It is with sadness we pass on the news that long time Graduate Women NSW member, Ms Yvonne Jayawardena, recipient of the Luxembourg Award – War Resistance and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal for Nursing, has died (3 December).
Yvonne joined GW-NSW initially as a North Shore Branch member in the 1980’s and in 2016, moved to Canberra to be closer to family. She maintained her membership throughout. Last year, Yvonne was recognised for her faithful service to the community by receiving recognition at the Jean Arnot Luncheon. You can read more about her extraordinary life at Jean Arnot Recognition.
When she was interviewed for the award, she passed on why she joined Graduate Women. In the 1980’s, through associations with the National Council of Women, Yvonne conducted research on women experiencing domestic violence. She became interested in women’s education and came to believe it was a crucial part of their empowerment. Yvonne was a tireless advocate for women through her work in government and through her valued support of Graduate Women and she will be missed.