Vasey Communities is proudly celebrating our Diamond Jubilee this year. To be precise, since March 23rd 2022, we have been creating and supporting affordable accommodation for older Australians in appealing suburbs across Sydney for 60 years.
This all stems from the vision of Mrs Jessie Vasey OBE CBE, the war widow of Major General George Vasey, a distinguished Australian soldier whose RAAF aircraft crashed near Cairns on a flight to New Guinea in 1945.
They were a connected and formidable team. With Major General Vasey on active command duty, and Jessie becoming Secretary of the AIF Women’s Association, her husband was as keenly aware and supportive of his wife’s drive to address the financial hardship that thousands of defence families faced.
“They come to me – time and time again, Jess,” he told her in 1945. “Especially before a show, and say: ‘Sir, if anything happens to me, you’ll see my wife and kids are all right?’ And I tell them – yes, you know bloody well I will.”
Following her husband’s tragic death, Mrs Vasey received a pension but lived in near poverty, as did many other war widows at the time. That same year she formed the War Widow’s Guild to rally for increasing the war widows’ pension and to fight for better conditions for defence families.
Mrs Vasey’s next and most ambitious mission was to provide housing for elderly war widows who were unable to find adequate and proper accommodation. She began with converting a few older homes, leading to more substantial building programs, and later extending the invitation to ex-service personnel and their family members, and many others in need of support due to sickness, destitution, or distress.
Today, Mrs Vasey’s work continues through Vasey Communities, now helping men and women over 55 years from all walks of life, especially those with a defence connection, who want to share an independent community lifestyle.
Vasey Communities’ offering of quality retirement villages in Epping, Lane Cove, Hunters Hill, and Maroubra now collectively comprises 192 modernised units, all within well-maintained and picturesque gardens with a support team just a phone call away.
The Diamond Jubilee year will also welcome Vasey Communities’ new, unique Kokoda Residences project, an inspired vertical village of 117 retirement apartments in the heart of Waitara on the upper North Shore, opening in July. This project will hugely contribute to the Association’s long-term growth strategy, enabling it to re-invest in existing and future village developments. Vasey Communities’ values of community, quality, respect and wellbeing, and Mrs Vasey’s vision will live on through delivering affordable, secure, and inclusive living.