Australian War Widows Queensland
Since 1947, Australian War Widows QLD (AWWQ) has provided advocacy and support service to its members. The organisation was founded by Jessie Mary Vasey CBE (19 October 1897 – 22 September 1966) as a craft guild to enable women to earn money to support their war widow pensions. Vasey argued that the pension war widows received was not charity but a statutory right, being compensation for the life of a serviceman. In an effort to help war widows, Jessie set out to obtain an increase in the War Widow’s pension to bring it in-line with the basic wage. This advocacy work became the cornerstone of changes to widow compensation.
Today, there are around 15,000 war widows in QLD and 27 sub-branches providing support services, community linkages and social activities to ensure their physical, emotional, familial and social needs are met. As a membership-based organisation, members benefit from a strong sense of ownership, community and comradery with each other. The war widows motto encapsulates this spirit:
"We all belong to each other. We all need each other. It is in serving each other and in sacrificing for our common good, that we are finding our true life"