National President – Meg Green AM
Meg has been a member of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW Ltd. since September, 2008. Meg joined the Guild following the death of her husband, in May, 2008. Meg’s husband was a veteran of the Vietnam conflict having served in Vietnam from 1970 – 1971. He was assigned to 1 Field Troop.
Meg was appointed a Member Director on the New South Wales Board in 2010 and completed her 6 year term in 2016. Meg also served as State President of the NSW Guild for one year and since 2014 has been the National President of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia. From 2012 – 2014 she was also the National Treasurer of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia.
Meg is also the coordinator of the Younger Members group in NSW and is a member of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council, a Centenary of Anzac Ambassador, an alternate director on the Board of AVCAT and is also a committee member of VCES.
Meg has had a long career in the nursing, retiring from the public sector prior to the death of her husband. Whilst employed in the public sector she worked as a general clinical nursing in both surgery and midwifery before moving into management in the field of Waiting List/Bed Management. After retiring from the public sector she worked part time in the aged care sector. Whilst working in the aged care sector she took on the positions of President and Vice-President of the New Horizons Aged Care Branch of the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association.
Meg is a Registered Nurse and a Registered Midwife. She also has a Certificate in Orthopaedic Nursing and has also completed a Masters of Nursing.
Meg was awarded an AM in the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours List.
National Treasurer – Shirley Drysdale
Shirley has been member of the War Widows Guild of Australia NSW Ltd since April 2001.
Shirley retired from her career with Qantas Reservations after 10 years in Sydney due to her husband’s health. They moved to Wellington, mid NSW to be near their daughter prior to his passing.
Shirley has been involved in a number of local organisations since that time. The Hospital Auxiliary and the Health Council, where she was Chair for 5 years.
Shirley served as President of the Legacy Laurel Club and served as President for a number of years and has been a member of Wellington Torchbearers for Legacy and currently holds the position of President.
In 2005 Shirley became a Director on the Wellington Soldiers Memorial Club Board, where she served 3 years as Vice President and 3 years as President.
In 2008 Shirley was appointed as a Board Member of War Widows Guild Australia NSW Ltd for the 6-year term. Shirley has been the Co-ordinator of Wellington War Widows Guild Social Club since its formation 11 years ago. and has also served as a Councillor on Wellington Shire Council for a term during this time.
Shirley has been National Treasurer/Secretary of the Guild since 2014.
ACT State President – Shirley Percival
Shirley-Ann Percival joined the ACT War Widows Guild on the 8 December 2003.Over many years she has held the position of Secretary, Treasurer, President from 2008 to 2011, Vice President and President from 2015 to the present date. Wife of the late Vietnam Veteran Major Harry Percival. Until her retirement, Shirley-Ann managed a law firm in Canberra. Shirley now does volunteer work with the RSL visiting veterans in hospital.
NSW State President – Rhondda Vanzella OAM
A Guild member since 2014, Rhondda began her term as NSW State President in 2016. Rhondda is also a member of the Remembrance Driveway Committee, an Ambassador on the NSW Government Centenary of ANZAC Council, member of the RSL Ladies Auxiliary, an affiliate member of RSL Bundanoon sub-branch and President of the RSL Rural Commemorative Youth Choir.
Previously, Rhondda was Vice President of the Kangaroo Re-enactment March from Wagga Wagga to Sydney and spent 15 years as Electorate Chief of Staff and confidant to Dr. Brendan Nelson AO.
Qld State President – Jenny Gregory
Jenny has been Australian War Widows (Queensland) State President since August 2016.
She is the war widow of Winston Spencer Gregory, a Malaya, Vietnam and Singapore Veteran. She has worked in various capacities over the years, from volunteering in the Solomon Islands to working as a registered nurse at a residential aged care facility where she later became the Director of Nursing. Her passion for caring for people with dementia motivated her to help establish a Dementia Network in Canberra. She became the inaugural President of Alzheimer’s Australia ACT Inc. and worked in this capacity for many years.
Jenny joined Australian War Widows (Queensland) shortly after her husband’s death in 2013 and became State President in 2016.
Jenny holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nursing Science and a Graduate Diploma in Health Services Management.
SA State President – Jan Milham
Jan’s husband served in Korea and Jan was widowed at the age of 45. Jan lived in the country and has since moved to Adelaide. Jan has three adult daughters, is a grandmother and great-grandmother.
Jan is a volunteer for Anglicare and is involved with Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Jan enjoys the theatre, movies, music and travel.
WA State President – Jan McLeod
Guild Member since 5 July 2010 Executive Committee – 2012 Vice President – 2012 – 2015 State President – 2015 Current Wife of the late Private Neville John McLeod of the 1st Battalion, Malaya Jan was born 13 November 1946 – the year her father returned from WW2. Her father died of accepted war causes and her mother became a war widow in 1984, joining the guild soon after.
Jan was very happily married to her husband Neville spending most of her early married life looking after her husband and two children. She has one surviving daughter and two granddaughters. Jan resided in the Western Australian goldfields where she undertook office work within two engineering companies. Jan’s later years were spent caring for her mother and husband. Neville died in January 2010 of accepted war causes and she joined the guild five months later.
Banner photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial