AWWQ’s Maureen Rush awarded Order of Australia Medal

A message from Australian War Widows Queensland (AWWQ)

Older woman smiling at camera

Maureen Rush (pictured), AWWQ Board Director and President of the Gympie Sub-Branch, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2023 Honours List.

A humble, community stalwart, Maureen was recognised for her ‘service to veterans and their families’.

Maureen has helped war veterans and widows in the Gympie and wider area for 10 years as a member of multiple committees. In particular, as President of the Gympie Sub-Branch, the Vietnam Veterans Association Gympie and the Legacy Laurel Club.

Maureen also works closely with Quilts of Valour, the Rats of Tobruk Association and knits poppies for RSLs and others for Remembrance Day, St Patrick’s Parish Council and the Gympie Probus Club. She also knits garments for neonatal infants at Queensland Children’s Hospital Brisbane.

The OAM came as a surprise to Maureen as she never thought about awards during her years of veteran work.

‘I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing as long as I can,’ she said.

Thank you, Maureen. Your work is greatly appreciated.


Appointment of new State President

Portrait of older woman with bush in background

At the AWWQ Annual General meeting in November 2022, Jenny Gregory was farewelled as State President after serving the maximum term of six years in the position.

Jenny has been replaced by Judy Smith (left), a war widow of 12 years. Judy’s background is nursing, which opened doors to opportunities and experiences during many years in Papua New Guinea and the Northern Territory.

Judy’s husband was a Second World War RAAF veteran based at Marrangaroo, Lithgow in NSW where dangerous chemical weapons from 1914 to 1945 were stored and destroyed. Scores of these men survived the war but lived with the effects of their service at Marrangaroo and had to fight for any benefits.

After her husband’s death, Judy joined the AWWQ Maroochydore Sub-Branch, later becoming president and AWWQ Board director in 2019.

Judy brings to the role extensive experience and is committed to working with the Board to ensure that the work to support war widows Mrs Jessie Vasey OBE CBE begun 75 years ago continues.

To find out more about Australian War Widows Qld or how they can help you, please get in touch.

Visit the Australian War Widows Queensland website or phone 07 3846 7706.