Following the devastating impact of World War II, founder of the Australian War Widows Guild, Mrs Jessie Vasey realised the need to provide housing for elderly war widows, establishing the Vasey Housing Association in 1962.
Jessie's vision and determination was inspired by her husband Major General George Vasey, who said… "now don't forget, look after the war widows…" before he tragically died on a flight to take up command in New Guinea.
Today, the not-for-profit organisation proudly operates five distinct retirement communities across Sydney, open to those over 55 years from all walks of life.
On Wednesday 4 May 2022 this highly significant anniversary was celebrated in grand fashion at Government House Sydney, hosted by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales and Patron of Vasey Communities.
The formalities began with Her Excellency offering words of welcome and highlighting the value of the occasion, making note of how deeply Vasey’s 60-Year history is interwoven with our nation’s defence legacy.
Guests included Vasey’s Chairman Kate Gunton and CEO Graham Hooper along with Vasey’s Board of Directors, Members, staff, and residents from Vasey's village communities, as well as other dignitaries, notably Australian War Widows NSW CEO Renee Wilson and representatives from RSL NSW.
Upon reflection of this 60th Anniversary, Jessie Vasey's granddaughter Dr Jennifer St George offered some words of sentiment which were read on the evening by Vasey's Chairman, pointing out how her grandparents both realised the importance of having a place in the world, recognised and guaranteed by others.
"To me, it seems that Jessie’s work was to guarantee that place in the world, for others," she wrote. "Just as you celebrate the continuation of this work today, the Vasey family continues to be grateful and encouraged by the foresight and drive of our grandparents."
The Diamond Jubilee reception shone a Vice-Regal light on all Vasey villages being built on Jessie’s celebrated spirit and Vasey’s values of Community, Quality, Respect and Wellbeing.
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Vasey's mission is to achieve excellence in the provision of secure, independent residential accomodation to members of the community in need, particularly those with a defence connection.
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