April 29 - May 5, 2012: Issue 56

 Above: Her Excellency the Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO and Mrs Peggy Williams AOM, President of AWLAA NSW. Below: Avalon's Doreen Cherry

Australian Women's Land Army

The Australian Women’s Land Army Association marched in the big parade in town on Anzac Day, lining up for the march at the same time and at the same place as last year, King Street West off Pitt Street facing east. As Peggy told members prior to the day, “Every year we say, ‘this is our last march’ so we will decide after this one if it is the last, so please make an effort and come along.”

The girls had lunch at the Marriott Hotel, 36 College Street, Sydney; directly across the Park from where the march finished, which was, as Doreen Cherry, Avalon lady and a member of this exceptional women’s association, said ‘absolutely lovely’.

The ABC ran a great Program on Wednesday 25th of April as part of their Anzac Day and AWLA focus, Women's Army makes last Anzac Day march with one of our locals looking a lot like a poster girl: Please watch at: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3488961.htm

From: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Women's Army makes last Anzac Day march, Broadcast: 25/04/2012 Reporter: Greg Miskelly

The Australian Women's Land Army (AWLA) was an organisation created in World War II in Australia to combat rising labour shortages in the farming sector. The AWLA was formed on 27 July 1942 and was modelled on Women's Land Army in Great Britain. The minimum age for recruits was 18 with a maximum of 50 years of age. Members of the AWLA covered a variety of agricultural labours, including vegetable and fruit growing, pig and poultry raising, and sheep and wool work.
Mrs Peggy Williams was a guest of Honour at the Avalon RSL’s Remembrance Day Service (11.11.11)and gave an address to the crowd. HERE.

You can also get yourselves along to the Museum of Sydney’s The Home Front Exhibition before September 9 to see more about what was happening in Sydney during WWII. Details on our Events page.

Copyright Peggy Williams, 2012. All Rights Reserved. All Images courtesy of Doreen Cherry.  All Rights Reserved.

By Peggy Williams, AOM and President NSW Australian Women’s Land Army Association

I received a letter from DVA Canberra seeking my assistance for the nomination of Ex-Service Women to attend a luncheon, to mark International Women's Day and to Commemorate the Services and Sacrifices of Australian Ex-Service Women, to be held by the Her Excellency, Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor General of Australia, at Admiralty House on Friday 9th of March 2012 from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm.

As numbers were limited, selection was based on relevant service history and representation across the Women's Services and from all States and Territories. I had to provide names, addresses and telephone contact numbers with brief details of service.

I rang Judy, Althea, Nancy, Doris, and Doreen and submitted their names and my own. Ces typed it up and sent it off to Canberra. I am happy to say that all six of us received an official invitation.

On arrival at Admiralty House, I was allowed to be driven right up to the main entrance from where I was escorted by a young gentleman who invited me to select a table, which I did and picked number one.

This all took place under a large marquee-with the most delightful view of Sydney Harbour. Doris and Judy arrived then Althea and Nancy followed by Doreen. Cameras appeared to be flashing the whole time and we had so many kind remarks about how we looked in our cream dresses and green blazers. I cannot tell you how proud I felt but it was very much so.

Finger food was plentiful and drinks for every taste. Best water I have ever tasted.

Her Excellency arrived and visited every table and smiling the whole time; just as she reached our table it was time for the welcoming speech, which she delivered from the podium right in front of us. Her words were wonderful and presented in such a way that you hung on every word. She is such a Lady in every way, congratulated all the Ex-Service Women and a special mention for the World War Two Nurses and the Land Army Girls. She then came down to our table and we chatted about everything in general. Doreen had gift wrapped a gift of "Australian Perfume" which was presented to Her Excellency who was highly delighted with such a thought. 

At lunch time-everyone lined up but we were served at our table along with Her Excellency. The lunch was barbequed cutlets and salad followed by fruit of all kinds and then coffee, tea and cake.

Doreen has lots of photos and will do a collage, possibly for the next magazine. I hope that you have enjoyed my dissertation but it had to be shared by all of our members.
Love, Peggy.

Address by Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, 9th, March 2012


Advertising. (1943, April 10). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 28. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47225997 

Above (left to right): Doreen Cherry, Althea Hutcheson, Nancy Hammond, Peggy Williams, Judy Finlay and Doris Pitty