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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3245

Mrs MARKUS (Macquarie) (13:51): I rise today to honour a truly remarkable Australian woman. Mrs Audrey Blood OAM is the National President of the War Widows' Guild of Australia and has rightly been appointed to the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board—specifically, the ceremonial and commemorative group. The people of Macquarie are indeed honoured to have Audrey reside in our midst. Audrey has a long history of community service in New South Wales. For over 45 years Audrey has been involved in Meals on Wheels, the Country Women's Association and hospital auxiliaries. She was President of the Voice, Interests and Education of Women Club, co-founder and President of the War Widows Guild Club and founder and coordinator of Bereaved Parents and Cancer Support, just to name a few. The Medal of the Order of Australia awarded in 2002 is a fitting recognition of her outstanding commitment to our nation. War widows remain the single largest representation of the ex-service community, accounting for approximately 96,000 women. Audrey is a passionate advocate for ensuring these women are not forgotten, carrying on the fantastic tradition of War Widows Guild founder Mrs Jessie Vasey. Audrey's appointment to the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board is a remarkable achievement and an important recognition of Audrey's commitment to Australia's ex-service community and is an important step in ensuring the voices of war widows are heard. (Time expired)