Dr Ray Cook ‘hang onto your dreams’ Award: folio that demonstrates potential for further exploration. 


Forgotten History of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia

It makes me sad to see how my neighbourhood is changing. The housing estate in Elsternwick that was built in 1959 for war widows is standing empty waiting to be demolished to make room for new luxury units. Jessie Vasey, the founder and the president of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia led one of the largest and most powerful post-WWII women-only organisations in Australian history was the mastermind of this housing estate.
It makes me angry when the extraordinary women who weaved their way out of trauma, loss and despair have their achievements omitted from history, soon to be forgotten. If Jessie Vasey had been a man, there would be a statue erected in her name.
For centuries, and from birth, women are conditioned to play supporting roles and are pushed into the shadows. The widows had only themselves to rely on, and they worked their way out of trauma, loss and poverty by learning how to weave, which became a lifeline. I am weaving their incredible story of survival back into the history and celebrating their achievements by erecting a statue of Jessie Vasey.

instagram: @zissimage



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Zina Sofer