October 19 to be recognised as War Widows Day in WA

24 April 2023

Western Australia will join Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales in formally recognising 19 October as War Widows Day.

  • McGowan Government to formally recognise 19 October as War Widows Day, the birth date of the founder of the War Widows' Guild, Jessie Vasey
  • Day to recognise the sacrifice of war widows and widowers and raise awareness of Australian War Widows Inc
  • Western Australian branch of the Guild established in 1946

The birth date of War Widows' Guild founder, Jessie Vasey, the date has become a symbol for the sacrifice that war widows and widowers have endured as a result of their partners' service.


Now known as Australian War Widows Inc, the War Widows' Guild was first established by Mrs Vasey in 1945 in Victoria.


Mrs Vasey's husband, Major General George Vasey was killed en route to New Guinea during World War II.


The Western Australian branch of the War Widow Guild was first established in 1946.


The majority of financial members of the Western Australian branch of Australian War Widows Inc are now aged between 80 and 100.


The War Widows' Guild, now Australian War Widows Inc, has a long history of advocacy and lobbying work, having been consulted by governments on all matters concerning war widows, including accrued recreation leave, pensions and health care.


Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


"It is with a great deal of pride that I announce that Western Australia will now formally recognise 19 October as War Widows Day.


"On this day, we encourage everyone in the State to reflect on the sacrifice borne by widows and widowers, whose loved ones gave their lives for our country.


"It will also be an opportunity to raise awareness of Australian War Widows WA Inc in Western Australia and the network of resources and support available to war widows across the State."


Comments attributed to Veterans Issues Minister Paul Papalia:


"War widows have sacrificed for the nation, losing their loved ones who never made it home.


"Australian War Widows Inc in Western Australia has continued the important work of the War Widows' Guild, which was formally established here in 1946.


"We are proud to be able to continue the State Government's long legacy of supporting the initiatives championed by the War Widows' Guild and now Australian War Widows Inc."


Premier's office - 6552 5000

Veterans Issues Minister's office - 6552 5600