2020 was a year of change for Australian War Widows NSW (AWWNSW) with 85% of members agreeing to change our constitution to include everyone with a connection to defence service. Importantly, this includes families of those who are serving or have served in the Australian Allied defence forces.
Our expanded mission is to improve the lives of women and their families impacted by defence service through understanding their needs and advocating on their behalf.
2021 will see us expand and develop a new service offering that attracts and meets the needs of all members, women and families.
We will focus on advocacy and partnerships, service provision and building community. We will be the voice of women, and empower them and their families to live their best life.
We will continue to use technology to communicate with our members and create opportunities to be involved and connected, virtually, physically and emotionally, while finding ways to do things differently to meet the needs of our members.
Our new leadership team will help bring the updated constitution to life. Jill Deering joined in 2020 as Interim Chief Executive Officer to set the foundation for our 2021 strategic plan.
We have also welcomed Renee Wilson as our General Manager. Renee has built a career in public service over the last 13 years. Throughout her career, Renee has led several significant projects and legal matters that have focused on delivering positive and strategic change within government organisations.
Renee's professional background includes working for both state and federal government agencies, including several years at DVA.
Renee is the spouse of an Afghanistan veteran who was severely wounded during operations in 2010. Renee’s personal and professional experience and connection to our members will help us modernise our organisation.
Although we strive for a bright future, we respect and uphold our history. With so many restrictions in place last year, we are even more determined to ensure ceremonies of importance on the AWWNSW calendar continue throughout this new ‘COVID normal’. We will remain agile to move with the sometimes-changing restrictions.
The Field of Remembrance ceremony and Anzac Day are two important occasions on the War Widows calendar. We will promote ‘Light up the dawn’ to engage our community at home during Anzac Day and will hold acknowledgements of both days of reflection in line with current restrictions.
Healthy Living at Home – Let’s dance
We are often told to keep moving to stay healthy. But how do you physically do that if you have limited mobility, painful joints or lack of flexibility? The answer is modified or seated dance.
We also offer chair yoga classes and singing lessons.
To find out more about the programs, see the program outline, visit the AWWNSW website, or us at guild [at] warwidowsnsw.com.au or call 02 9267 6577.