Australian War Widows NSW Ltd

“The story of the Guild is a story of women helping women and holding governments accountable.” – Roslyn Burge, No Peacetime Cinderellas


The Guild provides understanding, contact and friendship with other war widows as well as a range of benefits and services to its members.


The Guild offers a wide range of services to its members including Advocacy, Support and Advice, Guild and Social Clubs, Friendship Line, Transport, the Digest, iPad Training, Events and a Ready Reference Guide.


The Guild has achieved significant improvements to the assistance provided to war widows through its advocacy over the years. A wide range of benefits and concessions have been achieved.


Established for women, by women, the Australian War Widows NSW Ltd is a not-for-profit membership-based organisation whose mission is to promote and protect the interests of war widows in NSW. The Guild was founded in 1946 by Mrs Jessie Vasey, widow of Major-General George Alan Vasey. Originating as a craft guild for war widows to supplement below-basic-wage-level pensions, the Guild has been relentless in working to improve the lives of war widows. Entitlements include the War Widows’ Pension, tax-free and indexed to the CPI; the Domestic Allowance; Income Support Supplement and health and medical entitlements. Other successes have come in the form of concessions for transport, water and council rates, free car registration and drivers licences. The Guild provides a range of services to war widows and operates with significant volunteer input from its thousands of members and its small staff.


War Widows in NSW

Age of Youngest Member

Age of Oldest Member


WEDS 15 APRIL 2020








The 69th Anzac Field of Remembrance Memorial Service will take place on Wednesday, 15 April
in the St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney.

Important message regarding the 2020 Anzac Field of Remembrance and Club Meetings.

Dear Member,

At an out of session Board meeting held on Monday 16th March, we discussed the significant concerns regarding the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, and how this would affect our members and the activities that War Widows NSW has planned for the next 3 months, from March 2020.

It is with deep sadness and regret that we made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Anzac Field of Remembrance Memorial Service.

As this event would involve a large number of people travelling to Sydney City Centre and gathering in St Andrews Cathedral, we are acting in the best interests of our members as well as following Government guidelines and the advice of medical experts.

All RSVPs that we have received and any transport arrangements, have been cancelled – you do not need to do anything.

Guild and Social Club Meetings

Considering that our members are in the most vulnerable, high-risk segment of the population, our next decision was even harder to make.

After much deliberation your Board has decided to cancel all Guild and Social Club Meetings until further notice. We believe that whilst it is very important for our members to be socially active, these are exceptional times and it would be irresponsible to allow such gatherings to happen as it is important for our members to be protected as much as possible from contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Thinking of you,

Rhondda Vanzella OAM

President and Chair, Australian War Widows NSW Ltd

How to take care of yourself and others during this unprecedented time


One way to slow the spread of viruses is social distancing. For example:


  • staying home when you are unwell

  • avoiding large public gatherings if they are not essential

  • keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible

  • minimising physical contact, especially with people at higher risk such as older people and people with existing health conditions


Everyone must practise good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading:


  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue disposing of tissues properly

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet cleaning and disinfecting surfaces

  • If you are sick, avoiding contact with others and staying more than 1.5 metres away from people


These limits help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are especially important for vulnerable people, such as those over 60 and those with chronic disease.The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has recommended:


  • limiting non-essential organised gatherings
  • limiting visits to vulnerable groups such as residential care facilities


Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath. If you have a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself to prevent it spreading to other people.

For more information

For the latest advice, information and resources, go to or the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.



Gwen Cherne is a contemporary widow who is advocating for widows and service people with PTS.


Meg Green joined the Guild in 2008, shortly after her husband Gordon, a Vietnam Veteran, died.


Niki Alldritt is one of the few remaining World War 1 widows and is the widow of Private Robert Gregory Alldritt.

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