Joice Loch – Australia’s Forgotten Hero

Posted on: Mon 3 Apr 2023

Joice NanKivell Loch is said to be the world’s most decorated woman.  She lived a life of astonishing heroism, pipping war heroine Nancy Wake by two medals. But the journalist and author turned humanitarian and rug designer remains virtually unknown.

In 1996, Susanna de Vries was awarded the Order of Australia for services to Australian art and literature.   Her biography of Queenslander, Joice NanKivell Loch tells of incredible courage that helped save thousands of refugees in war-torn Europe from starvation and persecution. In one of her more brazen efforts, Joice snatched more than 1000 Polish and Jewish women and children from the Nazis. This and other daring humanitarian exploits earned her decorations from the governments of Poland, Romania, Serbia, Greece and Britain.

Fiona White interviews Susanna de Vries

Main Image: Susanna de Vries – provided by S de Vries and used with permission

Blue Ribbons Bitter Bread by Susanna de Vries. Pyrgos Press. Permission to use with interview from Susanna de Vries 2017

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