Australian Defence Industry Awards 2023

Written by AHQ

23 September 2023

Last night was the Awards ceremony for the Australian Defence Industry Awards and we entered the evening as finalists for the Award for Veteran Support Organisation. We did not come away with a trophy but I have to say that, as the CEO and Founder of Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) the evening certainly did not disappoint. I managed to catch up with four of our wonderful recipients. 

First stop was a great chat with the team from Defence Community Dogs. Four of the dogs were there… sorry I did not get photos, too busy talking but if you head over to their Facebook page I am sure you will see some photos there. 

CEO of Defence Community Dogs and I both have a strong belief that Charities need to work together and support each other for the greater good of helping as many veterans as we can. 

Can I just tell you that DCD are incredibly pleased with the Stay Mats we have been sending them.  The veterans who receive them are also very grateful! 



During the evening we were privileged to hear an inspiring speech from the Ukranian Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand. He received a very well deserved standing ovation in response. 

And then there were the wonderful recipients.  The first recipient I saw was the very one who connected us to Defence Community Dogs. She is hoping to come along to our Brunch at Poppies this year so keep an eye out for the lovely lady with her beautiful black labrador.

In no particular order, I also caught up with a fellow who received his quilt when he came home from deployment. As often used to happen with senior blokes on deployment he had not put in a request for a quilt and needed a little encouragement (perhaps a little more than a little, I can be persuasive) to believe he was just as worthy as everyone else and none of his subordinates would miss out if he received a quilt. He had been overseas for 12 months, time away from his family and that deserved recognition as much as anyone else. I was fortunate enough to present his quilt to him in his living room once he got home. As luck would have it, he was on my table last night and was really happy to give me an updated story about his quilt, now in the loving arms of his daughter. 

I also caught up with the fellow who had the responsibility of escorting our Centenary of ANZAC Quilt around the Middle East.  He was not really sure the task was worthy of his time and energy until he received his quilt… and then he got it. Eight years later he still sleeps with that quilt on his side of the bed at home. He said it is the last thing to go off the bed when the hot weather comes. 

I also caught up with one of our recipients from South Sudan. This fellow and I had had some good chats via email whilst he was away but I had not met him. What a treat to be able to put a face to the name. If you are lucky you might even meet him at the dinner. 

And finally I met up with a member of the family who received the very first Fallen Warrior Quilts. Again I had had chats with her via Messenger when we made the quilts for her family but it has taken 12 years for us to meet in person. Now she works for Defence Community Dogs so it feels like life has come full circle. 






The food was not bad either… the desert was particularly lush! 


That is a wrap for the Australian Defence Industry Awards for 2023. Many thanks to those who organised and hosted the evening. 

Till next time keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx

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