War Widows' Guild celebrates 75 years of support

Monday, November 23 2020

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

The War Widows’ Guild this week celebrates 75 years of supporting war widows and widowers around Australia.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said after the Second World War ended nearly 10,000 women were widowed, many were left on payments that was less than the lowest Army pay.

“The War Widows’ Guild, now known simply as Australian War Widows, was founded by Mrs Jessie Vasey following the death of her husband, Major-General George Vasey, to support these women,” Mr Chester said.

“The first War Widows’ Guild meeting was held in Melbourne and marked the beginning of an organisation that is now an integral part of Australia’s veteran support framework.

“It is not just our service men and women who serve our nation in times of conflict, their families make sacrifices as well and organisations like Australian War Widows are so important in recognising and supporting those left behind.

“Today Australian War Widows has chapters in almost every state and territory and supports more than 50,000 war widows across Australia.

“I commend and thank them for their service to Australia’s widows and widowers.

“Australia owes a debt of gratitude to the Guild and I know it will continue to provide integral support to Australian war widows, their families and our veteran community well into the future.”

To find out more about your local chapter of Australian War Widows, or to make a donation to support their critical work, visit: warwidowsnsw.com.au

Media contacts

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820

DVA Media: 02 6289 6466



Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au