Inaugural War Widows Day commemorated across NSW

War widows residing in New South Wales were honoured today with a star ceremony at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park and a reception at Parliament House to acknowledge the inaugural War Widows Day.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said today was an important day to say thank you for the sacrifices made by the families of our veterans.

“The star ceremony at the Anzac Memorial and the reception for the first NSW War Widows Day is a small token in honouring the personal sacrifices and contributions that thousands of war widows and widowers across NSW have made.” Mr Perrottet said.

“A day of acknowledgement for all the partners who have lost a spouse who served in the Australian Defence Force is long overdue and I look forward to commemorating this day moving forward.”

Following a decision by the NSW Government, War Widows Day will be held annually on 19 October, the birthday of Mrs Jessie Vasey OBE CBE (1897-1966), founder of the Australian War Widows Guild. Mrs Vasey worked tirelessly to ensure that war widows were recognised by governments in Australia and given the financial support and services they needed.

Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said war widows have made significant contributions to communities across the state since the First World War.

“Over 1,200 veterans transition from the ADF into NSW annually, and many of these veterans have a family that has supported them through their service. This support has been given by families for over 100 years, and it is important that war widows have a strong network around them advocating on their behalf.” Mr Elliott said.

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting war widows and their families by providing them with the assistance they need.”

Minister for Women and Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said it’s important to acknowledge those who have had to navigate life as a war widow and provide them with the support they need.

“War Widows Day reminds us of the loss felt by many people across our state and raises awareness of the support network and resources available to war widows and widowers,” Mrs Taylor said.

Today, there are more than 15,000 surviving widows and widowers of servicemen and servicewomen across the state.

Benn Ayre | Premier | 0428 342 325
Vanessa Till | Minister Elliott | 0419 603 586
Rory Cunningham | Minister Taylor | 0457 674 099

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