Written by AHQ

13 April 2022

 ADFA Tour and Bus Tour

An action-packed weekend is being organised for our fabulous volunteers who will be attending the Aussie Hero Quilts Annual Dinner on 29 October 2022. While the Annual Dinner will be the highlight of the weekend, there will be plenty of other opportunities to get out and about in Canberra to see some of the amazing sights. Plus you’ll even get to see a couple of the wonderful craft stores in our nation’s capital.

Starting on Friday afternoon, 28 October 2022, you will have the opportunity to visit and tour ADFA, the Australian Defence Force Academy, in Campbell. ADFA is where the future leaders of our Defence Force learn their knowledge and skills to keep our nation safe. You will be given a guided tour of ADFA including the University of New South Wales campus, the ADFA forecourt and Tree of Knowledge. You will experience the Military Theatre where you will receive a lecture (actually it will be a small presentation) on all things about ADFA (tests will be taken immediately after the lecture 😊).

ADFA on graduation day.

After our time at ADFA, then it will be back to the hotel to prepare for Friday night’s Quilters Gathering at the Bonshaw Mess at HMAS Harman. This will be a great night for all that are attending to have the opportunity to hear from some of our recipients; one of whom is about to launch his first exhibition at Government House. There might be one or two surprises as well. Therefore, you don’t want to miss out on coming to HMAS Harman.

When Saturday comes around, Reveille* will be at 0700 (that’s 7am but it will actually be later), for preparation to head off to Poppy’s Café at the Australian War Memorial for an informal breakfast for anyone who wants to meet Jan-Maree, the founder of Aussie Heroes. Breakfast starts at 0845 (8.45am). While we considered giving everyone some Rat Packs (ration packs*) for the weekend, we were unable to secure the hexamine tablets* to help heat up the food (even though some of our troops prefer to have their meals cold). Therefore, Poppy’s was a far superior option and will give everyone a chance to meet in a great setting next to the Australian War Memorial.
After breakfast, at approximately 1030 (10.30am), we will then get you onto the bus tour of Canberra where you will see some of the beautiful sights and experience some of the craft stores in the area. The day of touring will include visits to:
The National Arboretum
Photo opportunities at the new and old Parliament Houses
Russell Offices
Mount Ainslie (and the beautiful views over Canberra and surrounds)

View from Mt Ainslie
We will stop off for lunch at a local café so that you will not go hungry…maybe the Rat Packs will be good here as the M&Ms and condensed milk generally suffice for a meal???
While this will be a packed day of touring and visiting the sights, you will get plenty of time to meet and chat with many of the other volunteers while you are touring around. We will get you back to the hotel in time to prepare for the Annual Dinner.
Finally, on Sunday, it’s back to Poppy’s, starting at 0900 (9am), for a final catch up with all the volunteers. This will then end what will be a phenomenal weekend of fun and activities to show our appreciation to you, our wonderful and dedicated volunteers.
If you have not booked for the weekend, please go to
Accommodation can be booked at the Rex Hotel Canberra (this is where the Annual Dinner will be held too) for a 10% discount when you use the discount code AUSSIE.
Looking forward to meeting you all when you come to Canberra.
* Glossary of terms
Reveille – called in French “Le Réveil” is a bugle call, trumpet call, drum, fife-and-drum or pipes call most often associated with the military; it is chiefly used to wake military personnel at sunrise. The name comes from réveille, the French word for “wake up” (Wikipedia –
Ration Pack (Rat Pack) – These packs contain meals ready to eat (MRE) and other associated items and snacks. These are prepacked and given to our Defence Force members when on exercises and deployments where a mess or other food source cannot be accessed. Each ‘Rat Pack’ contains approximately 13,000Kj and is for use over a 24-hour period. All food can be eaten directly from the packets while some of the MRE food, such as the mashed potato, is best eaten when heated.
Example of the contents of a Rat Pack


Hexamine Tablets – a form of solid fuel in tablet form. The tablets burn smokelessly, have a high energy density, do not liquefy while burning and leave no ashes. ADF personnel are issued a small cooker, as seen below, and use a Hexamine Tablet to heat up the cookable food in their Rat Packs or to boil water (probably only enough to heat the water up) so that they can have a tea or coffee.
A portable cooker with a pack of hexamine tablets
By shiina – shiina’s file, Public Domain,

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