Defence Community Organisation.. Family Welfare Expo… Concord RSL

Written by AHQ

27 February 2017

Yesterday morning I headed out to Concord RSL to represent Aussie Heroes.   I always love getting out and meeting people and telling them about what we do but these days are special because we meet recipients and people who will deploy in the future.  I had a couple of mothers come up and say thank you for the quilts their sons had received. I had serving members thank me for the quilts their friends received.  It reminds me (as if I ever need reminding) just why we do what we do.

We were set up and ready to go by ten o’clock 

and we were lucky enough to be positioned next to the lovely ladies from Lone Pine Medals.   I was joined by Shelley whose son went to school with my sons and who is currently deployed on HMAS Arunta. 

At ten o’clock there were some official welcoming speeches including a speech by Brigadier Michael Bond who just happens to be one of our recipients, you made his quilt Su J.  

BRIG Bond welcomed everyone and then thanked all the organisations that were assembled for their support of our defence members.  He chose to single one particular organisation out.. you guessed it.. he singled out Aussie Heroes and explained how much it had meant to him to receive his quilt and laundry bag (made by yours truly) whilst on deployment in South Sudan.  It was a very special moment for me because when he mentioned us there was a generous round of spontaneous applause.  It was one of those moments that I wish I could bottle and share with all of you who sew for you so that you can better understand how much people appreciate their quilts and laundry bags.  

As soon as Brigadier Bond finished on stage he came straight over to say hello. We had not met before so I was delighted to speak to him.  

This lovely fellow was another very happy recipient. He has only just come home from deployment and he and his wife gave me a donation for Aussie Heroes and were over the moon with the quilt that have been received whilst he was overseas.  His wife said she was delighted when he opened his bags and brought it out to show her…  Jenny F, he is one of your recipients. 

Judy S who sews with Kaye G made this fellow’s quilt and he was also thrilled with it.   He was deployed on HMAS Darwin at the time.   Funny story, last year, at the same Family Welfare Expo his wife Mandy, tried to request a quilt for him as a surprise. Then he put in his own request.  Happens more often that you would think.  🙂


Our lovely friend here on the right, also received a quilt when he was on HMAS Darwin.  Again he loves it and the family uses it all the time.   His wife was an exhibitor at the last Family Welfare Day and had asked me to arrange a quilt for her deployed husband. Little did she know that he would put in a request for a quilt himself, thus spoiling her surprise.  

Please note the photo books. These ones were put together by Gail Mc  and they are one of the best tools I have to show what we do and the impact it has. They are full of the pictures of smiling recipients with quilts and laundry bags. 

This gorgeous lady is Rachael and she is a recipient of Stephanie D from a couple of years ago.  Rachael had stayed in touch with me since I met her on the wharf when the ship came home and she is currently learning to quilt.  Rachael has even joined us at one of our sewing days recently whilst she was on holidays. She is a real gem!
This lovely young lady is a brand new quilter and whilst she was there today she talked her partner into babysitting their little one on the 11th of March so that she can come and sew with us in Penrith at our next sewing day!  Awesome…. 

And finally I met this lovely young lady.   I knew her name as soon as she said it.  She had not known we were going to be there… and when she came across our display the expression on her face was priceless.  After all this time, probably three years we have been in touch via email, it was so lovely to actually meet.  She is one of those gorgeous people who really cares about those around her and makes sure that we look after her friends and colleagues when they deploy.  She is indeed a very special young lady and I was so pleased to meet her. 

Oh and at the end of the day Shelley went around and asked various booths if they had any extra goodies that they did not want to take home that we could send over to the troops in our care package.. we walked away with a well filled laundry bag of lollies, lollypops, pens and glass cleaning cloths (which I am told re really good for cleaning your weapon??).  Excellent. Thanks to all the organisations who contributed! Much appreciated.

Til next time…. keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Sue Niven

    Well done, Lovely to see all those smiling faces, A job well done.

  2. Unknown

    What a fab day….loved reading about the people you meet at the event.


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