lives in some many different spheres from the Labour movement to the Jewish community,” Mr Secord said.

Michael Danby told J-Wire: “Andrew was a great character of the trade union movement. He was by no means an Israel right or wrong man, but you could rely on him. He was implacably opposed to racism and sought to influence the circles in which he mixed to be reasonable towards his Jewish compatriots. His son Daniel worked for me and I wish him and the Casey family sincere condolences.”

Jeremy Jones, AIJAC’s Director of International and of Community Affairs, said: “I am shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden, unexpected and far-too-early passing yesterday of Andrew Casey. I have known him almost all my life, first as a school friend of my older sisters in Chatswood, then through political activity and for many years as a committed, thinking, interesting human being involved in the Jewish community and much beyond. He was an incredibly caring, decent and engaging person, who will be sorely missed by the family he loved so very much, by his friends and colleagues. May those closest to him find some comfort in the genuine and heartfelt condolences from we who are already missing him.”

Andrew Casey joined his first union when he worked as a boilermaker’s assistant at the then Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney Harbour. It was the height of the Vietnam War and the Dockyard was where submarines were refurbished for the war effort. The place was crawling with security people cross-examining union activists about their role in the peace movement.

Since those now almost long-forgotten years, Andrew has been a member of a number of unions and was active in several, including the former Australian Journalists Association (now the MEAA).

Apart from several years as an industrial reporter, political editor and foreign correspondent for Fairfax Media, Andrew worked for nearly a decade at the ACTU, during the Kelty Accord years, and has worked for a variety of unions in communications roles — the CFMEU, the LHMU (now United Voice), the AWU and the ANMF.

He is also one of the original correspondents and editors of the global union news portal LabourStart, where he triggered, over a decade ago, one of the first Australian email campaigns for union workers on behalf of the LHMU NSW Branch against the Sydney Hilton Hotel.

Andrew Casey is survived by son Daniel and daughter Hannah.

Andrew Casey:  Born March 25, 1953, Budapest, Hungary – Died February 1, 2018 Sydney

Comments

One Response to “NSW community stalwart Andrew Casey passes away at 64”
  1. Yosi Tal says:

    So sorry to hear of Andrew’s passing.A wonderful man and a proud Jew.Deepest condolences to his family.

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